anything from the last six years or so are compatible.
The other aspects require specific software, codecs, et al and may also be fussy about the specific brands/models of media they use and which media will work in your favorite othe player after you burn it. Only way to resolve that is to try various mfr's media. So don't buy a large quantity of any type until you experiment with it.
are all cd drives (ie cdrw, dvd burner etc...) compatible? I have a DVD burner that i want to put in my sony vaio. (PCV-RX552, Windows XP HOME, 384 MB RAM, 80 gig drive) I plan to replace my cdrw drive with it. My other cd drive is a dvd-rom drive. Thanks.