Ancient concept of CD burning, speed and quality


In the day of cloud, phone memory cards and jumpdrives with 700mb on them, I need to have some CDs on hand to use for samples, proposals and submissions for theatre production. I was shocked to find that the only brands of CDs I could find in Office Max, Staples, Best Buy and even Big Lots! today were Memorex, Memorex and some Lightscribe Verbatim.

Office Depot did have one spindle of TDKs so I grabbed them: 50 for $20.

But, before I open the package, I attempted to find some info online regarding "Best CD media for Macs" and such, and of course, I just got thousands of pages on how to burn a CD or where to buy a CD burner.

So, a couple questions:
The package of CDs say 52X on the side. I never gave it much thought before. I checked the system profiler and my cd burner(s) show up as 8x, 24x. Yet, I' have burnd 52x CDs before. Is that just the fastest rate a CD can burn (I always slow it down a tweak)? I've read in some instances people saying they have problems with their CD burners that are just rated at 24x and they can't burn 52x cds (not that fast, that they don't work).

And, there is lots of discussion about quality, and I read about the japanese brand, etc., and how most of these have a %tage that turn into coasters, but is there one brand over the other of verbatim or memorex (remember, basically all that exists) better than the other?
And what about the TDK? Before I break open the package.

THe even more incredible eye-opener: I hadn't been in a Best Buy since about November and it is amazing 1)how little there is in the store now and 2) how few people were in there. Same for Office Max and Depot. They looked really shabby and really empty.
One in your Drive used compressed Air (at an angle to not blow more into it) and try to blow out the dust that has infested it.

Two use a free burning application appropriately called Burn to see if that helps.

Lastly a good old fashion disk cleaner can help also.
When I expect good quality from CD-Rs - I have used only two brands in the last 6 or 8 years.
Verbatim - and Taiyo Yuden.
I still get them from here:

I don't use CD-Rs so much now. Used to be a few hundred a year, and a pack of 100 might yield a small number of "coasters", maybe 2 or 3. With the numbers that I burned, a few is not a big problem. Verbatim, and Taiyo Yuden always (and continue to) have the smallest number of failed burns - but that happens for more reasons than just bad media. Those two brands, in my experience, yields the best results.

TDK? OK, but not (again in my experience) at the same level as the other two.

comment - almost everything that I used CD-Rs for a few years ago, I now do with flash drives, or temp partitions on an external HD of some kind.
My 1st choice is always Sony. Verbatim is a very close 2nd.

IMHO, Apple always uses top end components EXCEPT their choice(s) of optical drives has always been sub-par.
Yes, most things I do are on flashdrives, but when I want to send samples or I have to follow requirements for a submission, they ask for CD and not a flashdrive.
I use CD-Rs still to this day. I have projects that need to be stored on a CD. Sony is what I have right now and very rarely do I have one that ends up a coaster.

The new Macs do not have a super drive. The thinking is that everything is now done via downloads and cloud storage there is no need to burn. You will need to purchase a super drive separately.

Probably should stock up on blank CDs and DVDs before they go extinct. :)