why don't they? Are the burners just crap? Or is it a software glitch or some obscure setting that I can change so this works?
Maybe Ahead and Roxio haven't tested those drives extensively, and they enable CD-Text for all drives by default or they decided to report "CD-Text capable" for drives with those names... ?
Is it the Sony that is defective? Is there a way I can tell if CD-Text has been written to the CD?
Yes, you need software capable of reading CD-Text.
CD2WAV32 and press the CD-Text button.
If your drive is supported by Feurio, try the CD-Text button in CD-Manager that I explained before. If it's not supported, you should enable reading CD-Text in Feurio CD-Manager -> Program Parameters -> Special Parameters -> Special Parameters.
I have the latest Roxio, and Roxio does recognize the drive and the Write CT-Text check box is enabled.
Roxio and Ahead are known to claim that they will write CD-Text, and then it doesn't work...
Not using Feurio, don't have Feurio.
The demo has no limit in time nor options.
It doesn't install any system driver, unlike Roxio or Nero, so it won't cause any harm.
You'll need the latest driver update if it's an AOpen 52x:
If the drive isn't detected, you can select the generic MMC driver. In this case, CD-Text isn't guaranteed to work, but it wouldn't be the first time that Nero don't write CD-Text and Feurio does it with the generic driver.
Oh, and you can also try EAC.
The burning engine isn't as good, but it should read CD-Text as well.
None of these programs install garbage.