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CD-Rom R or RW external drives
Does anyone have any strong opinions on brands of CD-ROM R or RW drives? It's got to be external, USB or parallel port, and usable on a notebook; I will use it only for photographs, so software that deals effectively with large file transfers would be a plus. There are an awful lot of brands out there, with prices all over the map, and no reviews of them from a graphics intensive viewpoint. I don't much care about how they deal with music. Any authorative-sounding help would be appreciated, because I have absolutely no basis for making a choice among all the available gizmos...

Comments (5)

Paul, Ive been using a Mitsumi CD-RW drive sold by Kodak for several months. I've had no problems at all. It is USB. It came with Adaptec software that allows CD-RW disks to be written in such a way that they can be read by any CD-ROM drive. At $299, it's not the cheapest drive out there, but I've been totally satisfied. See it at http://www.kodak.com/US/en/store/catalog/Category.jhtml;$sessionid$ABX.

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Comment #1

Paul,.

That's an area I have been getting ready to attack as well. So I don't have any direct answers but I might offer these as additional.

(?) considerations.I am leaning towards CD-RW for these reasons. CD-RW allows both CD-R and CD-RW so I think I'd go that way although I haven't explored the cost differential fully. CD-R blanks are cheaper than RW but I don't know how that compares to added cost if any for the drives. RW seems to have some added flexibility if used to "back-up" the main files on your system, but cost may make this a non-issue, depending how often or critical the back-ups are.I've been leaning towards internal to avoid the whole port/bus issue. I already have two printers, a scanner and a switch hung on my parallel port. But they work.

Operating system issues abound. If you are using Win98 on all platforms, probably not a problem. If using other than the latest Win98, USB, even if present on the platform, can be a compatibility headache.I don't have front panel access to either parallel or USB but you might need to figure in accessibility. Probably a non-issue if you will only be using on portables.I'll be interested in seeing other recommendations. I've been looking at an Iomega recently (on price) but am not quite ready to make the plunge...

Comment #2

As far as brands of recorder are concerned, I have used a Yamaha IDE internal drive at work for 3 years with no hardware problems, and a SCSI interface Ricoh at home, equally reliably. The Ricoh is better built, IMHO.That's not to say that other brands aren't as good, I'm just giving you the results of my mini "consumer test".With respect to Write-once versus Re-writable media, you should be aware of the following:Re-writable is not 100% portable. That is, not all CD-rom readers can read the discs, and certainly no CD audio players can. Also I have my doubts about the stability of data on CD-RW. I have had a re-writable CD become unreadable within a week of writing it. Maybe it got too hot or something, I don't know. All I do know is that the disc was readable on the day I wrote it, and a few days later it was a coaster.OK, it only happened once, but that was once too many!At least with CD-R you either get a successful "burn" or not...

Comment #3

People talking about CD-R vs. CD-RW are talking about the MEDIA, not the drive.I think it is well-established fact that all CD-RW drives can also write to CD-Rs (and at a faster speed too) while CD-R drives cannot write to CD-RWs.So you would be foolish not to buy a CD-RW drive, thus giving you all available options. But then I would think you will find yourself using mostly CD-R media in that drive because they are faster, cheaper, and more reliable.-bruce..

Comment #4

It should be noted that on a drive question like this one, the CD-RW drive can right to either type of media, but, a CD-R drive can not write a CD-RW disc, this is usually shorthanded to a number that indicates read speed and the one or two right speeds, like 4x4x16. A CD-R would indicate 4x12 etc. And there are other formats and compatibilities to consider when including music and some photo types as well as noted when considering cross platform uses. Not typically a problem if just using the same types of data yourself or in an organization similarly equipped...

Comment #5

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