LaCie Announces FireWire DVD-R/CD-RW Combo Drive

LaCie has announced a FireWire DVD-R/CD-RW drive. The LaCie DVD-R/CD-RW drive is expected to ship in June, and will be able to write to general purpose 4.7GB DVD-R media and standard 650MB CD-RW. Sporting a FireWire interface, DVD-R disks can be written at 2x, while CD-RW media can be written at 4x. According to LaCie:

LaCie, a leading producer of storage and display devices for the content development industry, announced today the first external DVD-R/CD-RW drive with high-speed FireWire connectivity. Priced significantly lower than single-function DVD-R drives, the combo drive provides the convenience and savings of using a single drive to write and read DVD-R General discs as well as CD-R and CD-RW discs. LaCie will begin shipping the new drive in June.

Designed to store and deliver digital data, video, and audio, the LaCie DVD-R/CD-RW drive records to 4.7GB DVD-R General Use discs at 2x (2.6 MB/sec) speed and provides 6x (7.8 MB/sec) read performance for DVD-R, DVD-Video and DVD ROM discs. Smaller files can be stored on lower-cost 650MB CD-Rs at 8x speed or on CD-RW discs at 4x speed. CD playback is at 24x.

"Our new dual-function drive provides Mac and PC users with a fast, easy and economical means of producing and sharing digital content on both DVD and CD media," said Guillaume Mazieres, LaCie Vice President of Marketing & Sales. "Users will be able to choose from 650MB CD-R, CD-RW media or 4.7GB DVD-R General discs to meet their specific application needs. In addition, theyill be able to read all CD formats as well as DVD-ROM, DVD video or DVD Audio with the drive."

Mazieres noted that users will choose the media based on the volume and type of data being stored as well as the final application. For example, with standard 650MB CD-R and CD-RW media, users can store up to 650 color photos, 30 minutes of MPEG-2 video, 4 hours of MP3-compressed audio or up to 50,000 documents on a single disc.

With 4.7GB DVD-R General media, users can store up to 14 hours of MP3 audio, two hours of theater-quality video, 4,700 color photos or more than 500,000 documents. DVD-R General discs are ideal for a wide range of applications because they can be played back on most DVD-ROM drives and DVD players. The high-capacity, write-once DVD General media also provides secure, removable storage for business, financial, and legal records, as well as healthcare and government records that cannot be altered or erased.

By incorporating FireWire connectivity, the LaCie DVD-R/CD-RW drive can be quickly and easily connected to the Apple FireWire ports on Macintosh G4 workstations and Cubes, PowerBooks, and iMacDV systems. In addition, the drive can be used connected to the 1394 ports of a growing number of PCs running Windows 98 Second Edition or Windows 2000 (such as new models from Compaq and Sony).

The FireWire bus makes the drive hot-pluggable so it can be easily moved from computer to computer without having to shut down or reboot the system. The drive automatically detects the system interface and configures the connection so the combination drive mounts as soon as it is plugged in.

The LaCie DVD-R/CD-RW is expected to be available in June for US$999. You can find more information at the LaCie Web site.