ROXIO expert needed

I am using Roxio cd creator 6. Can someone please explain to me the difference between using Roxio Creator Classic vs. Drag to Disc.

For those of you not directly familiar with Roxio 6:
Creator Classic - basically you select the files you want on a cd in by browsing through windows explorer and then once you have selected your files you click on a "Burn to Disc" button. Generally it doesn't take very long.

Drag to Disc- Literally take files and drag them onto a Drag to Disc icon on the desktop. Roxio has to do something to format the disc but once it does you can just drag files to the icon and they are there.

I am using CD-RW discs exclusively.

What are the things I need to be aware of regarding either of the 2 options regarding:
1. Using the cd-rw on different PC's that don't have roxio software installed. Will I be able to read the files, save more etc.
2. Using the same cd-rw over again to put more files on the disc on the PC with Roxio installed
3. Any other compatibility issues

In the end I am trying to educate users here so I don't have to waste time trying to recover data but at the same time I would like to learn about the differences b/w the 2 techniques
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Drag to Disk use the UDF or packet writing driver which formats the CD to look like a HD. This type of Copying to a CD I don't in any way support, as this format isn't all too compatible with most PC's or other CD drives, and therefore media written in that way are usually unreadable on other hardware. Appart from that, it is much slower than using a proper CD writing program as the Roxio creator you are using.

Using Roxio creator makes CD's written in normal ISO standard format. CD's written in this way will be readable on most other hardware.

I strongly advise you against using rewritable media, they usually don't last very long, and they often have problems on other drives. I also advise you, if you keep on using rw media, to copy a couple of files from the finished media back to the PC and open these files using the program you created these files with. This is to make sure the CD's are OK. Just be warned that rw media will usually not last long.
Brian_BlairAuthor Commented:
thanks- anyone else out there care to comment??

2 questions-
Q:Once the disk is formatted for packet writing is the only way to add new files would be through Roxio drag to disk?

Q: In the ISO standard format, can I continue to add files to the CD using cd burning software such as nero or whatever on different hardware?
Q1. Normaly you can only use the same program on the same machine to add files.

Q2. When adding files, you need to create a new session, and the disk can't have previously been closed. But you can use any program on any machine which is capable of writing in standard iso format to add a new session. On some hardware you can only read the last session created on the disk. Generaly it is better to write a complete compilation to a disk, and use a new disk for further compilations.
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Drag-to-Disc, which was previously called "Direct CD", was an abominatin that the industry felt necessary to hide the complexities of data CD burning from the user.

ECDC (the full package) produces industry standard "ISO" CDs, much as you would buy in store (data (as in buying software) or music).

Drag-to-Disc, "Direct CD", Nero's "InCD" and the other equivalent programs produce a format usually called "UDF" and sometimes also called "packet writing".  This is not a standard format, and it's not automatically supported by a "plain vanilla" computer and optical drive.  That is, if you have a generic computer with Windows and a CD-ROM drive, all the way back to Windows 95 (and even Windows 3.x if you have a driver and MSCDEX installed), you were guaranteed that if the hardware and software were working, and if the disc was properly made or burned, it could be read, at least at the "data" level.  That is not true for UDF, however.  You need a UDF driver, and this creates a number of problems:  The UDF drivers are incompatible with some other PC software, UDF drivers do not come with all versions of Windows, and the UDF drivers are not fully compatible .... everyone's UDF driver won't read CD's made by everyone else's UDF driver.

Further, UDF (Drag-to-Disc) is almost always done on eraseable media (RW media).  It requires that the media be "pre formatted" (although some of the newer products do this transparently in the background), and the real problem is that RW media is not terribly stable, the data has a tendency to "fade" with time.

So, all in all, UDF (Drag-to-Disc) is kind of a mess, and in fact my usual recommendation is that you don't even install it (it's installed by default, but the option to leave it out is present).

Q:Once the disk is formatted for packet writing is the only way to add new files would be through Roxio drag to disk?

This question has sort of been answered above, but the short answer is that you can use it like a floppy disk, i.e. read/write with Windows Explorer, e.g., on any recent version of Windows.

It is a great way to carry files back and forth between computers, but please don't depend on it for long-term backups, and under no circumstance should you put a file on RW media that does not exist at least one other place. They are quirky and somewhat unpredictable.

It's kind of like USB flash drives .... a just plain flakey and trouble-prone storage technology.  If you want to use it for convenience, understand that it has proven to be flakey and that lots of people using CDRW, UDF and USB flash drives have lost their data.
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