UDF: Packing on the digital pounds

Credit: Veryicon.com

If you have a version of Windows Vista or Windows 7, you might easily find this new feature called Live File System. It’s the method in which you use your CD or DVD burner to format your blank disc media into the new Universal Disc Format or UDF. It’s basically new from the old and still used CDFS system in which makes media burned into CD’s possible.

It was an incredible idea that you get the option to use you blank CD or DVD into ether a regular burnable disc or -and get this- a USB drive. Microsoft and many others who came across this like that because like a USB drive you can use over and over again…

…That’s where the joy turn into a kick-in-the-nuts realization.

You see, just because the blank media can be used like a USB drive it does not mean it can be used indefinitely like a USB drive. You’re forgetting they are still disc media and like disc media they are good only once or in the case of the -RW/+RW types, good only one to three times before eventually wearing out, rendering them useless. In this case, the UDF makes it look like you are free to change anything while it’s on the disc from a tiny spelling fix to a total swap of that multi-megabyte file you want in for later.

I know this because I sacrificed a blank CD to field test and I formatted the thing into UDF and I tested it out with some random files and even edit a text while it was still on the disc. It worked and I was happy. Then I noticed something was up and I looked at the storage view from Computer. It showed it had more than what was originally stored. Turns out for every new entry changed it burns that portion out and burns on a new portion into the disc.

It keeps building up and up until eventually the blank media of 700mbs to 4.7 gbs becomes full even though you have nothing short of 4 >10mb mp3’s inside. So what have I learned from this new format? It’s good some of the time but not all of the time. Which in this case you’re better off using a USB drive or cloud storage.


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