This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
Perhaps, but it's best if you can get a "combo" drive that records on CDs
CDs are starting to pass the venerable 3.5" floppy disk as the most universal
physical media. If you want to be able to exchange music or data with
someone else, CD and CD-ROM are your best bet. DVD-ROM drives and DVD
players haven't been as successful as some in the industry had hoped.
Near the end of 2000, one of the major computer sellers was offering an
"upgrade" on their systems from DVD-ROM drives to CD recorders.
DVD-R recorders and media are still fairly expensive compared to
CD-R, though they're finally down to consumer levels. An example:
http://www.electroweb.com/product/hard.htm was, as of early February '98,
selling a Pioneer CDVR-S101 DVD-Recordable Drive for US$18K. In June '99,
the same site had a Pioneer CDVR-S201 for US$5100. In October 2001 the
Pioneer DVR-A03PK was on sale for $699, and the price of media had fallen
from $50 to $15 per disc.
In mid-2001 Apple started selling a drive with high-end Macintoshes that
wrote to both CD-R and DVD-R. If you can afford it, being able to write
either format is valuable.
Writers for related formats like DVD-RAM and DVD-RW are available for less,
but aren't widely compatible with current DVD players. HP and several
other companies are promoting the DVD+RW format, which is compatible with
DVD players and is rewritable. See http://www.dvdplusrw.org/.
As mentioned in section (0-2), this FAQ will not be expanding to cover DVD
recorders. See http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html instead.