I have been searching for the fastest available CD-ROM drive. I've seen many forum threads about this, all years old, and the common reply is "why do you want a drive so fast." This time, I do have a valid reason -
What I do is rip Audio CDs into Mp3s for another business that gives iPods in return for a lot of CDs. I have to rip CDs in very large volumes. I have found that some of my fastest computers (Dual G5 Macs) can rip much faster than my CD drives can spit out. I have Lite-On 52x CD drives.
I can convert an AIFF file at a constant rate of around 48x in iTunes. Converting to Mp3 with my LiteOn drives tops out at about 43x, and averages around 24x on a CD. If you looked at the progression of the rip on a curve, you would see that the CD drive is the bottleneck. So, if I could find a drive that could spit out enough information as my computers could convert across the whole CD, I could effectively cut my rip time in almost half. This would be totally great : >.
I am not concerned with making sure my rips are extremely high quality. The CDs I am supplied with are all in tip-top condition and are commercially pressed.
After searching for a long time, I have found all over the internet that the Kenwood 72x multilaser CD-ROM is the fastest drive. The only constant complaint I've read of about this drive is that it has trouble with CD-Rs, and I'm not concerned with being able to read CD-Rs as such as fast rate.
The trouble is, I can't find these drives anywhere today, not even on eBay. It looks like they are about 5 years old, way outdated. I am baffled why this is, and also why the technology was not pursued past 72x. Does anyone know where I can get ahold of a few of these drives, preferabbly new, but if not, used, or if there is a faster drive available?