Updated 17/11/2012Home » Video Glossary » Overburn


According to the official standards, a CD, CD-R and CD-RW should have a capacity of 650MB or 700MB of data, or an equivalent of 74 minutes or 80 minutes of audio.

As the laser beam in a CD recorder writes on CD-R/W media, it travels from the center of the disc towards its edge. Before the physical edge of the CD, there is an already set limit to prevent the laser beam writing beyond that, so that the physical edge of the disc's writable surface will never be met.

This means that exists a security zone at the edge of the CR-R/W media. The process of writing data beyond that boundary increases the disc's capacity and is called overburn or overburning. However there is a risk involved in the process, because data beyond the boundary could be corrupt or damaged, depending on the disc used.