Hey all, searched the forum but couldn't find anything similar, if I missed it kindly point me to the thread.
So after years of burning lots of 25 GB BD-Rs on my LG BE16NU50 (on the mac) without hardly any coasters,
I finally got myself a bunch of 50 GB and 100 GB discs. All Verbatim, the XL's split between 5 "normal" BDXL
and 5 "M-DISC" ones. Weirdly, both are showing the same ID "VERBATIMk", but the recorder and/or Toast 18
are somehow noticing a difference because on the "normal" ones I get offered speeds of 2x, 4x, 6x, and 8x,
while the "M-DISC" ones only let me choose 4x. (Both say "4x" on the box.)
Anyway, so I take out one of the M-DISCs, have a look at the surface, and note that it looks very odd. Of
course I have no idea if that's normal, these being the first QL discs I have held in my hands. I am attaching
some pics, and there are two odd details: close to the outer perimeter, they have a noticeable gradient to
a much darker color. Hmmm... On the inner perimeter, it's even worse, there are what looks like weird
defects -- it's hard to tell from the photos, but these are definitely _not_ scratches on the surface, but
_inside_ the polycarbonate!
While I actually have had only mixed results with Verbatim in the past (mainly DVD+R but also BD-R),
I have never seen anything looking this dubious, quality-wise, before.
So with some trepidation, I tried my first burn of one of these (in my trusty BE16NU50), and sure enough,
a few seconds in, bam, write error, my first 15 € coaster... So before turning any more of these into the
most expensive coasters ever, I thought I'd check with people here.
Do these look that way for anyone else? Or are they extremely bad QA on Verbatim's part? Should I just not
bother and send them all back right away? Do I have a chance of receiving better ones (assuming these are
defective) as replacements, or should I just ask for a refund? Or should I just post an outraged review on
amazon, uploading the pics, to warn others?
Also, any ideas regarding the identical media codes shown? (I checked these not just with Toast, but
also with good old cdrecord on the command line, which says Manufacturer: 'VERBAT', Media type: 'IMk'.)
How does my drive (or Toast) know to treat them differently?
But my main question is regarding the weird appearance of these...
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Oh and sorry, completely forgot: The "normal" BD-XLs don't instill much more confidence either. They don't show these internal "scratch"-like
defects, but instead, huge (to me) holes in the reflective layer. It's hard to get the camera to focus correctly on these, and I can only take
photos holding it up by hand against a light, but these bright spots really are literally completely see-through, i.e. full-blown holes.
Again, is this normal? Are they just throwing out trash now that not many people are using optical media any more? I've never seen media
look less trustworthy than these...
I would look into cleaning your drive with compressed air or have it verify a disc a few times at full speed to try and get any dirt that may be on the laser lens.
on discs fresh right out of the box! They have never seen the inside of my drive, let alone been written to...
(The photos from the M-DISC one are in fact of the coaster that I produced, and now show a fingerprint of mine, but that was only
produced while I was taking the photos, and all these same features are identical on virgin discs.)
Also maybe I should reiterate that none of these are on the surface of the disc -- they may look like dirt or scratches on the photos in 2D,
but looking at them closely in three dimensions makes it very clear they are features inside the polycarbonate!
Verbatim was bought out last year I think. They claimed they were not going to change anything about the production process but who knows. But yeah, as lordsmurf said, I don't buy into the M-Disc Blu-ray and their prices. I just buy the Optical Quantum 6x 25GB.
If you are wanting long term storage, I'd just go with a basic BD-R plus a backup on a isolated HDD or a Cloud storage service. Two or more copies. Will still be cheaper than M-Discs.
@lordsmurf and @KarMa: I hear ya regarding the M-DISC, I don't put much credence in that beyond a marketing label...
I actually never understood what their USP was supposed to be for BD-R. For DVDs I could still imagine some advantage
over standard organic dyes, but BD-Rs (at least HTL) are using anorganic anyway. So that's why I ordered only 5 of them
as a sample, and 5 "normal" Verbatim, but see my second post for the apparent gigantic defects in the reflective layer on
those... Thanks @KarMa for the note about them having been bought out, that may explain both of those (note that the
M-DISC were also Verbatim, co-branded M-DISC).
So yeah, the multiple copies approach on different media (optical + magnetic) is what I'm already doing, and I do test my optical
media after a few years and if I see issues appearing with a certain brand I start copying everything on that same brand from the
same time frame. (In fact that's what my "mixed results" with Verbatim referred to that I mentioned in the OP -- both their DVDs
and BD-Rs have gone bad on me after much less than 5 years.)
I just thought I'd check if anyone had seen anything like this before, because honestly I was quite shocked to get something
that looked this shady from a supposedly well-known brand (even if my personal experience was mixed, see above).
So I think I'll just return them with the remaining discs unopened, luckily they're indivdually shrink-wrapped jewel cases. And I'll
drop a candid review complete with these pics on amazon (where I bought them) to warn others.
This really does seem incredible to me... but caveat emptor I guess.