Yamaha Canada realizes that CD-RW drives have become a commodity product, but that hasn’t stopped them from making its latest drive, the CRW-F1 unique.

The Yamaha CRW-F1 will be the first CD-recorder with DiscT@2, a laser-based

labeling system, which enables users to incorporate graphics and text right on the CD-R disc.

Lou Reda, channel sales for Yamaha Multimedia and Music of Scarborough,

Ont., believes Yamaha’s competitors will eventually re-engineer this tattoo process to compete with Yamaha.

However, Jim Wallace, manager of Yamaha Multimedia and Music, is not that concerned.

“”DiscT@2, or Disc tattoo, is a proprietary to Yamaha and as competitors catch up to Yamaha we will move onto the other side (of the disc) and then into DVDs,”” he said.

“”Tattooing is a great for the greeting card concept, as a low cost way to send a message or as a labeller,”” said Jason Samuels, Yamaha product specialist, added that DiscT@2 will take up some capacity on the media.

Yamaha has also upgraded its Audio Master Quality Recording, which extends the life of CD-R.

Called Advanced Audio Master Quality Recording, this system widens the lands and the pits, which will reduce the jitter, said Samuels. This system also improves the recording signal and it skips less when played in car stereo systems, he added.

Also unique to the CRW-F1 is Mt. Rainer, a drag and drop solution for CD-RW discs.

“”With Mt. Rainer you can eject a disc, while the disc is being formated and put files on the fly,”” Samuels said.

And Yamaha has also added something called SafeBurn Anti-coaster system, which adds 8MB of buffer, four times larger than most other drives, Samuels claims. SafeBurn minimizes the chance of buffer underrun.

“”It’s a mature technology and we did not want to have just a me too or we too product. So we offered things to make it unique and different,”” said Wallace.

Yamaha’s market opportunity with the CRW-F1, according to Wallace, is in the after market with OEM drives being one generation behind in most tier one brand PCs and white boxes.

Around 90 per cent of PCs sold have CD-RWs and of those most are either 8X or 12X recorders, Wallace said. “”Some will say I have a small recorder and look to upgrade and this is a low cost upgrade at about $200,”” he said.

The actually price of the internal CRW-F1 is $229, while the external drive is $349. Wallace added, these prices are MSRP and that dealers sell for less.

He also said that Yamaha will be offering these drives for Mac users and the company has designed the external drive with additional colours to the box and to the LED panel to match the colours of Apple Imacs.

Yamaha also wanted to point out that speed should not be the most important selling feature.

“”The numbers became more of a marketing agenda that just specs,”” Wallace said, adding that manufacturers would claim a drive was for 40X-speed even if it only reached that speed for one second during the burn process.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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