Before you write your files to DVD, you must first select how you will use it. You can use the modern Live File System (LFS), which has been created and introduced with the creation of XP, to help for easier and faster use of the DVD as real time backup device. Files can be written on the fly, and the session is automatically closed upon ejection. Another option is to use the older but much more standard complying Mastered Format file system (MFFS). Main differences between them and which one to use – this I will try to explain in this article.

LFS and What is it Good for

Live files system was created to allow using the DVD/CD as add-on storage space to the HDD. You can work with it much like with the hard drive, and copy and paste files in real time. While it has this advantage, it is also 100% compatible only with personal computers running Windows, Mac OS or Linux. Some modern day DVD players also support it, but it is not guaranteed that disc written using LFS will be compatible. This points to the use of LFS disks – better use them for backup or making copies of data that will be used on your or anyone else’s PC, like computer software, games etc. Do not use this file system if you want compatibility with standard DVD/CD players – if you want to record pictures or movies to be shown without PC. Also bear in mind that though LFS version prior to 2.5 are compatible with Windows XP machines, later versions (2.5 and later) are not, they are guaranteed to work with Vista and 7 only.

MFFS and when to use it

MFFS is older version file system used in DVD/CD writing. As it has been around for a decade and more it does not support some of the more advanced options of modern disc file systems. But it also means that it is much more standardized (in fact it is 100% standardized, and new version comply with older standards too) and discs burnt with this file system are guaranteed to work on standard DVD/CD player, personal computers and any device wearing the DVD sign. As such it is best to use this file system when writing “precious memory” disks – as family pictures and videos – you can show them to anyone who has standard DVD/CD player this way. Also remember that MFFS has more limited support for session writing, so make the whole collection and organize it before you begin burn process. The disc is finalized after it is finished, and ejected ready to be used.