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Some drives can only read from certain discs, but recent drives can both read and record, also called burners or writers. Compact discs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives.
As of 2015, DVD writer drive supporting all existing recordable and rewritable DVD formats is the most common for desktop PCs and laptops. They are also very commonly used in computers to read software and consumer media distributed on disc, and to record discs for archival and data exchange purposes. Floppy disk drives, with capacity of 1. 44 MB, have been made obsolete: optical media are cheap and have vastly higher capacity to handle the large files used since the days of floppy discs, and the vast majority of computers and much consumer entertainment hardware have optical writers.