What Does Burn Mean?

Burning is the process of recording to optical disc media, including writable CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs. The term is most associated with consumers creating CDs and DVDs and almost never applied to discs created by professionals for mass distribution. Professional creation of discs is referred to as “authoring” or “mastering” instead.


Techopedia Explains Burn

Burning discs refers to creating copies of media onto writable and rewritable discs, usually DVDs and CDs. Rewritable Blu-ray discs exist, but they are rare and expensive compared to rewritable CDs and DVDs.

The term almost exclusively refers to ordinary users writing discs using consumer equipment and software for personal use. These can be backup copies of files or mix CDs of favorite songs.

Professional authoring programs are much more sophisticated than programs aimed at consumers, allowing professionals to create complex animated menus for DVD or Blu-ray movies. Professionals create a “master” of an optical disc which is then given to a production plant for mass duplication.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.