A CD-R recording station consists of a very large and very fast hard disk, a high-performance workstation, a CD-R drive, and an optional tape, CD, or removable hard disk drive.
The burning process may not be interrupted - otherwise, the CD-R in production is lost. A very fast hard disk provides source data at a sustained data rate high enough for the CD-R software. This data rate must be reliably achieved by the peripheral I/O components of the workstation - here, the raw power of the processor is less important than the sustained throughput of the peripheral I/O components, e.g. SCSI port.
Hardware for burning CD-R is becoming affordable - in 1995 CD-R recorder prices start at $ 1000. For small volume productions, CD-R are a near-ideal solution: each CD-R costs about 10 $ and can be produced individually in about 15 to 60 minutes.
CD-R recorders come in different flavours. Current CD-R drives feature a large buffer (at least 2 megabyte), run at double or quadruple speed, and support multiple physical and logical CD formats (at least CD-XA and hybrid plus ISO 9660, DOS and/or Macintosh HFS).
A tape, CD, or removable hard disk drive is useful for importing the source files to the CD-R station.