Burning CDs and DVDs

If your Mac has a CD-RW drive or an Apple SuperDrive in it, you’ve got yourself the world’s most convenient and elegant backup system. It’s just like having a floppy disk drive, really—except that a blank CD holds at least 450 times as many files, and a blank DVD holds about 3,250 times as many!

You can buy blank CDs very inexpensively in bulk ($20 for 100 discs, for example) via the Web. (To find the best prices, visit http://www.shopper.com or http://www.buy.com and search for blank CD-R.) Blank DVDs are more expensive, but not ridiculously so considering their capacity. At this writing, the Apple Web site, for example, sells them at $20 for five—and prices keep dropping.

To use one for backup, transporting files, or mailing files, insert a blank CD-R, CDRW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, or (on recent model SuperDrive Macs) DVD+R or DVD+RW disc into your Mac. (If you have a slot-loading Mac, simply slip the disc into the slot. If your Mac has a sliding CD/DVD tray instead, open it first by pressing the button on the tray, or pressing your Eject key for about one second.

Top left: Choose Open Finder if you plan to copy regular Mac files onto the CD, or Open iTunes if you plan to burn a music CD using iTunes. If this is pretty much what you always want to do with blank CDs, turn on “Make this action the default.” Then click OK. Right: Drag the fully “loaded” CD or DVD onto the Burn icon in the Dock, or Control-click it and choose Burn Disc, as shown here. Lower left: Confirm your choice in this box.

Figure 10-3. Top left: Choose Open Finder if you plan to copy regular Mac files onto the CD, or Open iTunes if you plan to burn a music CD using iTunes. If this is pretty much what you always want to do with blank CDs, turn on “Make this action the default.” Then click OK. Right: Drag the fully “loaded” CD ...

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