CD/DVD Related Features

Last Updated:  20 mei 2002
Seantram CD-R Media

7 September 1999

Seantram Technology Inc. is a fairly new company from Taiwan which is manufacturing CD & DVD optical media. The company was founded in 1997 as a subsidiary of BTC and their mission is to be the "leading manufacturer of optical media in the world".

Until now the biggest Taiwanese CD media manufacturer has been RiTEK Corporation but it seems that they now have some more competition!

As most products from Taiwan the product needs to be cheap which usually results that the quality is below average, the same also seem to apply for the Seantram CD-R media. We have been testing a few CD-R's which are made by Seantram and the result has been very bad!

We tested 5 Seantram made Phthalocyanine (Type 8) CD-R's which resulted in 3 coasters, one even failed the test-mode. As we almost never have coasters it is very likely that either these CD-R's are not compatible with our CD-Writers (Teac CD-R56S & Yamaha CRW4260S) or they are just plain bad! The reseller, who send us these CD-R's, promised to have these CD-R's replaced because they were from a "bad" badge so we will try to test them again when the new badge arrives.

We also received a few e-mails warning us that the Seantram made CD-R's from Samsung and BTC are of very poor quality, even worse then the RiTEK made CD-R media!

At this moment Seantram is manufacturing their CD-R's for Samsung, BTC, Pengo and for their own Seantram brand.

Until now Ricoh had been manufacturing A-Quality CD-R media in their own factories, which was very handy as they could be OverSized up to 78:30 minutes! But again another A-Quality brand changed CD-R manufacturer to have their CD-R media made by Ritek. It seems that they just can't compete with these low-budget CD-R's made in Taiwan.

The latest Ricoh's are easily identified as the back-cover says MADE IN TAIWAN (lower right corner). The previous made Ricoh's were say Made in E.U. or TOKYO JAPAN on the back-cover.

Philips is again selling low quality CD-R's. A year ago they manufactured CD-R's which were made by the Taiwan based Ritek company and now they managed to do the same thing but now they are using CMC (Dye: Cyanine Type 1).

The affected CD-R's are the Philips CD-R74 Professional (not the Premium Silver type) which were bought in Germany. Normally these CD-R's are made by Taiyo Yuden (A-Quality CD-R media).  Not much else is known about them so if you come across them let us know!

It seems that Verbatim now also has their DatatLifePlus CD-R made in Taiwan. It has been reported that these CD-R's are of lesser quality than the ones which were made in Ireland and Singapore. Any additional information is welcome!
Enhanced CD

25 July 1999

Enhanced CD (ECD) is being uses more and more lately. The Baby One More Time CD from Britney Spears is an example of an ECD. The CD contains 50 minutes of music & about 25 minutes of QuickTime clips, interviews & pictures.

An ECD always contains 2 sessions, the first session is reserved for the usual AUDIO tracks and the second session being an interactive DATA track. When the CD is started on a computer then a QuickTime (or similar package) will be started.

It all started with the Pepsi Generation X CD from TVTV$ with was released in 1995 but since then only a few ECD's were made. Since the beginning of this year this has totally been changed as more than 350 different ECD's are going to be released!

Since about a month Imation switched from their quality Taiyo Yuden CD-R's to the lesser quality CMC Magnetics CD-R's. They can be recognized on the outside as the packaging now states that the CD-R's are for 1x-4x speed. Also on the back the copyright message changed from �1997 Imation to �1999 Imation.
Eastman Kodak Company announced Kodak CD-PROM technology.

Kodak CD-PROM technology (for Compact Disc-Programmable ROM) combines the technologies of two CDs in one new type of media. It contains mass-replicated information, like the software titles, music and games published on CD-ROM. But these discs add a new feature, a recordable area that lets CD-PROM users customize individual discs. One of the main reasons for this new media is to reduce piracy of copyrighted information and to provide companies with a more efficient way to distribute their products on CD... More info here.

Lately there have been reports from users that 5-Pack MMore Extra Capacity CD-R80 Media's, bought at Dynabyte, sometimes contain a few 74 minutes CD-R's. All of the CD-R's have the same Gold/Black MMore Extra Capacity CD-R80 front/back covers.

The included 74 minutes CD-R's are, like the 80 minutes, made by Ritek and are easy to recognize as they are missing the "80" marking on the inside ring of the CD-R.
MMore/Ritek CD-R80 Media MMore/Ritek CD-R74 Media

It is very well possible that this "switch" is an packaging error at the Ritek factory. Just exchange the "faulty" CD-R's at your local vendor for real MMore Extra Capacity CD-R80 Media.

MMore mainly sells it's CD-R's in The Netherlands so be careful what you buy and check the CD-R's itself.

Adaptec Take Two for Windows 95/98/NT4.0 is software which is able to backup and recovers hard disks to and from CD-R/RW very easily.

Take Two automatically spans data across multiple CD-R/W discs if it won't fit on a single disc. Furthermore, Take Two includes a data-compression option, requiring less space on CD-R/RW than the original size of the disk partition. When FAT16 or FAT32 file systems is being used then unused sectors are skipped. This can save a lot of unused space.

When a backup is made it is always possible to restore individual files back from the CD-R/RW to the hard disk. A separate bootable diskette is created for restoring a hard disk from scratch. Only for notebooks with a PCMCIA CD-ROM, additional socket services or a port enabler are needed to make the CD-ROM available for the restore process.

Take Two requires Adaptec DirectCD 2.5d or higher for writing the CD-R/RW.

Traxdata released the Firmware 3.09 for the Traxdata CDRW2260 Plus. It has now been confirmed that this firmware also works on all CD-Writers based on the Philips CDD3610 drive. The new firmware mainly solves problems with reading 80 minutes CD-R's. So only update when there are problems concerning CD-R80 media.
Just change the included ATAFLASH.INI file for the HP7100i, HP7200i & Philips CDD3610 (don't forget the extra spaces in the name):
"IDE-CD  ReWritable-2x2x6"
"Traxdata CDRW2260+"
"HP     CD-Writer+ 7100"
If your CD-Writer is not included just add the exact string which can be read from the System Properties when using Win95/98.

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