Known Johnson

November 7, 2005

Moron DualDiscs

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 10:36 am

After months and months and months of saying “never again” to Sony’s DualDisc technology, I gave in to temptation and bought Trey Anastasio’s new album, Shine. This after a long post saying “Sony, you’re evil” just the other day after the news of their virus “copy protection” was revealed. It was a moment of weakness, what can I say?

Well, that moment of weakness has come back to bite me: DualDiscs still suck, plain and simple. I have two drives on my computer – one is a higher-end Lite-On 1673s DVD-reader/rewriter that came out this year and is highly rated by the CD Freaks. The other is a no-name, cheap-o DVD reader I bought five or six years ago. It’s just a back up, I rarely actually use it, but just like with the Ben Folds DualDisc earlier this year, that drive proved to be the one that could work through the Anastasio DualDisc. Unfortunately, I had already tried this disc in my newer, better Lite-On, which didn’t even see the disc. When I removed the disc, I ripped it in Itunes with my older no-name DVD reader, and it seemed to do so just fine. (However, when listening back to the mp3s on my Ipod, I found the rip was full of crackles and errors. I won’t definitely say this is because of the DualDisc problems, because it could just be a bad rip – they happen sometimes, but only very rarely. I’m saying . . . be careful.)

Now here’s the really bad part: my wonderful new Lite-On drive won’t play back anything correctly anymore. Any CD loaded into the drive results in playback that stutters along, with several stutters per second. I’m going to try flashing the firmware for the drive tonight, but it’s very possible that the nonconforming “CD” layer thickness of that side of the DualDisc may have put a major strain on the laser and permanently damaged the drive. That’s $65 down the drain, if anyone’s keeping tabs. I’d really like that to not be the case, because if so, I’ll have to permanently, double-dog swear off DualDiscs forever, Talking Heads remasters be damned, sadly.

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