Tips to Burning CDs and Downloading from the Internet
1) Just because you can burn at the fastest speed doesn't mean you should. Content is sacrificed for speed. The fastest I've burned from experience is 24x on a CD-ROM, and I recommend aroudn 4x on DVD.
2) Don't run other applications while you're burning. Again, content integrity suffers when you're running something else that accesses the hard drive (such as playing mp3's). And please, don't use Photoshop while you're burning something to disc.
3) Quality isn't always proportional to cost. Let's just say that just because you're using a branded burner or CD that it'll work just fine.
Observations I've Made About Downloading When on Broadband
1) Just because it says it won't interfere with your browsing or downloading doesn't mean it actually won't. Try running it on dial-up, you'll notice the speed difference. (Also another reason to turn off your auto-updates.)
2) You'll seldom use 100% of your total speed. If you have a 384 kb/s connection, you'll rarely, if ever, be downloading at that speed. Realistically, you'll be downloading files at around 10% of your connection. The technical term for actual speed is throughput.
3) The fastest speeds can be achieved through direct connections (i.e. IRC, P2P). If there's anything that breaks rule #2, it's this. You can double, even quadruple your actual downloading speed if you have a direct connection to the other user, such as a download from Mirc, or accessing files from Torrents (assuming there are either lots of seeders or the opposite end has the bandwidth to spare).
4) Incoming and outgoing bandwidth doesn't necessarilly feed off each other. In a 384 kb/s connection, you can be uploading 20 kb/s without slowing down your 30 kb/s download.
5) While you may not necessarily exceed your maximum download speed (around 10% of your total), you can be downloading several files at high speeds. It's possible with a 384 kb/s connection to be downloading three files at 30 kb/s, for example, and uploading 3 20 kb/s files.