I am, of course, wanting a DVD recorder for all of the usual reasons. I was just wondering really what would happen if I recorded audio only. I understand that I won't be on a CD-R but instead a DVD-R.
I guess the reason I asked goes back to the old VHS hi-fi days. At least on the deck that I had at the time, if a video signal wasn't present, the thing got all confused on the audio.
The question about length, I suppose, is better asked like this... do DVD recorders record in VBR (variable bitrate) or CBR (constant bitrate)? If constant, then the thing is going to allocate just as many bits to a black screen as it would to a very active video. Whereas with VBR, the compressed video would take up virtually no space at all if all it was compresing was nothing.
If someone can maybe try this, it would be great... unplug the video from your DVD recorder and record. What does it do? Does it record the audio?
(EDIT: I pulled down the Panasonic E80 manual since that's the one I'm really looking at. It doesn't say anything about audio-only recording as far as I can tell, but it DOES allow for PCM recording of the audio as mentioned in the following: "Audio is recorded using Dolby Digital stereo, enabling high quality sound recordings. When recording in XP mode it is possible to use LPCM (2 channel) to achieve sound recordings of even higher quality." It also talks about the video encoding and it allows for VBR. There's a setting in the menu under Video for "Hybrid VBR Resolution" which has the following options: Automatic:Video compression is automated providing efficient recording. Fixed: Video compression is fixed when recording providing smooth video play. It also says the following as far as time left on the disc: "This units records using a VBR (Variable bit recording) data compression system to vary recorded data segments to match video data segments which may cause differences in the displayed amount of time and space remaining for recording." So if it can handle recording of a "blank" video signal, then it can probably fit a decent amount of audio on a single 4.7GB DVD-R.)