Difference Between CD-R and CD-ROM

Initially, we didn’t have many devices that could be used to store large or small data, software applications, movies, audio, and much more. But later, different companies designed and manufactured different devices to store music, games, etc. Any music or audio was recorded and stored in cassettes, while games were stored in a chip that stored multiple of them, and people used to insert it and play with their gaming consoles. But now, compact discs have come into existence, and they are a much feasible and affordable option for everyone.


The main difference between CD-R and CD-ROM is that CD-R or CD allows its user to add data to the disc by burning it or writing. While comparatively, on the other hand, the CD-ROM allows its user to just view the stored data priorly, which can be any multimedia, games, software application, etc. 


CD-R is the abbreviation used for the complete term Compact Disc – Recordable. The device was designed by the collaborative efforts of the company Philips and Sony and introduced around the 1990s. The device is usually labeled as blank after manufacturing, and the approximate diameter, which has been standardized, is about 120 mm.

CD-ROM is the abbreviation for the term Compact Disc – Read-Only Memory. It is also designed and developed by the company Sony and Philips. The combined efforts of the company led to a revolution in the process of storing data. The device, when manufactured, is itself stored with different information which may be related to any – multimedia, software, games, etc.

Comparison Table Between CD-R and CD-ROM

Parameters of ComparisonCD-RCD-ROM
Full FormCompact Disc – RecordableCompact Disc – Read Only Memory
After ManufacturingIt is usually blankIt comprises pre-stored data in it
Compatibility Small runsLarge runs
Data storageCan be written or burnedCan only be read
UseFor recordingTo see pre-recorded games, videos, photos, audios, etc

What is CD-R?

CD-R is the short term or the abbreviation used for the word Compact Disc – Recordable. For the first time in history, this revolutionary gadget was developed in collaboration with two companies – Philips and Sony. The other name used for CD-R is CD or Compact Disc, which is more commonly known by everyone.

The R in the name of the term stands for ‘Recordable,’ which in simple words means that the data to be stored in the compact disc can be added by burning it/ or writing it. This is why they are categorized as WORM – which is ‘Write Once Read Many’ Also, the important point to remember is that the data stored in the compact disc cannot be deleted or erased once added.

While manufacturing these compact discs, they are dyed on their surfaces, and these dyes used are also differentiated into three types that are – Azo dye. Cyanine dye and Phthalocyanine dye. Also, the standardized size of the compact disc is about 120 mm in diameter. And the price range of the disc is very cheap.

What is CD-ROM?

CD-ROM is the short term or the abbreviation used for the word ‘Compact Disc –Read-Only Memory’ The product was developed with the collaborative efforts of both Sony and Philips company and was introduced in the late 1990s. The other commonly used word for CD-ROM is single-session disc. This is because the manufacturers of the disc add the data at one time.

The term associated with the word ‘ROM,’ which means Read Only Memory, is added with significance. The significance behind the words is that such compact disc comes with pre-stored data in themselves. The type of data stored can be any format. It may be any video, audio, games, software, etc. The disadvantage of CD-ROM is that the user can only read the stored data but cannot write or burn it.

The storage capacity of the CD-ROM is approximately 700 MB but can store up to 800 MB of data along with 100 MB as an error correction. The price of any CD-ROM is comparatively high than a CD-R or CD. Also, to effectively use a CD-ROM, the user must have a CD-ROM device for it.

Main Differences Between CD-R and CD-ROM

  1. The full form for the abbreviation used CD-R is Compact Disc – Recordable while comparatively, on the other hand, the full form for the abbreviation used CD-ROM is Compact Disc – Read-Only Memory. 
  2. After the manufacturing process compact disc is labeled as blank while comparatively, on the other hand, after the manufacturing process, the compact disc comprises some data in it, which may include – movies, videos, audios, software, and others. 
  3. The compatibility for the CD-R is normally for the short run, while comparatively, on the other hand, the compatibility for the CD-ROM is for a long run or use.
  4. In a CD-R or CD, data can be stored afterward by burning or writing while comparatively, on the other hand, in a CD-ROM, the user cannot add data from their side. They only have access to view the pre-stored data.
  5. As the name says, CD-R or CD can be used to record or store any data while comparatively, on the other hand, a CD-ROM is used just to view the pre-stored data.
  6. The price of CD-R or CD is very low or, say, affordable while comparatively, on the other hand, the price of CD-ROM is high.


To summarize the given topic, this can be concluded that CD-R and CD-ROM both are exactly similar when viewed generally. A common person cannot state the difference between the two but still be similar through their appearances. They both are different based on their use.

CD-R or CD is the most common device that is now available in the market, and anyone can purchase it because of its very affordable price range. These compact discs give their user the power to store different kinds of data in them. But the condition here is that the data, once stored, cannot be deleted or vanished. Despite this, one could add more data until the memory is full.

In contrast to this, CD-ROM is another device that is available in the market and is comparably expensive. The CD-ROM is only played by inserting it into the CD-ROM device. Perhaps this device allows the user only to view the pre-stored data in the compact disc.


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