Sometimes what you say can reveal a lot about yourself. For example, if I said that I played 7" vinyl records while I was a radio disc jockey, you might think I was an old fart. If I said that I used to buy 7" vinyls records when they were called 45 RPM records, you would definitely know that I was a really old fart ;-) Ahh, but thoughts of days gone by still bring back good memories.
If you know someone old enough to remember 45's and loves to burn CD's, there is a new product that could make a nice gift for them. Verbatim hopes to capture a bit of nostalgia with their new retro-look Digital Vinyl CD-R line of blank media. The Digital Vinyl CD-Rs hold 80min/700MB of information.
Verbatim Digital Vinyl CD-Rs are coated with Super Azo - an added layer that provides additional protection of the data against UV sunlight, high temperatures and humidity. It's also designed to provide greater laser tolerance. The Azo technology was created to last longer and be more durable than some competing technologies.
Using a Lite-On 52x32x52 CD-RW drive (latest firmware) and Nero Express (version 126.96.36.199), the Digital Vinyl CD-Rs were reported as having a top speed of 16X. While that rating is a bit on the slow side for current media, it is more than sufficient for most tasks.
There were no problems during recording. The discs showed no compatibility issues when played in a variety a CD and DVD drives. However, I noticed a few random (but rare) skips in my car CD player. The skips were not repeatable so it was not a direct flaw in the recording. None of the other players I tried the discs in had any problem.
The Digital Vinyl CD-Rs are not the cheapest blank media available. Though a 10-pk can be purchased for as little as $5 (click here for latest pricing), the prices can climb as high as $21! Recently, Office Depot had them on sale as a "Buy One, Get One Free" deal for $4.83/5-pk.
There have been reports that the discs have problems recording reliably over 12X, but that wasn't my experience. I don't know if that is the reason or not, but Verbatim has taken the speed rating off the spec sheets for the discs.
Another thing to consider...you will need CD labels that are designed to work with the Digital Vinyl CD-Rs. The standard CD-R labels will cover up the cool look and will probably not adhere well to the ribbed surface. The labels appear to be the same size as the mini CD labels so you may be able to use them instead.
But, it is not all bad...Verbatim's Digital Vinyl CD-Rs are definitely the coolest looking of the "themed" discs out there. In the end, this product will probably be a niche item and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think that it would make a great gift when burning CDs for others (especially the over 40 set ;-) In your own music collections, it can be used to set apart special CD's.
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