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---  NEWS  --- MARCH 2000 ---  NEWS  ---
29 March 2000
DDump Update CD/DVD Utilities
Added DDump 1.01 to the CD/DVD Utilities page - Thanks XiT!

New Features since Previous Version:

  • Some devices were reported as not being able to read RAW, even if they were. This is a fault in MSCDEX. "The device seems to be unable to read RAW!" is now displayed but DDump does no longer refuse to work.
  • Polling for CD was too frequent, now there's a 500ms delay between two attempts
  • First Windows version at last! Should run under 95/98/NT if an ASPI layer is present.
  • Added option SAFEDISC for faster SafeDisc dumping.
  • Changed image filename back to *.ISO as many users were confused about *.RAW files.
That's Write! CD-R99 Media
For some time rumors were spread about a 99 minutes CD-R media but none surfaced anywhere. At last the rumors are over as That's Write! claims to distribute CD-R99 media to it's Asian market as of today! Most likely they will only work on the more recent CD-Writers and again there will be problems with older CD-Readers as the CD-R spiral has to be wound even tighter to fit 99 minutes data in the same space were normally only 74 or 80 minutes data resides!
CD/DVD, Audio & MP3 Software Releases CD/DVD Software
<
Product

Version

CloneCD 2.0.4.1
DDump 1.01
<
Product

Version

InstandCD 5.2
The Week in Review CD/DVD NewsWire
CD/DVD/Misc News:
MP3 News: Music Target
27 March 2000
IsoBuster Update CD/DVD Utilities
Added IsoBuster 0.99.4 Update to the CD/DVD Utilities page - Thanks Peter van Hove!

New Features since the Previous Version:

  • Support for the latest Clone CD (*.img) image files (which was changed a little bit).
  • Added Nero (*.nrg) image support. (Only little testing done, input is welcome)
  • Added Prassi (*.gcd) image support (Only single track images)
CD/DVD, Audio & MP3 Software Releases CD/DVD Software
<
Product

Version

DiscSafe 1.3
Exact Audio Copy 0.9 PreBeta 4 
DVD Genie 3.40
<
Product

Version

HyCD Play&Record 3.1.0321
HyCD UDF 3.1.0321
IsoBuster 0.99.4
26 March 2000
CD Media Info - New CD-R/CD-RW Media
   
Philips CD-R74 Premium Silver 12x [TY] Ricoh CDR Type 80 [RiTEK]
Panasonic KXL-RW11AN USB CD-ReWritable
Panasonic just released the KXL-RW11AN USB CD-ReWritable in Japan.
Panasonic KXL-RW11AN Specifications:
  • 6x Read, 4x Write & 4x ReWrite
  • USB Interface
  • 2 MB Ram Buffer
  • CD-Text Compatible

It is currently for sale for Yen 59,800

JVC XR-S4224W/M & XR-K4224W CD-ReWriter
JVC released the JVC XR-S4224W/M USB CD-ReWriter & the JVC XR-K4224W SCSI CD-ReWriter. It has been a while since there was a new CD-Writer from JVC and you would think that these new drives are "in-line" with it competitors but it seems that they just repackaged their XR-W4080 drive which "only" supports 4x writing & 2x rewriting...
Ricoh MP7080A CD-ReWritable
Ricoh has released the MP7080A CD-ReWriter in Japan, which can write at 8x speed. It replaces the current MP7060A drive which writes at 6x speed. A new Ricoh CD-R Type 80 1x-12x speed media is added in the package - it looks like it is made by RiTEK (see media above).
Ricoh MP7080A Specifications:
  • 32x Read, 8x Write & 4x ReWrite
  • E-IDE/Atapi Interface (PIO4)
  • 4 MB Ram Buffer
  • CD-Text Compatible
CD/DVD, Audio & MP3 Software Releases CD/DVD Software
<
Product

Version

CDR Diagnostic .1.5.1
<
Product

Version

Fire Burner 1.06 Final
24 March 2000
SafeDisc HD CD Protection CD/DVD NewsWire
Macrovision Corporation announced the product release of its new SafeDisc HD anti-piracy solution for application software CD-ROMs. Software publishers can use SafeDisc HD to provide persistent copy protection and periodic authentication of original CD-ROMs, while not requiring the CD-ROM disk(s) in the drive every time the application is launched. SafeDisc HD provides the means to protect the application's executable program(s), and supports multi-disc programs and hybrid discs. SafeDisc and SafeDisc HD are the only Yellow Book-compliant copy protection products on the market today

A key feature of SafeDisc HD is that it does not require the CD-ROM in the drive every time the application is launched. The publisher can specify the time period for periodic re-authentication of the original CD-ROM. This protects against the end-user from passing the original disc(s) on to unauthorized users... More Here!

The Week in Review CD/DVD NewsWire
CD/DVD/Misc News:
MP3 News:
22 March 2000
MPAA Contemplates Legal Action against Apex
First the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) tried to ban the Diamond Rio MP3 player because for it's "illegal" use (a case which they lost). Now the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has it's target set on the Apex AD-600A CD/DVD/MP3 Player. Only this time they will have more arrows to shoot with as this player not only plays MP3's but it is also able to by-pass the CSS Copyright Protection, Macrovision Copy Protection & the Region Coding! This will be a very interesting case... More here.

Also have a look at this article: Mogul Movie Horror - Can law halt Web cracking of DVD code?

DDump Update CD/DVD Utilities
Added DDump 0.90 to the CD/DVD Utilities page - Thanks XiT!

New Features since Version 0.70:

  • Illegal TOCs are now restored (if possible), program does no longer crash when last sectors are not found.
  • Track information is now read directly from CD (rather than taken from MSCDEX).
    Added new option 'LASERLOCK'.
  • Fixed the function SendDevCtrlStr() which did not work at all, also improved code, dumping protected CDs should now be faster. DDump checks now if your device can read raw BEFORE doing anything else...
  • This shall be the last DOS version of DDump, just some bugfixing and a progress indicator in percent...

If this tool works for you please use the included FEEDBACK.TXT file and send it to XiT [Site]. With enough feedback there will be a Win95/98 version.

SubSonic Reader Update CD/DVD Utilities
Added the SubSonic Reader 1.3zz to the CD/DVD Utilities page - Thanks Stefano!

New Features:

  • Bug Fix: Copy Monitor Bug has been removed
CD/DVD, Audio & MP3 Software Releases CD-Writer Software
<
Product

Version

Audiograbber 1.61 Build 2
CD Copy 4.800
CD 'n' Go! Suite 99 1.55
CD Recording Studio [1.0]
CDRWIN 3.8A [22-03-00]
CloneCD 2.0.3.2
CD Protection Detection 0.5
Direct CD/Win 3.01b
<
Product

Version

DiscJuggler 2000 2.00.412 Beta
DVD Genie 3.33
FreeAmp 2.0.5
GoldWave 4.12
Remote Selector

1.73

Take Two 1.03b
Xmms - [Linux]

1.0.1

21 March 2000
CD-R, Audio & MP3 Software Releases CD-Writer Software
<
Product

Version

CloneCD 2.0.2.5
CD Protection Detection 0.4
Easy CD Creator 4.02
3.5 Update 1.07
<
Product

Version

Feurio! 1.32
InCD 1.3.152
Nero Burning Rom 4.0.9.1
NTI CD Maker 3.6.900
CD/DVD-Writer & CD/DVD-ROM Firmware Releases The Firmware Page
Product

Version

Acer CRW8432A  5.fv
Pioneer DVD-A04SZ/104S 1.25 RPC-1
Panasonic CW-7585 1.04
Panasonic LF-D10x  A120
Plextor PX-40TS 1.11
Racer RCC-4432-CS 1.3B
Racer RCC-12432-CS 1.14
Product

Version

S&F CD-Rocket Mach 12 1.17
Samsung SW-206  1.70
Sony CRX-140E 1.0n
Traxdata 4120Pro 5.0r
Traxdata CDR4424Plus 1.3C
Traxdata CDR4432Plus 1.3B
Yamaha CRW8424S/E 1.0j /1.0j
For a complete Firmware overview see the CD-Writer Firmware page.
Turn a Teac CD-R56S/58S a CD-R55S Compatible Drive
The BlindRead News Page revealed some interesting info how to "convert" a Teac CD-56S/58S into a CD-R55S (which is better able to copy protected CD's):

On the rear panel, there is a row of 8 jumpers with which you can select the SCSI ID, terminator, ... the normal stuff. But, if you put a jumper on the pin 6 (0 - based), the 56s or 58s will turn into a 55s, and thus the drive will be 100% compatible with BR images (will NOT correct data as they are written).

This tweak is provided "as is", use it at your own risk. At this time, we've had 3 reports that it worked, and we've personally tested it on a 58s, and found it OK. It does even write at x8 when you select MAX SPEED on CDRWIN 3.8a (nevertheless the 55 bios is supposedly limited to x4 writing.

New Site Addition: Music Target
Are you into music & buying Audio CD/DVD's online then checkout the latest addition to our sites:  Music Target

Music Target is an Music Only site which features the latest Music Charts, Music related news and it features an price comparison of online Audio CD/DVD shops!  

16 March 2000
CD Media Info - New CD-R/CD-RW Media
      
TDK CD-RCF74EA [RiTEK] Mitsubishi CDR74S1 [Mitsubishi]
Thanks Mark Vloemans (The Netherlands) for sending the TDK CD-RCF74EA [RiTEK].
CD-R Quality Revisited CD-Writer Software
The report about the quality of the RiTEK made TDK CD-R media has stirred up some emotions from both users and CD-R manufacturers. The most interesting was an e-mail from RITEK:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Kevin Chang, QA Manager of RITEK.
I got some message on the CD Media World web site, and I was shocked at your
conclusion that our disc was evaluated as low quality.

In 1998, we did produce some discs without good quality, which were our E-type CD-R. We don't produce that type any more. However, our current media (CD-R, CD-RW) are very good. And according to our customer's response, our discs quality is pretty good. Also, we have sent many discs to all the famous drive manufacturer for the compatibility test, and the evaluation results are very good. I would like to know where did you get those disc samples. May we send discs to you for your quality verification? I should appreciate your kindly cooperation.

By the way, we decided not to use Arita any more; we gave up that brand. According to our investigation, there are some fake media using Arita brand. Furthermore, there is one company called Arita in the Netherlands.

With best wishes,

Kevin Chang
Ritek

We have to admit that the compatibility of the RiTEK made CD-R media has improved over the ones tested a year ago as we encounter much less coasters than before. But we still question the longevity of the RiTEK made CD-R's as there is totally no solid evidence that their CD-R media will keep their data integrity after at least 10-25 years.

There is a simple solution to check whether the current RiTEK CD-R media are of better quality then the ones tested a year ago and that is to redo the CD-R Quality test that was performed last year. The main problem is that conducting a similar test is quite expensive and very time consuming. If the original testers are willing we will most certainly help in any way.

For now we will stick with quality CD-R media to do our data archiving, which are manufactured by Taiyo Yuden , TDK (the "real ones"), Mitsui & Kodak. For less important things the RiTEK media are sufficient.

If you think differently on the CD-R Quality subject then you're welcome to join the CD-R Quality Discussion! (First time user will need to "Sign In" before they can post messages)

CD-R, Audio & MP3 Software Releases CD-Writer Software
Product

Version

CloneCD 2.0.2.4
Product

Version

Feurio! 1.31.9 GER / ENG
15 March 2000
File Access
A few people reported that the CD/DVD Utilities could not be accessed/downloaded. This has been fixed with a second Mirror Site which also holds the files!
TDK Inferior Quality RiTEK CD-R Update
TDK has admitted to sometimes selling RiTEK made CD-R's. This is their response to a Support Incident from a Canadian customer:

Normally we manufacture and distribute the discs that are made here in the USA by our plant in GA. However, some of the TDK CDR-74 Discs are made under strict manufacturing restrictions by RITEK for TDK in the USA. These discs are made to the same high standard as TDK US made CDR's.

The RITEK discs do not have the "Certified Plus" label on them, these discs are compatible with all drives up to 8x speed. The discs with the "Certified Plus" label are made here in the USA at our GA plant and are compatible with all drives up to 12x record speed.

If you are concerned about the authenticity of the discs that you bought please send one to the following address and we will investigate this for you.

By selling RiTEK made CD-R's TDK has seriously damaged their credibility for manufacturing quality CD-R media, as stores don't know the difference between these CD-R's and just sell them for one price. Usually this price is higher than the regular RiTEK made CD-R's.

TDK is not the only one having their CD-R's made by RiTEK, Philips previously did the same. Usually their own factories/sources can't deliver enough to satisfy the big demand for CD-R's.

We are not saying that these CD-R's are bad but it has already been proven that RiTEK made CD-R media are of much lower quality than the original TDK Reflex CD-R media (see the CD Quality article).

So let's hope it is just temporary and just check the package for the "Certified Plus" label, before buying TDK CD-R's! More information will follow when we get one of these CD-R's to study.

13 March 2000
CD Media Info - New CD-R/CD-RW Media
     
Boeder CD-R74 Silver [Xcitek] Boeder CD-R80 Silver [Postech]
  
Boeder CD-R74 Blue [MMM&M] Buyonet CD-R80 Backup CD [InfoDisc]
Mark Vloemans reports that he bought TDK CD-RCF74EA CD-R media in The Netherlands, which are apparently manufactured by RiTEK! So be wary when you see TDK's being sold cheaply as they are not of the same quality as the normal TDK Reflex CD-R media!
CD-R, Audio & MP3 Software Releases CD-Writer Software
Product

Version

CloneCD 2.0.2.3
get it On CD 1.1r1
Product

Version

MacCDR 4.10d
IsoBuster Update CD/DVD Utilities
Added IsoBuster 0.99.3 [Release] to the CD/DVD Utilities page - Thanks Peter!

New Features:

  • Support for Long File names (interpretation of Joliet file system)
  • Automatic de-scrambling of raw data delivered by some old CD-ROM drives
  • Support and minding for extended attribute lists (not seen yet)
  • Support for ISO converted UDF CD-R discs
  • Recognition of C32 CDs that are slightly out of spec.

Bug Fixes:

  • On older SCSI readers when an error persistently occurred on a sector address above 65.000, IsoBuster sometimes returned incorrect data.
DDump 0.70 CD/DVD Utilities
Added DDump 0.70 to the CD/DVD Utilities page - Thanks XiT!

D(isc)Dump is a small DOS utility which dumps a CD-Image + CUE-Sheet to harddisk. This can then be burned to a CD-R by any CD-Writer software which supports writing RAW in DAO. It currently supports the SafeDisc & LaserLock CD Protection. The SecuROM protection is not yet implemented.

10 March 2000
BlindRead Update CD/DVD Utilities
Added the BlindRead 3.0.0.21 to the CD/DVD Utilities page.

New Features:

  • Aborted extractions can be resumed.
  • The languages support & updates are now installable directly from the Internet.
  • Improvement of the extraction engine and small speedups
  • New language support added: Japanese
SubSonic Reader Update CD/DVD Utilities
Added the SubSonic Reader 1.3z to the CD/DVD Utilities page.

New Features:

  • The Installer has been removed making the archive much smaller.
  • Bug Fix: Incorrect reading of the CD TOC (Table of Contents) could crash the system
CD Protection Detector 1.0 CD/DVD Utilities
Added the CD Protection Detector 1.0 to the CD/DVD Utilities page - Thanks Mirage

This is another nice utility which can detect what kind of CD Protection is being used on your CD's. It currently detects the DiscGuard, SecuROM & SafeDisc R0, R1, R2, R2+ CD Protections.

Copy Protection Detection Update CD/DVD Utilities
Added the Copy Protection Detection 0.3 to the CD/DVD Utilities page - Thanks Kwazy Wabbit

New Features:

  • Detection of Dummy Files & Overburned CD's
  • Added Drive Icons & a Eject button
  • Autorun disabled
The Week in Review

CD/DVD NewsWire

CD/DVD News:
MP3 News:
8 March 2000
Yamaha CRW8824 Specifications
Today we received the final specifications for the CRW8824 CD-ReWriter from Yamaha France. The most notable feature is it is the first drive which supports the 8x ReWrite option (conform the Orange book part III volume II).
Yamaha CRW8824 Specifications:
  • 8x CD-R Write, 8x CD-ReWrite & 24x CD-Read
  • IDE/ATAPI (UDMA33) or Fast SCSI-2 Interface
  • 4 MB Data Buffer
  • DAE at 24x max
  • Fully support CD-Text (Read & Write)
  • 140 ms access time
  • Supports 74 & 80 minutes CD-R/CD-RW Media
  • CD-R Write @ 1x, 4x, 6x & 8x  speed (CLV mode)
  • CD-RW Write @ 2X, 4X & 8X speed (CLV mode)

 
Click to Enlarge

At this moment only CD-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals & Ricoh can be used to be able to ReWrite at 8x speed.

The new pickup of the CRW8824 will have a new design to support CD-RW 8X and like the CRW8424, it will have a triple beam LASER and PPLS (Pure Phase Laser System - for Stabilizing the laser power when writing and to maintain High quality and Jitter Free reading).

4 Models will be available (the first 3 in May & the CRW8824IX in June):

  • Yamaha CRW8824E - IDE/ATAPI Interface - Internal Model
  • Yamaha CRW8824S - UltraSCSI Interface (SCSI-3) - Internal Model
  • Yamaha CRW8824SX - UltraSCSI Interface (SCSI-3) - External Model
  • Yamaha CRW8824IX - Firewire IEEE1394 Interface - External Model

Thanks Nicolas de Saint Remy from Yamaha France for the information!

7 March 2000  
CDR Identifier Update CD/DVD Utilities
Added the CDR Identifier 1.50 to the CD/DVD Utilities page - Thanks Frank Wolf!
  • Added 4 new manufacturers:
    • Taroko International Co., Ltd.
    • Unidisc Technology Co., Ltd.
    • Hong Kong Digital Technology Co., Ltd.
    • Viva Magnetics Ltd.
Pocket Digital Audio (PDA) Portable MP3 Player MP3 Hardware Players
The Pocket Digital Audio (PDA) Portable MP3 Player is the definitely the smallest MP3 Player in the world.

The PDA uses a stamp-sized storage media called MMC (Multi Media Card). With 2 MMC's of 32 MB each, which will be available soon, it is possible to play the MP3 audio compression standard at near-CD quality for up to 1 hour on the PDA.

Sanyo SSP-PD7 Solid State Audio Player MP3 Hardware Players
As of April, Sanyo Electric Co Ltd will be selling the SSP-PD7 Solid State Audio Player in Japan. The company is expected to start selling the gadget in the United States one month later.

The gadget employs the Secure Portable Player Platform (SP3) security system for copyright protection developed by Liquid Audio Inc.

6 March 2000  
CD-R, Audio & MP3 Software Releases CD-Writer Software
Product

Version

CloneCD 2.0.2.1
Fire Burner 1.06 Beta 5b
Product

Version

SubSonic Reader 1.3
RSJ CD Writer [NT] 1.53
RCA Lyra MP3/RA Player MP3 Hardware Players
The Lyra RD2201 & Lyra RD2204 Portable MP3/RealAudio G2 Player is made by RCA. The RD2201 comes with a 32 MB & the RD2204 comes with 64 MB CompactFlash Memory card, which holds 64/128 minutes of CD-Quality audio, and a pair of ghetto headphones. It can be upgraded to alternative audio formats in the future.

It is currently for sale for US$ 199,99
RCA Lyra Specifications:
  • Dimensions: 4 1/2" H, 2 1/2" W, 7/8" D
  • Solid-State Memory - Type I/II SanDisc CompactFlash
  • Stereo Headphone Jack
  • External 4.5V DC Jack
  • Operates up to 12 hours with 2x AA alkaline batteries.
  • CompactFlash Reader/Writer Transfers files from PC to Flash memory using the PC parallel port.
  • Back-lit display
2 March 2000
CeBIT 2000: Pine Incorporates MP3 Copyright Protection Technology
Pine Technology has revealed its second-generation digital audio player, which both incorporates copyright protection technology and supports a multitude of digital audio formats. The multi-codec player will support several formats including MP3, AAC, WMA and MS Audio. In line with the SDMI guidelines it can also be totally upgradeable to any future digital audio format.

Currently Pine is exhibiting three MP3 products at CeBIT, including the world's first ever combined CD MP3 player, Pal(M)P3 (pocket sized player) and MP3 player with FM radio. The CD MP3 player will enable music enthusiasts to listen to both their ordinary audio CD collections and new MP3 CDs on a single player, while the Pal(M)P3, the lightest and most compact to hit the market, runs for 11 hours on just a single AA battery... More in their CeBIT Press Release!

Rome MP3 Player MP3 Hardware Players
The Rome MP3 Player is the smallest, lightest and most certainly weirdest looking MP3 Player around. It can be used as a stand-alone unit with earphones, or your Rome player is compatible for insertion and playing on most types of cassette tape players including car audio systems and walkmans.
Rome MP3 Specifications:
Flash Memory :  Built-in base 32MB (Extendable 64MB) 
Playing Time :  Up to 6 Hours 
File Download Speed  :  246 Kbps 
Size  :  63 x 102 x 11.5mm (2.5" x 4.0" x 45") 
Battery  :  1EA x 1.2V rechargeable NI-MH 
Interface Port  :  Parallel 18 pin-connector cable

It is currently for sale for US$ 249,95

CD-R, Audio & MP3 Software Releases
<
Product

Version

Audiograbber 1.62 /1.61
AudioStation 32

1.0

Dj MP3 4.0 Beta 3.5
Easy CD-DA Extractor 4.0.1
Product

Version

Feurio! 1.31.7 GER/ENG
The Player 4 MP3

1.42

UltraPlayer

0.91

CeBIT 2000: Ahead Incorperates Twin VQ Encoding/Decoding in Nero
Ahead is showing their latest version of Nero Burning Rom at CeBIT. It now supports encoding/decoding of VQF audio files (it already supported encoding/decoding for MP3 audio files) and they also added support for faster ReWriting (8x/10x speed)... More in their Press Release.
8x & 10x Speed ReWriting 
As of May 2000 the new Orange Book Specification for CD-ReWritables is most likely to be approved. This means that CD-ReWriters from Yamaha, Teac, Ricoh & Plextor will be released around this time containing the 8x & 10x speed ReWritable option.



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