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!
Panasonic just released the KXL-RW11AN USB CD-ReWritable in Japan.
Panasonic KXL-RW11AN Specifications:
6x Read, 4x Write & 4x ReWrite
2 MB Ram Buffer
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).
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!
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.
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.
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 Targetis 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!
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:
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,
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)
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 RiTEKmade 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 RiTEKmade 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 RiTEKmade 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.
Mark Vloemans reportsthat 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!
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.
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!
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.
The Lyra RD2201 & Lyra RD2204Portable 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.
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!
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.
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.