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TDK VeloCD 24/10/40F Review

Highs

  • Burns fast
  • reliable and has good documentation

Rating

Our Score 10
User Score 10

Lows

  • Thin Apple software package
The software package is fantastic and the included pen, video cassette and detailed instructions show TDK

Summary

I was blown away by the TDK VeloCD Firewire 24/10/40F CD ReWriter. It runs flawlessly, is fast and looks extremely cool. The software package is fantastic and the included pen, video cassette and detailed instructions show TDK’s dedication to the consumer as well. If you are looking for a fantastic external CD burner, then the VeloCD FireWire ReWriter is for you. MSRP is $315.99.

Introduction

I was interested in the TDK external VeloCD 24/10/40F ReWriter for a couple reasons. First of all, the style of the VeloCD was unique and secondly it connects to the computer externally via a Firewire connection. I had just recently purchased a sound card with a FireWire port built-in, I had to try it out.

Looks and First Impressions

I had just recently purchased a new black computer case (similar to Alienwares) with a front door covering the drive bays. I wanted an external cd writer that I could set on my desk next to my monitor; I did not want ant drives showing on the computer case, I am going for a sleek look The TDK VeloCD is the perfect match to compliment my new computer system. The casing of the VeloCD is a sleek grey and the shape reminds me of a flat sea shell because it curves slightly to the left and angles in the back giving it a nautilus look to it.

Down the center of the top of the VeloCD is a neon blue light which glows when the power is on and flashes when a cd is being burned. I found the light pleasurable at first but whenever a CD is being burned the light flashes throughout the whole process, so if you are susceptible to seizers you most likely will either have to cover the light up or go with another drive….I am not kidding.

Installation

Installation was a breeze, simply plug the unit into your FireWire card and turn it on. Providing that you have your FireWire drivers’ up to date, Microsoft Windows (98/Me and above) should pick this drive up instantly and you will notice a new CD-Rom icon under “My Computer”; I was now ready to burn some CDs.

I had to update my various CD writing programs to make sure they would recognize the VeloCD Drive. Up to the date of this review, I was unable to get Golden Hawks CDRWIN to recognize the drive, so if this is your favorite program to use, you might want to wait till there is an update before purchasing the FireWire VeloCD. Easy CD Creator, Clone CD and Disk Juggler all found the drive without any hitches.

If you own an Apple computer with at least Mac OS 9 and 128Mb of memory installed and a FireWire port installation should be a snap. Our office iMac recognized the drive instantly and had no problems installing it.

On the back of the VeloCD Writer is a power on/off switch and two FireWire ports, one for plugging into the computer and the other as a pass through to another FireWire device. I use a pocket hard drive which is FireWire compatible and I had no trouble writing cd’s while having the pocket hard drive plugged into the VeloCD via pass through.

Testing

I ran the test on my home computer which consists of an Athlon XP 1700+, 512mb of PC2100 DDR memory. The TDK VeloCD FireWire ReWriter burned a 640MB in just about 4 minutes and 50 seconds. That’s the equivalent to 2.21MB per seconds, not bad at all. The CD-R and CD-RW read times are not the fastest, around 1.1MB per second transfer rate and if you aren’t a super techie, you probably won’t care as long as the drive is reliable and does not shoot out coasters which it is due to the integrated Burn Proof Technology. You can surf the web and continue with your work without worrying about ruining the burning process.

Software and other Surprises

TDK has always included a lot of software with their CD writers and the VeloCD drive is no exception. It is the little details that surprised me when I opened the box. Included were some blank CD’s plenty of software and a special pen for labeling your CDs; there was even a VHS tape cassette included for learning how to use the drive and its software.

TDK includes their own Digital MixMaster software which lets you rip audio from CDs, copy CDs in various different formats (disc at once, track at once etc..), create disc images and compile music compilations. If this isn’t enough for you, TDK even threw in version 5.5 of Nero, an excellent cd writing software package.

While I found TDK’s software to be a little too high-tech and complicated, I was very familiar with Nero and found it simple to use in all aspects. Those with a knack for learning things patiently should find TDK’s Digital MixMaster rewarding and powerful.

As with most CD writers, Music Match is included as well. I decided to install it to try it out and found the appearance of the program very hip, but registration and payment was required to fully utilize the program. If you currently have a subscription to Music Match then you can rest assured that it will be compatible with this drive.

For Mac users, the included software package was pretty thin (as with most cross compatible hardware) and only included Roxio Toast 5.0 standard. The bright side is that this program worked great with the VeloCD ReWriter and I had no trouble with it. If you like to use iTunes then you are out of luck, the drive does not support it; TDK includes MusicMatch as a substitute.

Conclusion and Final thoughts

I was blown away by the TDK VeloCD Firewire 24/10/40F CD ReWriter. It runs flawlessly, is fast and looks extremely cool. The software package is fantastic and the included pen, video cassette and detailed instructions show TDK’s dedication to the consumer as well. If you are looking for a fantastic external CD burner, then the VeloCD FireWire ReWriter is for you. MSRP is $315.99.

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