This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
A popular perception is that translucent CD-R media -- discs that are,
to some extent, see-through -- are lower in quality than discs you can't
see through. The argument is that the discs reflect less light, and as
a result are less likely to work in some players.
The argument is without merit. So long as the disc reflects at least 70%
of the beam when it strikes a "land", it meets the CD-R specification.
All CD-R media, except for discs treated with an opaque top coating
(usually to provide an absorbent surface for ink-jet printers), are to some
extent translucent. Take your favorite brand of un-coated disc, write
on the top with a black marker, and hold it up to a bright light source.
The writing will be visible through the disc, even on widely recommended
Suppose the translucent media had an opaque label added to the top. Now
that you can't see through it, is the quality of the media higher?
There is much more to media quality than its ability to reflect the visible
light spectrum. It can be argued, of course, that there is a correlation
between the process that yields discs that are easy to see through and
discs that don't work very well. There is, as yet, no proof that such a