General Versus Authoring Media
The first drives created to write DVD-R discs used a special red laser and expensive media
and are known as authoring media drives. The most common DVD drives, however, use
a less expensive red laser and media. Such drives are known as general media drives.
Red laser DVD drives can write to either general or authoring media—not both. The
SuperDrive supplied with many Apple systems supports only general media. To use
authoring media, you need to connect a special DVD-R drive.
Be sure you write only to media supported by your drive. If the media is not
labeled either general or authoring, it was likely manufactured before the existence of
general drives and can be assumed to be authoring-compatible.
The type of media you use only affects the writing of the disc. Both types of DVD drives
and most DVD-ROM drives and set-top DVD players can read and play both general and
For most projects, there is no significant difference between a DVD created using general
or authoring drives and discs. However, if you intend to use a replicator and require
high-end features such as Macrovision copy-protection and CSS data encryption, you
must use authoring media with an authoring drive.
Overview of Using DVD Studio Pro
Even with authoring media, you cannot burn a DVD that supports any of these high-end
features on your own system. However, authoring media supports the Cutting Master
Format (CMF), which can be used to add information required by the replicator to put
these features on your discs. General media does not support CMF.
The Cutting Master Format
for more information on the CMF standard.
An Alternative Way to Use General Media
While you cannot use the CMF format directly on general media discs, you can still use
general media discs to deliver DVD projects with high-end features to your replicator
by using them as data discs. In general, you format your project to your hard disk using
a CMF or DDP format. You can then copy the resultant Layer 0 and Layer 1 folders to
your DVD media (each layer to its own disc). While these discs are not DVD-Video discs
and cannot be played in a DVD player, they do contain all the information the replicator
needs to create the final discs. See
for more information about formatting
to your hard disk.
Be sure to check with your replicator before making the discs.