Your post brings up several important topics. First, what you experienced has nothing to do with firmware level. You don't provide enough info for us to determine the exact cause, but it looks like you have some sort of interface problem between the computer and the device. You might have DMA turned off or disabled for some reason, your port might be incompatible or might not have the correct drivers, or the OpSys might have downmoded the port after experiencing repeated errors. There are many possibilites. However - when you have an interface problem, reflashing the firmware is the very LAST thing you should be doing. If communication isn't correct, there is a high probability that you'll mess up your burner and, since the problem has nothing to do with firmware in the first place, there is a zero chance that the flash will correct your problems. Unless you are an expert and know you can get yourself out of trouble, you should NEVER flash a device that isn't communicating properly - never.
In part, it sounds like you're trying to play copy-protected media without correct player software and no, that didn't work before you flashed, either. Personally, I'd recommend that you totally remove all Roxio software from your system. Although I doubt that it's the root cause of your troubles, Roxio software has caused problems for many people over the years. One thing that has remained true about Roxio - as soon as they correct one problem, they're sure to create two new ones with every fix. There are good options from other companies. On the software subject, avoid all packet software, regardless of its source. These are the so-called drag and drop software packages. They're trouble from the word go.
You're a newbie and have a good bit to learn. Before you continue to flash firmware taking other really major steps like that, I'd suggest that you do a lot of reading. You have a lot to learn, as do all of us when we start. CDFreaks has lots of resources as do other sites like Doom9. Take your time and don't let your activities jump so far ahead of your knowledge and experience.