Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 06/03/05 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

LaCie's LightScribe-Enabled D2

A versatile multi-platform DVD/CD recorder By Frank Moldstad

Recently my Pioneer DVD A04 failed after years of faithful service, which wasn't such a tragedy since disc burning capabilities have improved radically in the past five years. To replace it, I wanted an external DVD burner, because I like the convenience of being able to move external storage devices -- hard drives, etc. -- from one computer to another.  I chose the LaCie D2 DVD±RW recorder, primarily for the wide range of disc formats it records. The drive's FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connectivity was also a factor, as was the Double Layer burning capability which boosts disc capacity to 8.5 GB. And the price was reasonable, at $179 retail.

But another major attraction of the D2 is that it is a LightScribe-enabled burner. LightScribe technology can burn labels containing text and images straight to a disc surface. This technology was developed by HP and is now marketed and licensed through a LightScribe division. After using LightScribe a couple of times, I was hooked. It definitely beats using Magic Markers or even Stomp Boxes for disc labelling. Resolution can be up to silkscreen-quality, and you can apply any photo or image you like to a disc, with text colors and font attributes.

LaCie's D2 is the first DVD burner on the market to offer LightScribe technology to Mac users as well as PC users. As a dual-platform device, it comes with LightScribe burning software for Mac OS X -- LaCie LightScribe Labeler -- and Windows 2000/XP -- Microvision Development's Sure Thing.

SureThing LightScribe utility on Windows XP.

Burning image composite in LaCie 's Lightscribe utility under Mac OS X.

Developed by Hewlett-Packard, LightScribe technology was announced at the January 2004 Consumer Electronics Show. Burners incorporating the technology began hitting the market in early 2005, from companies such as HP, Toshiba, Hitachi, LaCie and Philips.

The only catch is that you have to use special LightScribe-enabled discs, which were in short supply until recently. But as of May 2005, those shortages began to ease. LightScribe discs are available from companies such as Imation, Memorex, TDK and Verbatim for about 10 cents more than the cost of regular blank discs. It should also be pointed out that LightScribe images can only be burned in grayscale, which is a limitation of the current technology.


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Related Keywords:LaCie D2, Double Layer burning, LightScribe, Roxio Toast, Easy Media Creator, DVD burner

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