it's simple - this drive is based on plextor's 8x ide drive, the 8432a. it has the 4mb buffer, yadda yadda.... it has a fast audio rip speed, it comes with lots of mp3 software. it got a 9 rating in maximum pc magazine. what else is there to say? if you want a good ide drive, go with the plextor 8x or 12x, if you want to make mp3s, go with the tdk velocd.
as for the software, check for yourself, the websites are: