http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm Burning media at slow speeds does NOT ensure better quality, in fact in many cases the quality will be worse, sometimes much worse. With modern burners, most media will burn it's best at its rated speed, although 16x media usually burns best at 12x or sometimes 8x. Verbatim 16x, at least MCC04 anyway, is one exception that usually burns well at slower speeds, but burning almost any 8x media below 4x or 16x media below 8x will result in worse burn quality. It will vary depending on every possible combination of media, burner, and firmware, but if you have a decent, relatively new burner, your best bet is to burn 1-8x rated media at it's rated speed, and 16x media at 12x. here's a little snippet for the top best ones click the link for the rest of good to crap media. at the bottom of the page in that link there's a very good list of what brand uses what media id/code. games with an iso/toc size 4.36gb-4.38gb MAY need rebuilding ANYTHING ELSE = Unknown OEM or NEW Can media ever change class? Sure. But it rarely happens. LD01 moved to the top 3RD class spot (got better) and RITEK media moved to the last 2ND class spot (got worse). CMC DVD+R moved up to 3RD class, and SONY0xD moved to 1ST class. But those are the only four major moves to date. It is not a quick move either, these things take much time and many tests. What do the % numbers mean? This list is constructed from many tests on many burners from a handful of experienced people that use a lot of media. These numbers reflect the number of discs in a spindle that will give good results. For example, out of a 100 spindle of media, 1st class discs may kick out a few bad discs (0% to 5% of the media may have playback imperfections or be outright bad burns). The 2nd class media may have a dozen or so bad discs. The 3rd class discs could give you a half-spindle of duds. And the 4th class stuff can be pure trash. These are mean averages too, simple statistics math, meaning best tests and worst tests are discarded, and the middle range of tests is the basis for these numbers. You may sometimes find the rare instance where a CMC spindle will be perfect and a Taiyo Yuden spindle will be completely flawed, but those times are the exception rather than the rule (and are not part of a mean average). Testing procedures: Burns are subject to playability/reflectivity tests (usage tests), as well as software verification. Test equipment is under controlled hardware/software environments to eliminate user variables. Burns are at least 4GB or more to test the entire length of the media. Exceptions to the "Taiwan" rule: Not too long ago, Mitsubishi and TDK moved their operations to Taiwan. In fact, some of it apparently is being made in CMC Magnetics plants. However, because MCC and TDK are still using the same high quality methods and materials (this has been confirmed by a Verbatim spokesman), this geographic relocation has not affected the quality of their products. Why is a specific media ID (like MCC02RG20) not shown? When a certain base media ID shares the same quality, not every single code will be listed. For example, the "RITEK" classification include RITEKG03, RITEKG04, RITEKG05, RITEKW, etc. Same for "MCC". It includes MCC01RG20, MCC02RG20, MCC003, etc. Simplicity. An "x" has often been used in place of numbers, saving space by writing merely "TYG0x" instead of creating a long list of TYG01, TYG02, TYG03, etc. Fakes Luckily, it does not happen often, but it does happen often enough to be a major annoyance to media buyers everywhere. Most fake media comes from Hong Kong, as a general rule. Fake media tends to float around Europe and Asia more than it does the USA. Fake media is normally sold in flea markets, on eBay and online. Major brand name media sold in stores is probably never going to be fake. TYG02 = This was faked by INFOSMART (Hong Kong) in 2004-2005. Some OPTODISC media was also reported to carry this code. Mitsui is also faking them in their USA and Europe plants. The fakes are rumored to be for "improved 8x media detection" but low quality media is low quality, regardless of the media ID. MCC02RG20, MCC003 = This was faked starting in mid 2005, again by InfoSmart of Hong Kong. TTG02, TTH01, TTH02 = These are apparently "legal" fakes made by Mitsui, with permission by TDK to use the code. However the media is quite poor, not true TDK media. Another 2005 fake. MXLRG01 = This was faked by INFOSMART (Hong Kong) in 2002-2003. SONY = This was faked in 2003. Unknown HK manufacturer. "SONY" is not a valid media ID. Pioneer brand = Pioneer's PVC quit manufacturing blanks in 2003 (PVC media codes). LeadData and Ritek tried to sell their PIODATA and PIO coded blanks under the "Pioneer" brand name, but that was fake. TDKG02 = This was faked by PRINCO in 2001-2002. They wanted to "improve 2x writing" on the 1x write strategy media, as well as insure drives would see the media (not all firmware at the time had PRINCO as a valid media code). RITEKG03,RITEKG04 = This was supposedly faked in 2004. However, it is the opinion of this author that it was just a lame cover story by RITEK for providing subpar quality media, as even the "legit" media performed poorly at the time. Branding Guide Although this will change on a regular basis, the following brands are known to use the following media makers for their outsourced discs. Be careful for CMC and PRINCO discs, as those are becoming more common in those "special sales" seen almost every week since early 2004. Some companies prefer dollars over quality, so be careful. Also be especially careful of "house brands" or no-names. Stores like Fry's and CompUSA have horrible return policies too, so if you end up with an unfavorable media ID, do not burn a test, just take it back for a refund and take your business elsewhere. Because of recent trends, the BOLDFACE represents known media at the time of this publish. Others are either past media codes, or codes available to the manufacturer. The (-R) and (+R) has also been added if only one is using that code. Accu = LEADDATA Americal = RITEKG01, PRINCO, LEADDATA Apple = MXL, MCC(-R) Arita = RITEKG03, RICOHJPN BenQ = DAXON, FUJIFILM Bulkpaq = Fakes TY/MCC, PRINCO, ISO001(+R) CompUSA = PRINCO(-R), AML, OPTODISC, LD Datawrite = PRINCO, PRODISC, AN31, RITEKG03 DupEZ = PIODATA, LEADDATA ESA = CMC Esbuy = RITEK, LEADDATA, other budget IDs Fuji = TY(-R), MKM(-RW), MCC, RICOHJPN(+R), PRODISC(-R), FUJIFILM, RITEK GQ = PIODATA, PRINCO, RITEKG03, RITEKG02, LEADDATA, LD HP = CMC, RICOHJPN, MCC Imation = MCC02, RITEKG03, CMC Intenso = MCC01 KHypermedia = CMC, TTG01 Kodak = Various budget IDs LiquidVideo = OPTODISC Matrix = MATRIX, LONGTEN, YIJHAN, MUST Maxell = MXL, RITEK(-R/Taiwan), RICOHJPN, TYG01 Memorex = MCC003, RITEKG05, RITEKR03, CMCMAG, RICOHJPN, Memorex (more) = PRODISCS0x, INFODISC, MBI, MCC01 Meritline = Various budget IDs Mirror = AN31, ONIDTECH, PRINCO Optodisc = OPTODISC Philips = CMC Pioneer = PVC Princo = PRINCO, Fake TDK Prodisc = PRODISCS0x, PRODISCF0x, MCC01, MCC02 Ridata, Ritek = RITEKG0x, RITEKM0x, RITEKR0x, RITEKW, RICOHJPN Samsung = TYG01, BEALL, RITEK Sonic, Shop4tech = LONGTEN, MATRIX, MUST, YIJHAN, various budget IDs Sony = SONYD0x, YUDEN, RICOHJPN, MCC Supermedia, Linkyo = Various budget IDs TDK = TY, YUDEN, TTG0x, TTH0x, RITEK, RICOH, MXL, CMC(+R), MCC, TDK Teon = MCC003(+R), CMC(-R) Verbatim = MCC02, MCC, MKM(DL), CMC, YUDEN, RICOHJPN, RITEKG03 The PS2 laser inside the system, is fragile and sensitive. If you insist on using bad quality media, you're gonna wear the thing out much quicker (something which I have learn the hard way after previously using all the bad stuff, but I now use Verbatim!) which I'm sure you don't wanna do to your nice little friend no? my personal preference after trying all those above is taiyo yuden (YUDENT, TYG0x = Taiyo Yuden (Japan) = (+R)(-R))it's cheaper and burns with less PIF than verbatim and all those others for that matter. next is TDK, TTG0x, TTH0x = TDK Corp (Taiwan/Japan) = (-R). then MXLRG0x = Maxell (Japan) = (-R). while taiyo yuden only has one, taiyo yuden. they make their own ownage media, even for others like verbatim. that's why i recommend them over anything else guaranteed product cept for fakes but that's your fault for buying from shady sites. to ensure getting realy taiyo yuden get them from rima.com and supermediastore.com they got the real deal and is where i get them. oh yeah 8x made in japan fujifilm from bestbuy is also yuden. verbatim has 7 too many manufacturers to still consider it in that 1st class. MCC02 MCC MKM(DL) CMC YUDEN RICOHJPN RITEKG03 too variable. worst off is they still use mcc media ID. best burns for PS2 games are ones with dvd+r booktype (AKA bitsetting) capabilities for setting dvd+r to dvd-rom for much better compatibility than dvd-r. only one burner brand is capable of booktyping dvd-r to dvd-rom (AFAIK) is NU-Tech such as my NU DDU-082. here's a complete list of dvd+r booktyping burners: BenQ LiteOn Plextor Ricoh LG NEC NU-tech (also only one capable of dvd-r bitsetting) those instructions saying to burn at lowest speed are outdated. today's burners burn much better at 8-12x than the burners of 5 years ago at 2x. i burn games at 12x with PIF levels staying below 60 with spikes at 2 only with 0 problems. ******thoughts*****Taiyo Yuden DVD+R and DVD-R are best of all the medias out there. media id/codes: DVD-R TYG01 = burn at 4x since they're 4x max, can be done at 8x on most burners but i don't recommend it. TYG02 = burn at 8x (these are cheapest and most available in the US) TYG03 = burn at 8x or 12x if burner can do it and if you have a good burner. they are 16x and will burn great at 16x so they're up to you just don't burn them below 8x, they hate it DVD+R YUDEN00T02 = burn at 8x can be done at 8x on most burners but i don't recommend it unless you have the best burner there is. (they are very available but double price over TYG02 in the US) YUDEN00T03 = burn at 8x or 12x if burner can do it and if you have a good burner. they are 16x and will burn great at 16x so they're up to you just don't burn them below 8x, they hate it (these don't exist in the US yet but are widely available in europe) the second best are Verbatim with ring code PAPAXXXXX made by CMC using MCC id code and dyes DVD+R and DVD-R DVD-R MCC01RG20 = burn at 4x since it's max is 4x can be done at 8x on most burners but i don't recommend it unless you have the best burner there is MCC02RG20 = burn at 8x since it's max is 8x can be done at 12x on most burners but i don't recommend it unless you have the best burner there is MCC03RG20 = burn at 8x or 12x if burner can do it and if you have a good burner. they are 16x but those two lower speeds come out better and more guaranteed given their variability. DVD+R MCC 002 = burn at 4x since it's max is 4x can be done at 8x on most burners but i don't recommend it unless you have the best burner there is MCC 003 = burn at 8x since it's max is 8x can be done at 12x on most burners but i don't recommend it unless you have the best burner there is MCC 004 = burn at 8x or 12x if burner can do it and if you have a good burner. they are 16x but those two lower speeds come out better and more guaranteed given their variability. however verbatims are variable in regards to who made them. for best results and no to less DREs go for Yudens. to get REAL GENUINE yudens buy from shop4tech.com supermediastore.com rima.com meritline.com yudens are only made in JAPAN verbatims are made in JAPAN, INDIA, SINGAPORE, TAIWAN verbatim and yuden fakes are made everywhere else china is one ****FROM DIGITALFAQ.COM**** The thing that must be realized is that most media is produced by a relative small number of factories, located in several different places. These factories are mostly present in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, some European locations. There are more, but those are the largest ones. The best media generally comes from Japan and Singapore. The worst typically comes from Taiwan or China (in stores) and Hong Kong (online). This being said, understand that the media brand means nothing. Apple is a great brand, but they do not make their own discs, instead outsourcing to MXL (Hitachi/Maxell) or MCC (Mitsubishi Chemicals). Verbatim became infamous in 2002 by switching from high-quality MCC ID media to the inferior CMC ID media, although they quickly returned to using MCC. Companies like Memorex, Fuji and Imation all outsource to media vendors. When buying media online always be aware of fake media too (see the fakes information farther down the page). It is the media ID that is important, as it reveals the disc manufacturer. Unfortunately, this is not written on packaging or anywhere else. Companies want consumers to be oblivious to this sort of behind-the-scenes information. To learn the media ID code, a blank disc must be put into a computer DVD burner drive and the ID read by a special utility. Some burning software reads the code by default (DVD Decrypter, for example, in ISO write mode). There are also a handful of freeware or trialware tools available: For Windows: DVD Identifier (free), DVDInfo (free), DVDInfoPro (trial) For Macintosh OS X: DVD Media Inspector (free) For Linux: dvd+rw-mediainfo (free) ****FROM DIGITALFAQ.COM**** instructions saying to burn at lowest speed are outdated. today's burners burn much better at 8-12x than the burners of 5 years ago at 2x. i burn games at 12x with PIF levels staying below 60 with spikes at 2 only with 0 problems. i may be a noob here but in terms of media and burners. i've tested a crapload of media using best burners of the day. BEST BURNERS: Benq 1620/1640/1650/1655/18xx series Liteon 6s series (ex 165H6s), 18aX1, and 20aX1 series Pioneer 110/111/112 series LG h10/h12/h22/h42 series the rest aren't worth it and/or don't do dvd+r bitsetting to DVDROM. a good free burn program to use is imgburn 188.8.131.52 i use this for everything works great remember to get guaranteed yudens get them from the 4 online stores above hope ya'll find this thread useful ****thoughts**** thread is intended especially for the millions of daily best media threads. for the NOOBS!!!!