Best DVD media changer mechanism?

Hi, all!

I need something to streamline the backup of hundreds of gigabytes of data (mainly raw digital photos between 6 and 12 megabytes each) to DVD. Feeding discs one at a time into a drive gets tedious, especially when they only take about 6 minutes each to burn… can’t really do much else in that time!

Ideally, I would like a jukebox/carousel mechanism that can feed an internal DVD writer. If I can supply my own drive, even better. It should have a capacity of at least 50 discs (100+ discs would be ideal) on some sort of removeable tray that allows for bulk loading and unloading of discs. The entire device would connect to the host PC by some high-speed interface (USB 2.0, Firewire 400/800 and eSATA would be likely candidates).

There would have to be software support for Nero (what I currently use) or other popular third-party DVD burning applications. Failing that, there should at least a way to have existing software take advantage of the disc loader (maybe through a driver that mimics having multiple virtual burners?).

Sony’s XL1B2 200-disc DVD media changer seems to be the closest thing to what I want. In fact, it seems to be the ONLY thing like that available. Is there really not much demand for bulk DVD writers? Everything else I’ve found tends to be bulk duplicators, which is not what I need. I don’t want 100 of the same disc… I need to burn 100 different discs in an unattended fashion. There are units from Rimage, Primera, etc. but they either don’t have the capacity in the price range I’m in, or they also include disc printing capability. I don’t need a built-in printer.

The XL1B2’s price tag of $300 is perfect, but there is a dearth of information on whether it can be used as a bulk DVD writer, rather than simply as a media changer for Windows MCE. Anyone have more information on the XL1B2?

Brian -

That’s the only low end changer mechanism I know of. There’s no official method of bulk load and unload.

For a scriptable interface under linux or windows, look up the recently updated mtx project on sourceforge. It now has at least rudimentary support for the XL1B and the powerfile platform it was based on.

Another options would be a robotic duplicator instead of a changer. They often come bundled with software that can perform file archiving. Unlike a changer which allows random access to each disc, the robots are loaded by stacks, and once they’re passed through, you typically cannot reverse backwards. In this capacity they’re meant for completely off-line storage, much like a tape drive.


Yeah, check the Google Ads on the top of this page for info on robotic duplicators. Not cheap, but they look like they’d gitter done.