On Tuesday, Sony unveiled Double Density CD-R and CD-RW drives and
Dubbed DD-R and DD-RW, the discs can hold 1.3GB of data. That is twice
the capacity of CD-R and CD-RW discs, which hold 650MB. The technology
doubles the capacity of the discs by essentially shrinking the space
between the tracks on the media.
Sony's new products are an attempt to provide a middle solution between
CD-RWs and their giant cousin, DVD-rewritable discs, which offer 4.7GB
of capacity. By contrast, Pioneer plans to start selling around May an
add-on version of its drive that can play and record both DVDs and CDs.
Pioneer's drive is expected to sell for around $1,000, with the discs
costing $10 to $20 apiece.
But as long as the industry continues to squabble over a DVD-rewritable
standard, DD-R and DD-RW may have a window of opportunity. There are
three different specifications being considered by manufacturers:
DVD+RW, DVD-R and DVD-RAM. The competing technologies have the
potential to fragment the market and confuse consumers with
DD-R and DD-RW are not completely clear of compatibility issues
themselves. The DD-R/DD-RW drive will be able to read and write CD-R
and CD-RW discs. But existing CD and CD-RW drives won't be able to play
DD-R and DD-RW discs.
"While you can't share DD-R and DD-RW media with CD-RW owners, you can
still record onto CD-RW and share that way. So I think they're covered
in that sense," Craig Still, Dataquest analyst said.
The Sony Double Density ATAPI CRS200E-A1 is an internal drive with a
maximum write speed for DD-R and CD-R of 12X, a maximum write speed of
DD-RW and CD-RW of 8X, and a maximum play speed for CDs of 32X
The drives will be available in retail stores by the beginning of April
and will cost $249. DD-R discs will cost $1.99 each, and DD-RW discs
will cost $2.99.