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Sony's Double Density CD-RW Drive Reviewed

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the double-your-pleasure dept.

Hardware 163

Boone^ writes: "Sony's newest CD-RW, the Spressa CRX200E-A1, is actually a DD-RW, meaning that it (re)writes on DD media that's capable of 1.3GB of data storage using the new Purple Book standard. Sony adapted the ISO 9660 format, but they narrowed the track pitch from 1.6 to 1.1 microns and shortened the minimum pit length from 0.833 to 0.623 microns. I found some benchmarks of the new drive on CDRLabs.com. So, is this just a technology hack until DVD-RW prices come down? This drive seems like a steal with a $250 USD sticker compared to the recordable DVD options." If it's on Pricewatch, it's not vapor anymore. You may have to look around a while for the double-density media, though -- and if that doesn't catch on, you'll be glad it's also a regular CD-RW drive.

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163 comments

Dreamcast? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#223113)

Can it read or write Dreamcast double density CD's?
Since all game consoles are sold without making any benefice, selling a device that can break the copy protection of a major competitor, is a brilliant move to cut off any revenue they make selling games and to force them out of the game console business.

Off course this is an impossible scenario since Sony is one of the major advocates for intellectual property protection.

Re:Somebody do a RIAA infestation check (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#223114)

Yes indeed it does!
The new format also includes a copyright control system to prevent illegal copying of data on the discs.
-- from the PC World Online story "Sony Set to Launch Double Density CD". Direct links don't seem to work, but you can click here [idg.net] and then search for "double density".

And as we all know, systems billed as "preventing illegal copying" prevent legal copying along with it.

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#223115)

The way you back up a commodity hard drive is with another commodity hard drive.

Re:c3d (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#223117)

Well, just some information that I thought would be interesting to add.

Don't you mean "interesting to steal"? Shame on you for trying to pass this off as your own writing. Next time, try giving credit [pctechguide.com] where it's due.

dd media available at Fry's (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#223118)

For those of us in California, Fry's carries Sony double density disks - sony brand of course. They're about $10 for a 2-pack I think. Does this mean that Sony has some kind of patent on this technology? If so, then will other manufacturers bother to make clones? Will this become like Sony's other strange media formats like the mini-disk and the memory stick?

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#223119)

It's dead-end for me right now if there's no SCSI version...

- A.P.

--
Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

Re:Hole punch (2)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 13 years ago | (#223120)

haha, yes, that is what he was talking about. "Way back when...". The Apple ][ floppies were single sided only. To use the second side, you had to cut out a hole on the side of the disk opposite to the normal write protect hole. Once you did this, you had a flippy. ie, when you wanted to use the data on the second side of the disk, you litterally flipped the disk over in the drive.

Bill - aka taniwha
--

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (1)

pod (1103) | more than 13 years ago | (#223121)

Yeah, except, like the guy said, the double density cds won't be readable by other drives, and the fact is, if 700MB wasn't enough, 1.4GB won't be enough either.

It's a nice idea, and if it takes off and writable DVD doesn't, it may be good enough. Then again, as commodity hard drives are exceeeding 80GB, it gets increasigly difficult and discouraging trying to back them up. Writable DVD is in flux right now, and as soon as everyone agrees on a standard and the price of media and hardware comes down, double density cd will be gone, because the new standard will be dvd. It's the same situation when cdr drives came out.

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (2)

isaac (2852) | more than 13 years ago | (#223124)

Well, let's see. Betamax is still the best videotape technology around. While it died off in the consumer market, it's still the standard for broadcast video cameras....


You're confusing Betamax with Betacam/Betacam SP. Different formats - the only commonality is tape width and the cassette shells at the smallest size. The magnetic coatings are different, the tape speeds are different, and Betacam usually uses a larger form-factor cassette as well.


And for that matter, good luck finding a non-Sony Betacam deck. Just because it's "standard" doesn't mean it's not proprietary (e.g. Microsoft).

-Isaac

Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (4)

isaac (2852) | more than 13 years ago | (#223125)

This has "dead-end" written all over it. Anyone taking bets on how likely it is you'll see:
  • This technology packaged with anybody's computers but Sony's?
  • This technology in drives from other manufacturers?
  • These new disks supported by standalone players from ANY manufacturer?

  • Remind me, again, why I would possibly want this over one of the DVD-based formats?


    Doubling capacity doesn't cut it anymore - in storage, it's only worth making the leap for an order of magnitude.

    -Isaac

who needs drivers? (1)

h2odragon (6908) | more than 13 years ago | (#223130)

man setfdprm

Re:Compatibility (2)

ragnarok (6947) | more than 13 years ago | (#223131)

One answer: No.

Re:Hole punch (1)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 13 years ago | (#223132)

I remember both hacks. The Apple ][ hack was actually fairly reliable. The DD -> HD hack never stored data worth anything.

Not bad getting two jokes for one, though. :)

Re:So, does it take the same media? (1)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 13 years ago | (#223133)

However, one of the decided advantages for a small shop to use CD-R for backup is the compatibility of other machines. If you backup to CD-Rs and move the media off-site to a storage location (a good practice) and the site burns to the ground. It is very easy to get the data back using almost any computer in the world today.

If you have the data in a format that is not quite as accessible as CD-R, then there is a possibility for atleast a longer delay getting access to the data. Do you have to wait 1-2 days to get a new drive shipped and installed, because the local shops do not carry this strange drive? (Of course this also applies to the various tape systems out there also.)

Re:Hole punch (1)

Goonie (8651) | more than 13 years ago | (#223135)

Yeah. I bought a special hole-puncher just for the job. worked a treat :)

Go you big red fire engine!

readable on CD drives? DVD-ROM drives? (1)

Barbarian (9467) | more than 13 years ago | (#223137)

What we're lacking here is information. Are these disks readable on CD-ROM drives? How about DVD-ROM drives, perhaps with a firmware upgrade?

Sony, Phillips mum on anti-copying misfeatures (1)

mdecerbo (9857) | more than 13 years ago | (#223139)

Wow, there's a wealth of detailed technical information [asiabiztech.com] available on the new format, but not a word about what particular breakage is built in to prohibit copying; the article (from September 2000) says it "has still to be decided."

In a better world, this would be turn out to be something relatively toothless, like the "copying allowed" bit that's present (though always ignored) even in the current CD Audio spec.

But odds are it'll be something horrible in the hardware. Then I won't mind that this format is probably going to die a lingering death.

Is anybody going to come out with a format that's as free as CD-R with more capacity?

Ironically, if anyone does it's going to be a country as un-free as China, which makes a lot of $$$ off SVCD.

Except that the Chinese Communist Party and the RIAA would probably get along too well. They have hobbies in common-- like the whole ruthless-monopoly-on-power thing...

This would take off w/ consumer DVD player support (2)

mdecerbo (9857) | more than 13 years ago | (#223140)

Why is everybody so down on this? As I understand it, this is an open format, not a Sony- or Iomega-proprietary one. That's a win right there.

Another one is that it doesn't seem to be carry all the encryption and other baggage that DVD has: you don't need a special, expensive "for Authoring" drive and media to get around all the copyright baloney. No watermarking. No lossy compression.

I mean, DVD-R is so crippled that the latest thing in the ripping community is making "mini-DVDs [doom9.org] ", CD-Rs burnt with (a few minutes of) DVD-quality video.

If you have a multi-disc DVD changer (and more and more geeks do), then you can spread the movie out among a few CD-Rs, and have an almost seamless transition. There are even firmware hacks to make initially uncooperative players support the format.

If equipment makers get on the bandwagon, we could have a more lightweight format for VCDs, and even double-length audio CDs. I hope it takes off.

Re:Karateka (2)

VValdo (10446) | more than 13 years ago | (#223142)

That game was indeed awesome. Definately the best combat-style game for the II series.
W
-------------------

Re:Hole punch (1)

Musc (10581) | more than 13 years ago | (#223143)

Because the thin disk is dipped in a magnetic coating. No matter how thin it is, there is some magnetic goodness on one side AND some different particles of magneticossity on the other side. They are kept separate by the plastic disk.

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (1)

mackman (19286) | more than 13 years ago | (#223146)

Of course doubling is an order of magnitude better, in binary that is.

Re:Hole punch (3)

bjsvec (19546) | more than 13 years ago | (#223147)

That is one of my favorite all time hacks. Amaze your friends by showing them how to double their disk capacity with a hole punch!

For those who don't recall (or weren't around) you
could use the other side of a 5 1/4 floppy by cutting out the write protect tab and flipping it over.

Re:Hole punch (2)

ChadN (21033) | more than 13 years ago | (#223148)

Given that the internal plastic disk was quite thin, how did writing on one side of the disk not affect the bits stored on the other side.?

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (2)

Polo (30659) | more than 13 years ago | (#223150)

Remind me, again, why I would possibly want this over one of the DVD-based formats?

The same reason you want memory stick. ha ha.

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (2)

zmooc (33175) | more than 13 years ago | (#223152)

OTOH...everybody now buys CD-RW-drives because CD-R drives are just not available anymore. Still most people only use CD-R media because it's cheaper. If this new format is to become the new standard for writers, we can probably expect all CD-RW-drives to be compatible with this new standard rather soon. Even if the media won't be a success, the drive most probably will be.

Hmph. (1)

alecto (42429) | more than 13 years ago | (#223153)

I wonder what kind of copy protection this format will have built in. No thank you.

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (2)

nakaduct (43954) | more than 13 years ago | (#223154)

> media only costs a fraction more than current CD-R media

$10 per 2-pack, according to another post. 1500% is a pretty large fraction. Note that's more than the 8x difference I cited for 2.88MB vs. 1.44MB floppies.

> drive itself is competitively priced with existing CD-R only drives

$250 vs. $80 [pricewatch.com] -- that's stretching the definition of "competitive". And again, that's more than the 3x difference cited for floppy drive prices.

> this drive is bi-format

2.88MB drives had that; it wasn't enough. My money still says I won't be eating my shoe anytime soon.

cheers,
mike

Remember 2.88MB floppies? (5)

nakaduct (43954) | more than 13 years ago | (#223155)

... you could buy the drives from a tiny handful of vendors (check), for about 3x the money (check), with media prices only eight times higher than the 1.44MB counterparts (check), and of course they weren't readable on the massive installed base of drives (check).

And after you went to all that trouble, your stack of 600 floppies was now... only half as high! 300 floppies!

If 700MB isn't enough, then 1.xGB won't be that great, either. Certainly not enough of an improvement to throw away compatibility and incredibly low commodity prices. If this sells more than a token number of units, I'll eat my shoe.

cheers,
mike

Re:No, No (1)

M-G (44998) | more than 13 years ago | (#223156)

Hmmm....look at Exchange Server, it's largely built on top of X.400....

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (1)

M-G (44998) | more than 13 years ago | (#223157)

Well, let's see. Betamax is still the best videotape technology around. While it died off in the consumer market, it's still the standard for broadcast video cameras....

A company the size of Sony can afford to throw a lot of ideas against the wall to see if any stick. And since lots of other companies license components from Sony, it's quite possible that you'll see this technology in things other than Sony products.

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (1)

M-G (44998) | more than 13 years ago | (#223158)

Oops. My bad.

There's a nice overview at http://www.palsite.com/tapes.html

Re:Hole punch (2)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 13 years ago | (#223159)

Actually, the reason that the hack worked was because all (or at least the vast majority) of manufactured 5 1/4" were actually double-sided. It was cheaper to manufacture only double-sided disks and just test one side for errors. This is the reason the hack worked so well.

Another consideration was that, after a while, single-sided disks disappeared from the market. With only certified double-density disks available, you might as well have punched them into "flippies" as you were wasting half the available space if you didn't.

The first box of disks we bought in 1985 for our then-new IIe was a ten-pack of double-sided TDKs (for about $27, if I recall...$2.70/disk for 280K if you punched them, 140K otherwise). I still have some of those disks, and they're still readable. By comparison, I've had 3.5" floppies go bad just days after they were written.

If I were a rich man ... (1)

divec (48748) | more than 13 years ago | (#223160)

If this sells more than a token number of units, I'll eat my shoe. cheers, mike
I so much wish that I was Bill Gates right now :-)

Re:No (1)

wurp (51446) | more than 13 years ago | (#223161)

Entropy is only a statistical certainty. It is possible for unordered information to become ordered by random fluctuation.

It sucks to be a pedant, but is sucks more to be the target of a pedant.

Sure enough... (3)

theMAGE (51991) | more than 13 years ago | (#223163)

This will come bundled with a memory stick :)

So, does it take the same media? (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 13 years ago | (#223164)


I take it that this drive will work with the very same CD-R disks I have sitting in a stack on my bookshelf. Is that correct?

Back when NeXT used the 4Mbyte floppies, a lot of people still used floppies for footnet, and none of the PC's or Mac's would read the 4 meg disks.

Nowadays, when I burn a CD for backup, it's pretty rare that I ever put that disk in a different drive than the one that made it.

-jcr

No thanks (5)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#223167)


I'm still waiting on the consortium between the NSA, IBM, Microsoft and Sun to form so I could have a 1gig chip implanted in my head that plugs into any outlet which is connected to a 1terrabit drive created by clustered Clariion's which stores the data in my head for STORAGE PURPOSES ONLY thank you.

;)

Re:Hole punch (4)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 13 years ago | (#223168)

Actually, the reason that the hack worked was because all (or at least the vast majority) of manufactured 5 1/4" were actually double-sided. It was cheaper to manufacture only double-sided disks and just test one side for errors. This is the reason the hack worked so well. You just had the slight chance of running into a disk that had an error on the reverse side (rather than one that they hadn't bothered to test both sides.) Also, the Apple ][ didn't store at the same density that they tended to test with, so it worked better with Apples than IBM PCs.

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/ddRW" (2)

bugg (65930) | more than 13 years ago | (#223170)

The Beta (Betamax was specific to the home models) format is still used professionally, yes.

I wouldn't blame the failure of Beta to Sony's lack of marketing. I'd blame it on VHS decks being very significantly cheaper, the fact that Beta tapes only held an hour's worth of video, and that the quality was good enough for taping broadcast television.

Laserdisc never had mass-market appeal because the disks were much more expensive than VHS, because most people didn't care enough about the quality to drop the money, and that therefore most movies didn't see the light of day on LD and LD rentals are basically unheard of. DVDs are catching on because they're cheaper and you don't have to flip the disc [as often].

where to get it (1)

so.what (75302) | more than 13 years ago | (#223172)

pcstop.com seems to have them available for order. doesn't specify whether they are "in stock" or not though.

Re:young'ens (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 13 years ago | (#223173)

I wasn't allowed to touch my dad's C64 (with disk drive) I was relegated to the VIC-20 with (audio)tape drive.

I did use the 5.25 trick in my Jr. High AppleSoft BASIC class, though.

-Peter

Re:Hole punch (2)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 13 years ago | (#223175)

Noooo. Jeeze that's an Apple ][ hack.

What you are talking about is doubling the useable sides, not density.

You used to be able to get a "special" hole punch (out of the back of Computer Shopper, back before it sucked. Damn internet!) that put an extra hole in a "Double Density" (720k) floppy so that the drive would see it as a "High Density" (1.44M) floppy.

It didn't work worth a damn (my dad bought one, he's pretty cheap) because the "coercivity" (amount of energy required to make the magnetic state change) of the media is different.

The thing that makes this all super on-topic is that Sony created the 3.5 in diskette!

-Peter

Hole punch (5)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 13 years ago | (#223176)

Where can I get a hole punch that will convert my regular CDRs to DD-CDRs?

-Peter

PS: It's a joke. If you don't get it just move on.

-P

Re:Hey, can my lil old dreacast read these, ie (1)

daniell (78495) | more than 13 years ago | (#223177)

if that were so then it would be clear that a portion of Sony's motivation in releasing this technology is to move developers away from the "I'm not dead" Dreamcast. DC: "I feel happy!".

anyway, I own a DC and I burn CDs on a mac or under linux, but I have as yet to be able to successfully make anything but a coaster from the various DCMP3, demo, and such releases. I tried to get the broadband passport CD (why it wasn't included with my expensive BBA I'll never understand), but all I can find for any of these are nero images and cd juggeler (something) images. Nero Max on the Mac won't even recognize .nrg images (even with the correct filetype/creator info). Why doesn't someone just convert all those more proprietary image formats to something like a .iso format that'll work with linux and toast?

-Daniel

I doubt it... (3)

Controlio (78666) | more than 13 years ago | (#223181)

The big thing that CD-R had going for it (and hopefully DVD-R will follow suit) is that it was functional in a huge number of existing devices. CDs were wildly popular in both computers and stereo systems by the time that CD-Rs became feasible for the end user. That's why everyone HAD to have one when they became cheap... this single device would copy audio CDs, data CDs AND mixed mode CDs... it was an awesome tool.

Hopefully DVD-Rs will follow suit, and become functional in regular DVD players and DVD-ROM drives. Again, the major advantage is the fact that there's already a huge number of DVD devices out there in the wild. That's why everyone wants a writer - to be able to write discs for a device they already own.

This format will fail... if not soon, in the long run. The problem, is they've put the cart before the horse - they're making a writer for a format that doesn't have any real world existance as of yet. There's no appeal - larger storage is already available in DVD-Rs, and the new higher density CD doesn't have any compatability with existing CD devices. Plus, it's a different kind of media, so you can't even use your old CD media in this device. I can't see a single reason to pick this new format for anything... the ONLY bright spot is that the writer doubles for a standard CD writer, but then why not just buy a regular CD writer?

Thus, in my opinion, this format is doomed. Standard or not.

Re:dd media available at Fry's (2)

passion (84900) | more than 13 years ago | (#223182)

Didn't Sony pioneer the Compact Disc?

DVD RAMS? (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#223184)

What about DVD RAMS? They're starting at $135 on pricewatch.com...

Re:This would take off w/ consumer DVD player supp (1)

frank249 (100528) | more than 13 years ago | (#223186)

I agree that DD Cd-RWs could beat out DVD-RWs especially now we can record off TV tuner cards.

ATI just announced today that they are shipping the ALL-IN-WONDER RADEON PCI card [globeinvestor.com] which features 32 MB SDR memory, Personal Video Recorder (PVR) technology, a stereo TV tuner, DVD playback with Dolby(R) Digital 5.1 surround sound and video output. The graphics card offers video editing enthusiasts the ability to capture and edit MPEG-2 video for creating professional-looking home movies. Video CD creation - When combined with popular CD creation software such as Roxio Easy CD Creator, you can create your own MPEG-compliant Video CDs for playback on a consumer DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) player.

BTW, Iomega just announced their10 and 20 gig Peerless storage system [globeinvestor.com] . It looks like the sucessor to their zip drives. It will be hard to beat CDs though since blank CDs are so cheap.

Re:Standards (2)

notsoanonymouscoward (102492) | more than 13 years ago | (#223190)

I assure you, Mini Disc hasn't flopped...

True it hasn't taken off in the US, but if you've been to Japan lately, its a different story.

Re:Hole punch (1)

eu4ik (103529) | more than 13 years ago | (#223191)

Not bad getting two jokes for one, though

Or was that one joke with a hole punched in it?

it's gonna be HUGE!!!!!! (3)

jaxon6 (104115) | more than 13 years ago | (#223192)

the way i see it, this will take off like the LS-120 drives. come on, show of hands, who has one? that's what i thought. the new itanium boxes use ls-120 instead of floppies, but besides them? well, the prototype itanium's were. maybe i'm not supposed to say anything about them, but i didn't sign the nda, the company did. and they fired me, so.....

Re:Sure enough... (2)

soulsteal (104635) | more than 13 years ago | (#223193)


They should take a lesson from Topps and include a stick of gum. It's much more useful than a Sony MemoryStick.

Somebody do a RIAA infestation check (2)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 13 years ago | (#223194)

Does this DD-RW have any copy protection built in?
========================
63,000 bugs in the code, 63,000 bugs,
ya get 1 whacked with a service pack,

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 13 years ago | (#223195)

Actually Betamax is still kinda popular in some regions..
And it is(!) a Superior format to VHS for image quality.. it's just the company didnt have as much marketing smarts as the VHS ppl did at the time.
Sometimes the Best does not always Win. (How long have Laserdisc's been out? they still never really seemed to catch on... so why is it DVD's ARE? weird..)

Two words (1)

Galvatron (115029) | more than 13 years ago | (#223196)

DivX movies. Hell, I spent the extra money for 80 minute cdr, just to get an extra bit of space to encode 2 hour movies at a more watchable quality. On a 1.2 gig cd, it'd be damn near DVD quality!

The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.

Re:Hole punch (1)

malfunct (120790) | more than 13 years ago | (#223198)

To add to that wonderful answer. The reason was because Apple II drives (and many other drives actually) were single sided, meaning they only had 1 write head, unlike the double-sided IBM drives of the time.

Re:Hole punch (1)

malfunct (120790) | more than 13 years ago | (#223199)

This hack was far less than reliable because the 720kb floppies actually used a different magnetic film than the high density ones. You just tricked the drive into writing double density data to the disk and usually it worked.

With 5.25" floppies you were using a doubled sided disk as the equivalent of 2 single sided disks since most disks of that time were double sided for the IBM drives.

Re:Hole punch (1)

eMilkshake (131623) | more than 13 years ago | (#223201)

Forget 5 1/4. My high school computer teacher had a heavy duty punch that would punch a hole in 3.5" disks. Talk about easing every last cent!

Re:Hole punch (1)

jon_adair (142541) | more than 13 years ago | (#223204)

...you had a flippy.

I once heard a 3.5" disk called a "stiffy".

I didn't know Philip Jose Farmer (2)

revbob (155074) | more than 13 years ago | (#223205)

wrote ISO specs.

Or am I too old for anyone to catch this [fantasticfiction.co.uk] reference?

Re:Hole punch (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 13 years ago | (#223206)

I remember doing the same thing with a drill.

When I was doing it (1992/1993) I found that it worked; sometimes. The secret was to open the door to the media and see if it was translucent. If it was, you're in luck.

I have disks from back then that were double punched, and hacked to 1.72 MB that still read today. And yes, I have some that don't. Such is the life of a cheapskate. :-)

SVHS won (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 13 years ago | (#223207)

- Betamax stores about 10 or 20 more lines of resolution than plain VHS. Whoopty...
- Don't forget the heads on all those old players (since you'd be hard pressed to find one new) are worn out.
- BetaCam (the studio format) is EXPENSIVE and not exactly availiable in RadioShack.

Sorry, but SVHS wins. It is a very good (but not the best, for that you need BetaCam) quality tape format. It holds about 400 lines of resolution (Am I remembering right that DVDs hold about this many too?). It can be had at radio shack and most finer home audio shops too (here, in Canada, FutureShop sells the tapes), and the VCRs are in stores right now for less than $199 US! That and the tapes are about $5 US each.

I've got a JVC HR-S3600U SVHS deck that I'm impressed with, and I've never done any production before (never mind that I've never taken a broadcasting class before). :-)

1.8 MB Diskettes (1)

Ryan C. (159039) | more than 13 years ago | (#223208)

Actually, the stock Win/DOS drivers will still let you read/write up to 21 sectors and 83 tracks per side, that's 1.743MB.

You'll either need a special format utility or format it in some other OS like linux. superformat is another unix utility for this. Once formatted, Windows will happily use it at 1.743MB. By tweaking out the geometry using variable size sectors, you can get linux to use the disk all the way up to the rated 2.0MB. Warning: not all "HD" disks are actually rated to 2.0MB any more, don't try this with those old AOL disks.

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (2)

_|()|\| (159991) | more than 13 years ago | (#223209)

> media only costs a fraction more than current CD-R media

$10 per 2-pack, according to another post. 1500% is a pretty large fraction.

The other post was probably citing DD-RW prices, so you should compare to CD-RWs, which retail for about $2.50 each. That's 200%, not 1500%.

As for comparing CD-R to DD-RW, you're repeating many of the same arguments of CD-R v. CD-RW. You need to burn a CD-RW about twenty times before the cost of media breaks even with a CD-R. You need to burn a lot of CD-RWs before the cost of the drive breaks even with CD-R.

DD-RW is priced competitively with CD-RW. I doubt that DD-R will be priced competitively with CD-R.

c3d (4)

suhit (171059) | more than 13 years ago | (#223214)

Another contender in the battle to become the de facto high-density storage medium for the digital world could come from US data storage specialist, C3D, in the shape of its revolutionary optical storage technology that promises to deliver capacities of 140GB and above on a single multilayer disc.

With conventional optical disc drive technology signal quality degrades rapidly with the number of recording layers. This is principally because of optical interference - noise, scatter, and cross-talk resulting from the fact that the probing laser beam and the reflected signal are of the same wavelength and the nature of the highly coherent reflected signal used. The signal degradation exceeds acceptable levels with the result that no more than two recording layers are possible. However, with fluorescent readout systems, the quality degrades much more slowly, and C3D believes that up to 100 memory layers are feasible on a standard sized CD.

The design of the discs is based on so-called 'stable photochrome', discovered by physicists and engineers in Russia. This is a transparent organic substance whose fluorescence can be triggered by a laser beam for sufficient time for it to be detected by a standard photoreceiver. This characteristic makes it possible to superimpose transparent layers on top of one another, and to 'write' information on each level.

Once the fluorescence is stimulated by the laser light, both coherent and incoherent light are emitted. The latter has waves that are slightly out of step with each other, and the exploitation of this property is central to C3D's technology. The out-of-sync fluorescent light beams allow data to be read through different layers of the stacked transparent discs, one beam reading data from the top layer at the same time that others are penetrating it to read from lower layers. The result is the twin benefit of huge storage capacities and greatly improved data retrieval speeds.

Well, just some information that I thought would be interesting to add.

Re:Hole punch (1)

loraksus (171574) | more than 13 years ago | (#223215)

Right On!
Remember the device drivers which would let disks hold 1.8 mb of data?
The good old days...

The slashdot 2 minute between postings limit:
Pissing off hyper caffineated /.'ers since Spring 2001.

Re:Finally we can "back up" (huh huh) Sega GD-ROMs (1)

Eviltar (175008) | more than 13 years ago | (#223216)

Well, yes DD-Rs do have enough capacity (1.3GB) to fit the contents of a GD-ROM (1.0GB) so you can actually make back ups (notice no quotes).

However, if you want to use your "back ups (huh huh)", the Sega DC will need to be able to read these DD-Rs. What do you think the chance is that it is able? That's right. Very little.

-----

Re:Compatibility (1)

Eviltar (175008) | more than 13 years ago | (#223217)

Currently it won't play on jack squat except for Sony's DD-R burner itself.

-----

Re:Dreamcast? (1)

Eviltar (175008) | more than 13 years ago | (#223218)

Interesting idea. But it is an impossible scenario also because Sega is already leaving the game console business.

They could still try to kill revenues on the remaining games that are still and will be selling for the DC, but since Sega now makes games for the Playstation 2 (like Crazy Taxi), I doubt they would want to hurt one of their game developers.

-----

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (2)

_ganja_ (179968) | more than 13 years ago | (#223220)

mmm.. shoe

Found a place selling it... (2)

kyoko21 (198413) | more than 13 years ago | (#223223)

This is the place that is selling it... hope the e-commerce site doesn't get slash-dotted... Click here... [pcstop.com]

Re:Standards (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#223226)

Unless I missed out on something, the various "book" standards (Red Book, Orange Book, etc) are usually open or atleast available to competitors, so there's no reason to believe their Purple Book standard won't be the same way. Plus, even Sony has to realize that the key to mass adoption of a media format isn't just advertising, it's getting cheaper drives and media out into the publics hands.

I'll admit though, Sony does do a little overkill on media formats (Mini-Disc, as an example of one that pretty much flopped).

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#223227)

Yeah but the problem with 2.88MB floppies was the problems you pointed out in your post. From the review, it appears that the new media only costs a fraction more than current CD-R media, and the drive itself is competitively priced with existing CD-R only drives. The final nail in the coffin for standard CD-R drives is that this drive is bi-format; it'll write CD-R, CD-RW, as well as write and rewritable versions of the new format.

The situation with Sony's product is far better, and much more likely to be adopted.

To put it another way-- when they come out with a SCSI version, I'll bite.

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#223228)

$10 per 2-pack, according to another post. 1500% is a pretty large fraction. Note that's more than the 8x difference I cited for 2.88MB vs. 1.44MB floppies.

The article linked to by this story indicated a far cheaper price for the media, the person who posted that (I think) was pulling numbers out of his ass. From the article--

Imagine storing over a gig of files onto a CD that costs less than $2. No, you are not dreaming. The ability to store up to 1.3GB of data easily and affordably is here and it's from Sony.

Still more than I implied, so I apologize, but cheaper than $10 for 2 discs. Plus, as people will recall from the days when CD-R was first brought to the masses, CD-R media was quite expensive. I think this is tame by comparison, and will probably drop once more people manufacture it.

$250 vs. $80 -- that's stretching the definition of "competitive". And again, that's more than the 3x difference cited for floppy drive prices.

The cheapest Plextor 16/10/40x drive is $181 on Pricewatch, and that's not retail boxed (as the Sony drive is, I believe). I realize that the Sony drive is 12x, but it's the "latest and greatest" as far as it's media format goes, and compared to the latest and greatest in CD-R, this is priced competitivly.

Re:Standards (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#223229)

Thanks for the clarification. =) I don't travel overseas, so knowing what's popular elsewhere isn't my strong-suit. I know they certainly made an agressive push in the US (going so far as to release actual albums on MiniDisc, a practice I believe they still perform). Plus you find a lot of different vendors making both MD media and MD drives (eg: Pioneer now sells an MD drive that supports read/write).

I guess flop was a little harsh; it hasn't exactly taken America by storm. ;)

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#223230)

You're comparing older technology to newer technology. Try comparing a retail boxed 16/10/40x Plextor drive (read: a high quality drive) to this. The prices are pretty close, even on Pricewatch.

Can existing CD drives read DVD? No. Can they read DVD-R? No. Can they read DVD-RW? No. Your idea that simply because nothing else reads it (yet), that it will fail, is entirely without merit. How do you think other media start out? Was CD compatible with floppy disk drives? No.

There's no doubt that adoption might not be 100%, but Sony did just about everything they could do to ease the pain by making their initial writer handle their new format AND existing formats in one drive (this Sony drive will read/write CD-R/CD-RW, as well as the new Purple Book format). It's only a matter of time before a) new companies release competing (cheaper) drives, and b) new media manufacturers come out with their own offerings.

Re:readable on CD drives? DVD-ROM drives? (2)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#223232)

You could, I don't know, maybe try reading the linked-to article?

I'll play nice and answer your questions though--

* They aren't readable in normal CD-ROM drives.
* I doubt a firmware upgrade will make them readable in DVD-ROM drives.

Otherwise, the drive itself will read and write both CD-R, CD-RW as well as -R and -RW versions of this new format. So, compatibility aside, there's no real reason to pick another CD-R drive over this one since this one is priced almost the same. My only legitimate reason to hold off is that I'd like to buy a SCSI version of the drive. =)

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (2)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#223233)

Remind me, again, why I would possibly want this over one of the DVD-based formats?

Easy. This is here right now. Writable and re-writable DVD media won't be here for some time (read: lots of standards fighting it out for your pocket book). The only VIABLE writable DVD medium so far is the one offered by Pioneer (which burns normal DVD-discs, AFAIK, no re-write capability).

As for it being packaged only with Sony PC's, wrong again-- check Pricewatch for prices that are sure to make you wonder why you'd pay MORE for a CD-R only drive. It's a standard (sort of, Purple Book implies you can atleast license it or some such drivel), so it's likely other producers will adopt it since (based on the price of Sony's drive) it appears cheap to implement. Finally, where again is the need for a stand alone player, considering (had you read the article the story linked to) the Purple Book standard defines it as a DATA ONLY medium (no music formats ala Red Book). The only stand alone device you might want is a dedicated non-writable drive, and again, given the low price on Sony's offering, I don't see this being expensive to implement.

Re:Nope. Not particularly interested. (1)

Cardhore (216574) | more than 13 years ago | (#223235)

Unfortunately old technologies never seem to die ;) Most BIOS still support the 2.8 MB floppy disks. Hell, most BIOSes still support DOS! And remember ISA? Yeah its still around.

It is a standard... (5)

BigumD (219816) | more than 13 years ago | (#223238)

Before we keep flaming sony for not adhereing to a standard (which is true in a lot of cases), the new drive does adhere to the proposed (and I believe certified) Purple Book [techtarget.com] specification. Now if wether or not someone else will adopt this, I don't know...

might i ask why the hell this is funny? (2)

unformed (225214) | more than 13 years ago | (#223239)

it's a real disk...click here--> http://www.c-3d.net [c-3d.net]

Anyone in the know? (1)

3-State Bit (225583) | more than 13 years ago | (#223240)

A penny to anyone that finds out the proposed street price for the media on this thing. And I'm not kidding. [paypal.com]
~

Re:Anyone in the know? (1)

zhensel (228891) | more than 13 years ago | (#223241)

Someone already said $10 for 2 disks at frys. Hook me up! Paypal me at hensels.nospam@att.net without the nospam with your cent. Aha! The day is mine. Oh yeah, name = Stephanie Hensel by the way. Now the question is, will the penny be face up and give good luck, or quite the opposite?

Re:Anyone in the know? (2)

zhensel (228891) | more than 13 years ago | (#223242)

Jesus, I just realized that the grammer in that post is worse than in the Zero Wing intro.

No (4)

FastT (229526) | more than 13 years ago | (#223246)

This is not the same as Sony's proprietary technologies that they keep pushing. If you bothered to read the article description, you'd notice that this is based on an ISO standard:
...capable of 1.3GB of data storage using the new Purple Book standard. Sony adapted the ISO 9660 format...
This means you are very likely to see this in future products by other manufacturers.

Although it's not clear just how this will be affected by various DVD initiatives, the reason to go for it is because it's standard, it's cheap (both for the drive and the media), and it's available. Eventually, I'd say you could expect certain classes of CD usage today to migrate to this technology. Just because we have DVDs today doesn't mean that manufacturers are going to abandon the CD format altogether. Even though we have CDRs, floppies are still useful. Eventually, we may see regualr CDs go the way of 768 KB floppies.

Re:Standards (4)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#223250)

Aparently 'Purple Book [emedialive.com] ' is or will become an open standard. As far as I know, ONLY sony and philips have embraced it (as the co-authors, they'd better embrace it). The key to the success of this drive will be adoption of the standard. It really won't be much use without cross-vendor support (unless you want to use it within a closed system as backup media, which seems like a waste to me).

I have not yet seen any other vendors developing drives to this standard, which means mass adoption by users is still a long way off. Let's hope for Sony's sake that they timed the introduction of this product well enough that it will not imediately be suplanted with lower cost DVD-ROM drives which should be coming out soon.

As it is, this new drive seems to be the Ink Jet printer of the CD-ROM universe. Vary cheap hardware, on which the vendor either brakes even or takes a loss, then vary expensive media on which the manufacturer makes a killing.

--CTH

--

Re:dd media available at Fry's (1)

jonsuen (230380) | more than 13 years ago | (#223251)

IIRC Philips did.

Re:Betamax, MemoryStick, and now "DD-R/RW" (1)

room101 (236520) | more than 13 years ago | (#223253)

It is standard, so maybe it not so "dead-end".

Also, people (myself included) said the same thing about 1.44MB floppies, but it turned out to be a great stop-gap measure until better stuff came out, like zip disks, and CD-(R|RW).

That being said, I probably won't buy one until I see it done by other manufactures.

Re:Remember 2.88MB floppies? (4)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 13 years ago | (#223255)

If 700MB isn't enough, then 1.xGB won't be that great, either.
One immediate application I can think of: Copying VCDs currently spread over 2 CDs (almost all of them) onto one 'DD' that plays without having to be swapped.

Yeah, I know, not exactly groundbreaking, and a relatively small number of us use the format (I'm British and living in America temporarily, I'm buggered if I'm spending $25 a go on DVDs I wont be able to use back home, let alone be able to play legally on my Linux systems while I'm here) but this is one case where the DD format could be useful.

Not exactly a "killer app" though is it? ;)
--

Re:DVD RAMS? (1)

daniel_isaacs (249732) | more than 13 years ago | (#223257)

What about DVD RAMS? They're starting at $135 on pricewatch.com...

But enough about the media

New Media (2)

Seeka (258435) | more than 13 years ago | (#223261)

I think the problem with this super-media is it's price. Sure, you can go buy a DVD disc for $20, but when CD-Rs are running at $.20 a peice, why bother? I sure as hell am going for the cheap alternative, even if it takes me a tiny bit of exchange time. However, I'm never one to turn down new technologies. Then again, they said Rambus would be super-great too. So far, the benchmarks are saying otherwise.

Seeka

Hmm.... (1)

smart.id (264791) | more than 13 years ago | (#223263)

When I first read about this, I thought it was going to be some proprietary thing that won't work out. Well, I still do. The thing with CD-R? and DVD-R? is that they have multiple uses. Just look, there's Video CDs, Photo CDs, and now even cameras that write directly to them. It's kind of like the SuperDisk. Only one or two companies, as major as they are, making hardware for this format is not going to work out. I know someone might say, "yeah, but what about the Zip disk?" so I'll cover that. See, Zip got the advantage because it came out before conventional CD-Rs, and 100mb on rewritable disk slightly bigger than a floppy disk was pretty cool. The trend grew, and Iomega became more of a household name. Now, even though Sony is a big player, I still think this won't last too long. Of course, this is just my opinion, but I JUST don't think it will work.

Maybe... (3)

xkenny13 (309849) | more than 13 years ago | (#223266)

So, is this just a technology hack until DVD-RW prices come down? This drive seems like a steal with a $250 USD sticker compared to the recordable DVD options."

With any luck, this is the technology hack that will force DVD-RW prices to come down!!

Consider that if you were a DVD-RW manufacturer, you wouldn't want the public wasting their time falling more in love with their CD-R/RW formats instead of upgrading to your DVD-R/RW format, would you?

Competition is supposed to be a good thing, right? A $250 price tag ($217 on Pricewatch!!) on this model really ought to rattle some cages over on the DVD-side of the street. Let's hope this helps knock some of those DVD prices down to more acceptable levels. :-)

Karateka (1)

osorronophris (318023) | more than 13 years ago | (#223267)

I used to have a game for Apple called Karateka (i think). On the right side, the game was normal. But if you flipped it over you were playing upside down.

Pretty trippy

Purple Book!?!?! (5)

Canonymous Howard (325660) | more than 13 years ago | (#223268)

Rats. I was holding out for the Blue With Pink Stripe Book standard.

Or maybe Bluish Green With a Hint of Yellow Book.

Re:Been there, done that! (1)

Spooge Demon (413208) | more than 13 years ago | (#223269)

HyperCard!? No way dude. If you want to get anything done you'll use LOGO (or maybe Karel++).

--

Nope. Not particularly interested. (2)

Tech187 (416303) | more than 13 years ago | (#223271)

I burn a lot of VCDs lately, but I'm definitely not interested in this drive. I went out and got a set-top DVD player that I was certain could play back from regular CDR media and also CDRW media. It would be worthless for this kind of disk. All the regular CD drives I use read regular 650 or 700 MB disks that I can burn.

Sorry, this reeks of proprietary. It'll die the way 2.88 MB floppy disks died. Good riddance.

Re:No, No (1)

blang (450736) | more than 13 years ago | (#223274)

Just because it is an ISO standard does not make it viable. Have you read your X.400 e-mail on an OSI network stack lately?
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