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Data Storage Hardware

New HP Drive Lets You Burn Your Own Label 257

Posted by timothy
from the hold-your-breath-for-linux-drivers dept.
way2trivial writes "Wow -- remember Yamaha's DiscT@2? now HP has a invention to use the DVD laser to etch the flip side of CDs and DVDs. I own a nice Epson to print on CD-R/DVD-Rs, it does full color -- but this looks impressive as hell, even if it is in monochrome"
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New HP Drive Lets You Burn Your Own Label

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  • Cool !! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by varunrebel (596126) <varunrebel@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:25AM (#8508161)
    Cool idea...

    Only downside it seems is that you cannot use normal CDs. You have to use CDs which can actually are designed to allow this 'burning' on the flipside...
    • I hope this catches on and the special CDs/DVDs become prominent. I'd shell out the extra dime per disk for this, just as long as they have plans to keep producing them. This looks really badass!
      • by varunrebel (596126) <varunrebel@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:57AM (#8508272)
        An with a number of things in the real world CR-Writers with LightScribe technology and the special CDs are obviously prone to the chicken or egg syndrome [wikipedia.org]

        The special CDs won't become popular until the special CD Writers become common and the CD Writers won't become common until the special CDs become common enough...
        • I don't think that problem applies here, because the CDs aren't so special that they're the *only* thing that works with this burner, or that they don't work in the 2 zillion CD players already out there.

          The people considering buying this burner with its 'etching' ability aren't constrained by the decisions that other people make. This makes their decision all about value, and not about speculation.

          -Zipwow
    • Re:Cool !! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kent Simon (760127) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:30AM (#8508181) Homepage
      I pretty much figured that would be the case. The data on a CD is stored very close to the label. If you have a CDR you don't mind wasting you could scratch part of the label and see that it goes straight to the plastic protective layer. I imagine the special CD's have an extra layer between the top and the data layer that does not exist on a normal CDR.
    • Re:Cool !! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by superhoe (736800) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:46AM (#8508242) Homepage
      And this makes me wonder:

      If the burners with this new technology are just $10 more expensive - and the media required to burn to the flipside is just a 'dime more expensive'.. Where's the added value to the sales?

      My guess is that we end users are going to pay much more than just a dime xtra for those CD medias.. :(

      • Re:Cool !! (Score:5, Informative)

        by no longer myself (741142) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:48AM (#8508433)
        My guess is probably not. It's got a little extra nift value, but it's really all in the software. They're using the exact same laser, so the hardware isn't any different except for maybe an extra bit of firmware to prevent knock-off CD-Rs from entering the scene. Everything else is handled by software, so the extra $10 on top of a DVD burner is the only hope they have of getting people to consider it. Much more and who would bother?

        For the other end, the consumable disc, an extra $0.10 has a huge fudge factor. Prices vary greatly so they're probably basing it upon the highest priced premium brand of DVD/CD-R (which isn't necessarily any better than the low cost cheepy-brand) so yes, you'll end up spending $10 for about 25 discs, while someone else is going to be paying $15 for a spindle of 100.

        My biggest gripe (and you know I'll get flamed for saying this...): Since (I'm only guessing) it's all based in software, it will probably not be a feature availble to Linux users.

        Looks like Sharpie isn't going to lose any of my business anytime soon. ;-)

        • Since (I'm only guessing) it's all based in software, it will probably not be a feature availble to Linux users.
          The feature need not be software-based. I believe cdrecord can utilise the aforementioned T@2 on endowed Yamaha burners, with the tattooinfo and tattoofile parameters [cdrecord manpage [fokus.gmd.de].]
        • Um, yes there IS a big difference in DVD-R's when it comes to compatability.

          the good piodata or other high end discs are immensely better at playing and burning than the el-cheapo no brand spindle of 100 for $49.95 DVD-R's

          some of the dirt cheap knockoffs are utter crap.
      • Re:Cool !! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chalybeous (728116)
        My guess is that we end users are going to pay much more than just a dime xtra for those CD medias.. :(

        My guess is that the only people who'll pay are the ones who the RIAA decides to get mean with. For example, when I buy an album, I burn a copy to use in the car (basically so my expensive CD doesn't get damaged, and it's no great loss if the car is stolen - it's fair use IMHO, since it's not passed to anyone and I'm not ripping the manufacturers off), and scan the cover and track list to make an insert
      • Re:Cool !! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by squiggleslash (241428)
        Presumably if you're selling media burners and blank discs, you'd like people to chose your products over the competition's. That may well be the "added value to the sales"...
    • Re:Cool !! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by -Speade- (671817)
      Yep, really cool, I hope this will get popular and other drive manufacturers will not be stop by patents / legal stuff... or it might end up like that sony double-density (1.3GB) disk which doesnt seem to be too much used.. I own one for really long time and still I cannot lend any of these cds to any of my friends. (felt like we're heading to a world where cd burned with XXbrand-burner can be read only by XXbrand-drives) I really like that idea anyway.. Maybe we'll see soon some technology to cut shapes
    • Re:Cool !! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Threni (635302) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:11AM (#8508300)
      > Only downside it seems is that you cannot use normal CDs. You have to use CDs
      > which can actually are designed to allow this 'burning' on the flipside...

      Why don't they sell blank labels you can stick onto normal CDs and then etch them with a laser? Or is that too obvious?
      • Re:Cool !! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by GORby_ (101822) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @08:12AM (#8508498) Homepage
        Let's see:
        1. it would probably be more expensive, since it would need a layer of plastic and glue in addition to the special etchable layer
        2. it's easier when the layer is already on the disc
        3. no problems with balance... labels that aren't positioned exactly in the middle will cause unbalance and lots vibration.

        Good enough?
        • Re:Cool !! (Score:2, Funny)

          by Threni (635302)
          > labels that aren't positioned exactly in the middle will cause unbalance and lots vibration.

          I like vibrations!
    • I wonder... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      While this is absolutely cool technology as it is now, I couldn't stop wondering if there is any possibility of making color labels as sharp as this. (Hey, don't laugh at me and read on) Mutuality of this technology seems to be at the same stage as black and white picture in still photography, where light sensitive emulsion and intensity of light played roles. If it is possible to lay down three (or four: cyan, magenta, yellow and black) layers of light sensitive material to the face of CD/DVD, it *might* b
    • Re:Cool !! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @08:11AM (#8508494)
      Only downside it seems is that you cannot use normal CDs

      Perhaps glueing 2 regular CDs back to back would work?
    • "Only downside it seems is that you cannot use normal CDs. You have to use CDs which can actually are designed to allow this 'burning' on the flipside"

      True, but for those of you too lazy to RTFA:

      "HP estimates that a drive that uses LightScribe will carry a premium of about $10 over the going price today, and that a disc will cost about a dime more than today's discs. There are no consumables like ink or ink jet cartridges; the only consumable is the disc itself"

      So price shouldn't be an issue here, alth
    • Re:Cool !! (Score:2, Insightful)

      While it is cool that CD writers can do this, it's a feature I don't think anyone asked for or needs. It's really just a gimmick.

      It's a fairly cool gimmick, but it's like painting useless stripes or graphics on the side of a car and calling it a "Special Edition" and charging $3000 more for it -- it doesn't really make the product any more useful at accomplishing its intended purpose (storing data in the case of the CD drive, getting you from point A to point B in the case of the car.

      It's as though sudde
    • Remember who we are talking about-HP. Aka offshore outsourcing, firing Bruce Perens, selling half-full inkjet cartridges...I wouldn't buy anything from them in a million years.
  • by hellmarch (721948) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:26AM (#8508162)
    maybe it can copy the do not copy label while you're copying the data
  • That Rocks (Score:5, Funny)

    by paganizer (566360) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .1evorgeht.> on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:26AM (#8508166) Homepage Journal
    I actually read the article, and THAT ROCKS.
    The porn applications alone are mind-boggling.

  • Other uses (Score:5, Funny)

    by CleverNickedName (644160) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:27AM (#8508172) Journal
    I'll bet it makes perfect toast too.
  • by KiwiRed (598427) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:28AM (#8508176)
    Have to wonder if this process will shorten the life of the cd the way adhesive labels are rumoured to do...
    • IANAC (I am not a chemist ;)) but that would probably depend more on how they implemented the "layer of coating" on the flip side of the CD-R. Even if you don't make use of it, if it isn't designed right it may very well shorten the life of the CD. It sounds like a good idea though, since it would make life easier if you want to maintain a collection of data CDs.
    • not glued on (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KalvinB (205500) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:46AM (#8508240) Homepage
      the problem with regular CDRs is that if you bang them around enough the silver stuff (what the data is burned to) flakes off because it's not encased in the plastic. Those glue on labels help to weaken it. If you try to take a label off, chances are the data goes with it.

      Presumably this new method has the label part manufactured on and not attached to the part of the CD the data is written to. Or it's a second layer that more painted on than glued on. However it's done, it's probably much more sound manufacturing than putting a sticker on a CD.

      Ben
      • The pits are burned into substrata, not the reflective coating. Reflective coating is there to, as the name implies, reflect the laster back towards the drive so it may be read. Pits and lands alter the beam such that the reader detects the difference and thus you get your 1 and 0 signals.
  • by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:30AM (#8508180) Homepage Journal
    The real leap forward will occur when this is built into camcorders and other media recording devices. The whole idea behind connecting the camera to a computer just so you can save the data on a disc that won't be played on a computer anyway, not to mention printing labels for the disc, is crazy and redundant. Though it is a necessary stopgap until we get these technologies into the cameras, the computer is just another barrier to the development of user-created media.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah, because we all know video editing on a tiny little camcorder would be so easy and user friend. I can't wait to put a custom title on my movie, that'll be fun to type it.
    • Sincerely, Bill G

      Seriously, though, it makes a lot of sense to store and manage all our digital media on one general purpose device (ergo, a computer). The usability isn't there today for all media; Tivo is currently a better option than any PC-based PVR. This will however change in time; it already has for music (computer+mp3 player vs cd/minidisc and a pile of media) and both Apple and MS are putting a lot of effort into usability in this area.

      Compare how many computer CDRW drives have been sold against
    • but there IS a sony camcorder that DOES burn to mini-DVD-Rs.

      And for your information, i've been using my DVD-R for archival purposes.

      *coughporncough*
    • The real leap forward will occur when this is built into camcorders and other media recording devices.

      Have you ever tried to edit video using a camcorder?

      Trust me, you don't want to.

      The whole idea behind connecting the camera to a computer just so you can save the data on a disc that won't be played on a computer anyway, not to mention printing labels for the disc, is crazy and redundant.

      I guess that if you shoot the video just like you want it,down to the frame, you'll never have to edit it.

      Though
  • Good idea! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nogami_Saeko (466595) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:30AM (#8508182)
    This is a great idea - granted, it takes special media (which sounds like it's just basically double-sided), but if it gets popular enough, it should be cheap and easy to find.

    Although I like colour inkjet printable CDs/DVDs that the new epsons can produce at low cost, this is a great way to label something that doesn't need to be in colour with the associated ink costs, etc.

    Wonder what the resolution of the printing is, and how long it takes...

    Maybe the top side could be used for additional data storage as well if you don't need a label?

    N.
    • Re:Good idea! (Score:2, Interesting)

      considering the scale of the regular data they write with the laser, one would assume that the resolution of the image possible would be well beyond something someone would reasonably use. I guess it's a matter of how restrictive they'll make the process, really.
    • Re:Good idea! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AndroidCat (229562)
      This would be good for family parties. In my family, extended to aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins' kids, (coming soon) cousins' kids' kids is a scary number, and there are already video tapes copied and circulating of events. (The techoscenti exchange digital photos via email. We need a web site.) A labeled CD/DVD of each event's pictures and videos would be cool.

      Hmm... How about xmas cards with a personalized CD rather than a "our news for the year" paper blog letter?

      I could see something as simple as goo

  • 10$ = Rs 500 approx (Score:5, Interesting)

    by varunrebel (596126) <varunrebel@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:30AM (#8508183)
    A CD Drive costs about Rs. 1200-1500 in India.

    An increase of 10$ (=Rs. 500 approx) is a bit too steep. Obviously the good old felt-tip pen is much cheaper !!

    But the basic idea/concept is very user friendly and cool. Wish they can make it a bit cheaper... :)
  • This is old stuff (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pieterh (196118) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:31AM (#8508186) Homepage
    It's just thermal printing with another twist. The good news is that there are no ink cartridges to replace. The bad news is that the paper is _really_ expensive.
  • Tell you the truth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SyKOStarchild (576577) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:31AM (#8508187)
    As potentially useful as it would be to use one of these things for CD/DVD Labeling, I am awful fond of saving money and will continue just using a sharpie or an adhesive.

    I don't need new tech and new burnable media to keep doing that.

    • by ajs318 (655362)
      Absolutely. CDs are for listening to {or at any rate, perceiving stored content through some kind of electronic reading device with sensory stimulators}, not looking at. I'll stick with an indelible marker pen. As for DVDs, I don't ever write anything on them anyway; I just write on the card in the box, because -- at four quid a pop for DVD+RW media -- sooner rather than later, they're going to get recorded over.

    • by AndroidCat (229562)
      It'd be good for organizing things. For music, you might want labels that show how the contents are grouped. ("Warning: Contains Everything ABBA.")

      For re-recordable stuff, I used to put labels on floppies like "Ron's Scratch Disk #4" so I could find the right one from a pile. At 10 cents a disc, it's not much for reusable, and I have trouble making marker look good.

  • by MagicDude (727944) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:32AM (#8508190)
    This will help small software businesses lower their costs of production. My family has a business where we sell software, but where it's not practical for us to use mass production because we have to make 1000 copies minimum, since our market is so small. It's easier and cheaper for us to simply burn DVD's everytime an order comes in and print the labels ourselves, and then shrink wrap it. So this will be a real benefit to us and potentially other small business too.
  • if you look closely at a burned CDR, you will notice that there's a visible difference between written an non-written parts of the surface. In other words 0's look different then 1's. I always planned to write an app to take advantage of this in order to burn images to a disc surface (just normal CDRs, without burning any useful data to it, of course), but never got around to really investigate this thoroughly.
    • by _Shorty-dammit (555739) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:50AM (#8508252)
      To do so requires special writing capability in the drive itself, you not only need to be able to control the regular user data, you also need to be able to control all the bits that get generated in addition to regular user data. All the bits that are involved with the error correction, etc. This is why you don't see Yamaha type 'tattoos' with just any old drive, because Yamaha so far is the only manufacturer that gave you that much control over the drive. Without such deep control, I don't know how easy it would be to get your desired image, considering you normally have control over much less than half of how many bits are actually contained on a CD. I vaguely recall doing the math one day to see how many raw bits are on a CD, and I think it adds up to around 2GB of raw data to store your 700MB of user data. Very vaguely. Figures may be off, but it is in that ridiculous ballpark. And I'm not in the mood to go digging through specs. Basically, 2048 bytes of your data first goes to 2352 bytes, maybe another step here, and then every 8 bits gets translated to 14 bits encoded on the disc. Even just the 2048->2352 and 8->14 steps gives you almost 1407MB raw data for 700MB of user data.
  • its brilliant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by katalyst (618126) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:36AM (#8508203) Homepage
    because they are giving a new lease of life to an already saturated market; i'm happy with my 32x burner and would not have thought of investing in another cd-burner... and would have upgraded to a dvd-burner whenever i could afford one... but now.. I'll HAVE to consider this...
    we'll have happy cd-writer manufacturers, happy cd-manufacturers, happy geeks and very happy software pirates :D
    I missed this detail, but what speed does it burn the label at? :p how long would it take to burn a full gfx rich label?
  • i love mum (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:36AM (#8508206)
    as soon as the printing department hear about this we'll shortly have do it yourself home tatoo kits.. now that'd be cool.
    • You mean like this [toymex.com.mx]?

      (I chose the .mx link because it had the best graphic. I got my boxes of said kits from the big eToys flameout.)
  • by nmoog (701216) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:37AM (#8508208) Homepage Journal
    I would LOVE something like that for the CD-R's of my music I sell, and send out as demos. Stick-on labels look like stick-on labels, and are barely better than magic markers.

    The most impressive result I have gotten so far is by laying the cd's on the ground and spray painting them all white. Then when that layer dries, lay a stencil of an image over each disk and spray black. Leaves a cool ghosty image that looks like it was pressed. The disks play fine, and it doesn't look like your music is sponsored by TDK.
    • by Hungus (585181) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:21AM (#8508324) Journal
      You can of course buy printable CDs and DVDs and use a printer like the one I use which is an ezcd4200 [allmediaoutlet.com] it costs me about 12 extra per cd or dvd but I do get full colour with it. Oh and if you are going to do any volume remeber to buy a continuous flow system for your pritner. In fact here is a tutorial I found on hacking your own CFS System [colorbat.com]
      • Alternative, if you just need say 100 to 500 of the same design, you can get that put onto a writable CD for you by a CD duplication house fairly cheaply.
        • Absolutely assuming you have the money to drop on it duplications houses are the way to go definately. However if you are a small band like Factories => Shameless plug for my friends band [geocities.com] then you can't get 200+ disks done at a time becaus eyou can't pay for it ... of course then you couldn't afford the printer and cfs either but think of it as a one time cost.

          yeah its geocities :(
      • by Nogami_Saeko (466595) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:45AM (#8508417)
        Another one to look at is the new Epson Photo R800 - it can print both regular media as well as CD/DVD, and has seperate ink tanks for each colour. Prints with glossy ink, but has the capability to insert a "flat black" cart, or a "glossy" cart to modify how the output looks. Interesting...

        I've got a slightly older Epson model at work which handles CD/DVD media, and it does a beautiful job. About 3 min per disc to print.

        I also still recommend people use a CFS system for high-volume colour printing, but it's not as much of an issue if you're just doing disc labels.

        N.
    • I've done a bit of work with spray paints (don't ask), and I would think that if the glue in labels is enough to corrode the data layer, wouldn't the all the chems in spray paint be at least as damaging over time? I've also had bad experiences trying to use spraypaint on plastic (vinyl dye is much better for this, but you definately do not want to use that on a CD). IANAchemist, so there's a good chance I'm wrong. I'd love to put some Dupli-Color Mirage or Krylon Mystique on some of my CDs.
  • Brilliant idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:39AM (#8508215) Homepage
    The problem with CD printers is that:

    You must buy one (these drives are $10 more than normal)
    You must buy ink for one (at $970 a cart, lasts for 1 week)
    You have to use it often enough that the Ink doesn't dry out.

    At the moment I label my CDs with a permanent ink pen, but this would save the rest of the world from my handwriting. I'm sure the Linux driver will also ship with a perl script to dump a directory listing onto the front of the CD as well.
    • You must buy ink for one (at $970 a cart, lasts for 1 week)

      Umm, the article says there are no consumables, including ink. Yer either a troll, or only commenting about previously existing CD printers (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say the latter). Anyway, what I think would be interesting to investigate is the same thing being applied to paper. It'd interesting to investigate being able to print black n' white on specially treated paper without using ink or toner.

  • Am I the only one thinking about yanking the laser and throwing a nice high-power supply on it?

    C'mon guys, instant Lightsaber!!!

    *insert maniacal laughter*
    • The problem with lasers is that they don't stop.

      What you would need to do is find a way to attract those particles back. You have the light "magnet" along with the source behind a mirror in the grip so that the particles reach zero velocity at a reasonable distance and accelerate back at the mirror, reflect back to the maximum, repeat.

      By having the laser particles move in such a fashion it would basically be a chainsaw with a infinite number of blades moving in two directions.

      Due to the speed of light i
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:41AM (#8508220) Homepage
    Anyone remember the CD bomb from the days when the Anarchists Cookbook circulated?

    Take a CD, cover with gunpowder or phosphor scraped from match heads. Varnish. Insert into CD rom drive.

    Now immagine how well that would work with a laser set to a power high enough to carve images into plastic.

    Kaaaaaaboooom.
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Informative)

      I believe it was a floppy bomb, not a CD bomb.

      You would peel the disk apart, cover the black disc inside, varnish and reassemble.

      The friction from the read/write head would set it off...

      Not that I have any experience in this field, mind you...
  • is how the disc burning software detects that you have their proprietary CD. I'd assume some sort of data on either hte top or bottom of the CD that the Drive must read before allowing it to tatoo the cd.
    • AFAIK all CDRs have an information block on them containing maximum recommended burn speed, size, vendor code and media type. If you burn a CD with cdrecord, you can see it for yourself as it echoes that data to your terminal. So I guess it's part of the media info.
    • by vena (318873)
      the drive could easily just assume you're brand conscious (you just bought a cd burner with a feature that can only be used with certain cds, after all). the process which "writes" to the top of the CD doesn't etch anything or put ink anywhere it wasn't already. it's the same method used to burn the cd itself - that is, the laser heats up inks which change colour. if you're using a cd that doesn't have this ability and you flip it when the drive asks and try to write a label, no big deal. you just won't
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CliffH (64518) <cliff.hairston@nOsPAM.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:43AM (#8508230) Homepage Journal

    ... what the reality of pricing is going to be on these things as opposed to the probable $10 premium quoted in the article. If they really stick to that, these things are going to take off liek crazy. The one big problem with the Yamaha was the price (at least here in NZ). If this thing truly has a negligible (???) price increase, I can see them selling like mad and being put into every branded system and whitebox known to man. Can you think of an easier way of labeling small DVD backups of your data than to write it directly to the DVD through a script. No more forgetting labeling of important data.

    The flipside of this is, how long will the drive actually last with the extra etching duties of the laser? Will these have a shorter warranty period than their non-ethcing counterparts? Through the first run, will we see unusually high failure rates? I haven't heard of anything like that with the Yamaha's but, then again, I haven't looked. I haven't had to. I haven't sold one yet and I think that's mainly because I haven't bought one (if you don't know the product or the brand intimately, or are unwilling to learn it, don't sell it).

    Anyways, I'm done with my rant now. You can get back to reading truly thoughtful comments. :)

    CliffH

  • Hmmm ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by the bluebrain (443451) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:48AM (#8508246)
    Now if it were holograms, I'd be impressed.

    :-)

    / I mean, what we got freakin' LASERs in these things for anyway?
  • Resolution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:50AM (#8508249) Journal
    I know what a 600dpi image looks like printed out on paper. I know that 300dpi gives a reasonable quality image too.

    What sort of resolution can we expect from this?

    Have many pits per inch are burned into the data side of a disk at the moment?

    Can we expect the same?
    • Re:Resolution (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rakishi (759894)
      Rough caculations put it at over ten thousand for me. You can either convert 700mb to bits, dividing by a cd-rom's area and taking the root (gace around 18k for me) or by looking at actual dot size: 300 dpi => 84.67 m 4000 dpi => 6.35 m (Wikipedia) cd-rom: pit size seems to be around 1~2 m which gives a dpi of 10 to 20 thousand.
    • Imagine this - how much space does a 600-dpi bitmap the size of a CD take up? Well under 1mb. And that's disregarding the fact that the encoding on a CD means that the number of pits is far in excess of 700m x 8.
  • Seems brilliant... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by odano (735445) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @06:53AM (#8508261)
    I can't imagine any better way to produce a professional looking CD than with technology like this. Sure it is no better than a sharpie for home users, but for people who burn demo CDs or sell software online and want to make it look professional, this is about as good as it gets.
    • by TummyX (84871)
      What about CD duplicators that print directly onto the CD? You can buy media with surfaces designed to be printed on with an inkjet. They come out looking pretty damn professional to me.
    • though for the price of a new drive you could set up for one-colour silk screening and have enough ink to last you to 2007 :)
  • Cool (Score:3, Funny)

    by barfarf (544609) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:17AM (#8508317)
    Now we can get our AOL discs with even MORE style!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:18AM (#8508320)
    The official website [lightscribe.com] has more info and photos of labled disks.
  • Cool (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Underholdning (758194) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:22AM (#8508329) Homepage Journal
    This is a great little feature. Not that I plan to burn great images on the disk. Rather, I plan to burn the contents of the disk - maybe just do an ls -lR | burnlabel. I don't use jewelcases for my CD's or DVD's. They take up too much space. I just keep them in sheets in a binder. The downside is, that the small slip of paper telling me what's on the disk has a limited life span (i.e. I lose it somewhere). This little gimmick will rid me of that problem by fixing the contents to the disk.
  • Holograms (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tonywestonuk (261622) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:23AM (#8508333)
    Are DVD lasers sharp enough to produce diffraction patterns, insead of a standard image?.... Could this tech be used to create you own hologram, from a 3D File?
    • Re:Holograms (Score:3, Informative)

      No, the special disks have an ink impregnated on the label side, and when the drive burns the label side, it uses a laser powerful enough to cause a chemical change in the ink that turns it a darker color.
  • by elronxenu (117773) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:24AM (#8508338) Homepage
    Now the RIAA will get all concerned about pirated album covers ...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:29AM (#8508351)
  • here ya go. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Niacin (700561) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:32AM (#8508363)
    http://www.lightscribe.com/user/labelTips.aspx

    Closeups of different labels using this thing.
  • by trveler (214816) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:36AM (#8508384)
    until they manufacture a drive that doesn't require you to flip the disc in order to burn the label. Eliminating that annoying step would be worth extra $$.
  • I want one! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by p_millipede (714918) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:43AM (#8508409)
    I like to label my disks, but hesitate to do so with the normal stick on labels after a couple of bad experiences. When I used such a labeled disk in my laptop once (which can get rather hot) I smelt burned, popped the disk and found the edge of the label smouldering slightly. I also know people who've had the labels peel off slightly and gum up the drive. This sounds like an ideal solution to the problem.
  • That's all this is... sell you a special CD-writer at-cost and rake you over the coals on the CDR's. Don't fall for it folks. Just use a perma-marker. ;-)
    • Permanent markers are always best, unless you need to write more information than a few simple words. Which is what I suspect most people need. Labels are much easier, when you want to list multiple items that are on the cd. The problem, however is that the labels can cause lots of problems. Causing the media to wobble and reduce read times, or worse coming loose while spinning in the drive. This "new" printing tech, sounds like it can fix these problems quite well. I'm sure drives (and media) for thi
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @07:52AM (#8508442)
    I mess around as a artist time to time with different media.

    This is very similar to etching print plates.

    After you burn the CDROm and etch the flip side, guess what?!

    You take various colored inks, fill in the etching and then wipe off the excess.

    I bet you could make some realy neat looking designes with it.
  • I've thought about producing some Open Office CDs to share around, but the production costs of getting a proper CD done would require me to shell out real cash.

    With one of these, I could put OOo artwork on it and give it to people, making it look more professional.

  • steganography... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GuruHal (229087) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @09:36AM (#8508923)
    You have to wonder with the imaging application for doing graphics and the nature of CD data - tis this could lead to some steganography applications. The laser will be able to output data in such a way as to create graphics while the CD is rotating, so it can probably be programmed to read that same data and you get some pretty cool steganography applications....
    I would think it would be easy to hide data in a picture made of 1s and 0s.
  • by tiger99 (725715) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @10:03AM (#8509130)
    I was rummaging around trying to find a ribbon for my CD label printer some time ago, and wondered why I needed one at all. The solution was obvious. It could have been implemented in the first CD writer, long before I thought I would ever need a CD writer for backup. It needed no new technological breakthrough, just the application of what was well-known at the time.

    I expect that a few thousand (million?) others had also had that same thought at some time.

    The sad fact is that millions of people have good ideas and are far too busy trying to survive to be able to get embroiled in serious product development. In any case, only a large corporation could afford to do this, the prototype would likely have cost millions.

    It is unfortunate that the principles of open source can't work in hardware development, where mechanisms, mouldings and precise little bits are concerned. Otherwise, we could have lots of things sooner.

    It is only going to get worse as technology advances. What gets developed depends entirely on the whims of the marketing men, an area where people of the greatest imagination are rarely to be found.

    It is worth remembering that a boy called Humphrey Potter created the first self-acting steam engine, and therefore laid the foundation for the Industrial Revolution, because he had better things to do than open and shut valves sequentially all day. Humphrey Potter actually achieved what the Convicted Monopolist has never achieved, and never will, he really invented something useful and innovative. It is sad that such real grass-roots innovation is scarcely possible nowadays, even the simplest thing involves far too much expense. Humphrey Potter's requirements were simple, and within reach of most people: string and pulleys for example.

    Now this latest "invention" will not have the effect of Humphrey Potter's work (he caused massive unemployment of engine boys, including himself!), but the fact remains that it is late, and was not spotted by any of the large corporations who make CD and DVD writers, until recently.

    Manufacturing industry needs to find a way of listening to the modern-day Humphrey Potters, not the ever so slow marketing men.

  • by switcha (551514) on Tuesday March 09, 2004 @12:25PM (#8510393)
    to start burning discs with "This side down" etched into the top.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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