I should also note that I would be using it to transfer old home recordings from cassettes, reel to reel so compatibility is a huge issue for me. My clients are everyday people not audio professionals.
Hi Linda and welcome to the Creative Cow Audio Forum.
As to your question, there are some basic ideas that can help you decide how best to accomplish your tasks and give you a path to the answers you need.
The first concept is to understand the difference between how your old tapes worked verses the way new digital recordings work. With tape, sound quality and time capacity was largely a function of the SPEED the tape moved through the machines. The faster the tape, the better the audio quality but the less time you had to make your recording.
Computer storage doesn't work like that. instead, you're given a fixed "bucket" to hold data (the CD or DVD) and you have to decide what to fill it with.
The way to store "longer" content on the fixed sized disk, is generally to "compress" the data mathematically in order to make it fit into the bucket. Some compression is "lossy" other schemes are less so. But the challenge is to pick the "right"l level of compression for what you want to do.
Now this can be a big issue for complicated digital streams like high resolution video or even really complex audio signals where complexity and nuance must be maintained - but for your purpose, the good news is that spoken word recordings aren't very complex - so the difference in the amount of compression needed to fit a 90 minute recording instead of a 60 minute one into the bucket is probably not enough to make a noticeable different for the average listener.
So just try it on a sample. If you like what you hear on playback - you're fine.
Also, since "cloning" of digital data is so easy, it's always smart to keep do your original recording with as little compression as possible - - and then making a somewhat lower resolution "copy" of that to give to the customer.
Hope that helps.
"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor
Good question. Older CD players (really old ones) were made in the days before 80 minute CDs. In some cases, the tracking arm was never expected to go much farther from the center than 74 minutes. (CDs lay their data starting at the center and fill the disc from there to the outer rim.)
I have a pretty old Technics CD player, made before 80 minute CDs became available and it works fine, so an old machine may or may not work once you get out past 74 minutes. You can always get the 80 minute discs and not fill them all the way to 80 minutes.
What may have as much bearing is the quality of the CD-R itself. I buy only Taiyo Yuden blanks because in years past, they were anecdotally found to cause fewer problems.
JVC now owns the company and you can get these blanks at most taper/disc supply houses. Look for J-CDR-WPP-SK.
Some CD players, primarily boom boxes and automotive systems with a box in the trunk that holds 4-6 CD that can be played via controls on the dashboard, have also shown to cause more problem, even for the Taiyo Yuden discs.