I am not really knowledgeable about cd burners, so I need your help. I burn cds quite often everyday, and would like to find a way to burn faster. Currently, it takes a while to create a disk image. If I purchase a 50x or higher write burner, will it be difficult for someone else to view contents on the CD, and will it improve the time it takes to create the disk image?
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> will it be difficult for someone else to view contents on the CD
Not as long as their drive is about 12x or greater. Some older CD-ROM drives, as well as some of the initial crop of DVD-ROM drives, had issues with reading CD-R/RW media. Any reasonably modern drive should suffice however, as there isn't really much special about how the newer burners write. It's just faster pigments in the media and motors/signaling in the drive really.
> and will it improve the time it takes to create the disk image?
No, that's primarily a function of your hard drive/disk interface and CPU. If you get a faster hard drive (spindle speed, i.e. a 7200 RPM drive) or a faster CPU, the time to create the image should go down. It will however take less time to write the image to the disk once it's created.
As an aside, I use an external SCSI Plextor CD-RW at work, and it's a solid performer. They're a bit pricey compared to some others, but if you want a drive that will last a while and meet its specifications they're worth the extra money.