I keep a 2 DVDRW drive setup in my computer. Until recently, this consisted of an NEC ND-3550-A (IDE) and a Samsung TSST SH-W163-A (SATA).
When I decided I wanted lightscribe functionality, I ran into a problem. That is, when I bought a lightscribe drive - an Optiarc 7191S (rebadged LiteOn, so I read after), it turned out to be a crock.
Not only did it completely screw up 3 Lightscribe labels on Verbatim MCC DVDs, forcing me to pull out a marker and scribble a label on instead, but it also flat-out refuses to read any of my dark underside CDs (CD-Rs with a coloured substrate, which I bought a lot of because it look so nice). For reference, an old LiteOn from years ago, the ND-3550-A and the Sammy all work with them perfectly. These come under various brands and manufacturers, from Memorex CMC MAG and Prodisc, to other brand Prodisc, to unbranded MPO CD-Rs with black and blue colour themes.
In short, this drive (the Optiarc 7191S) is total balls, and I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy. But from what I’ve read, it might not be totally unheard of as some companies are now using shoddy optics to deal with CDs, I glanced at some Apple forum somewhere where a Macintosh user had a similar problem.
The most common example of the kind of discs I’m talking about would be the games from the PlayStation 1. With CD-Rs, the most common type, selling in many American retail stores, is the Memorex Black.
I had planned to replace the 7191S with a 7201S (real NEC Optiarc) but I now consider this an official candidate for Vapourware Of The Decade. So unless NEC delivers the goods quickly and gets them into the hands of retailers pronto, they can stuff it where the sun don’t shine because my patience is about to run out.
In summary, I have two questions for answer or debate.
[li]Which is the best Lightscribe DVDRW drive for mixed use (i.e. a wide range of CDs and DVDs)
[/li]By this I mean all factors, burn quality, lightscribe dependability, accurate disc quality scanning (PIE/F and C1/2 reporting, as well as reporting jitter, PO Failures etc)
[li]Does anyone have any specific experience of using dark-bottom coloured CDs? Which drives work with them and which drives don’t?