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Monday, December 11, 2000
Apple's recordable CD options


"...Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs, assessing the reasons behind the company's hardware sales slump during last Tuesday's conference call with analysts, showed unusual candor by admitting that "Apple completely missed the boat" by not providing CD-RW drives with its Mac systems. "Apple ships none," he said. "We just blew this one. It will be fixed soon."

But how will it be fixed?

Most Macs ship with read-only CD or DVD drives, with the latter typically in higher-end models. The dual-processor Power Mac G4 500 includes a built-in DVD-RAM writable drive, but it cannot write to CD-R (recordable) or CD-RW (rewritable) media, and DVD-RAM cannot be read by many DVD drives. Most PC manufacturers, by contrast, offer read-only DVD standard and CD-RW as a mid-range or high-end option.

Freeman suggested that rather than offer CD-RW as a replacement for DVD-ROM, "what makes more sense is to offer a combination DVD/CD-RW drive that keeps Apple's (read-only) DVD capabilities and offers CD writing capabilities. However, the next clear step is DVD recordable and CD-RW in one device."

Apple is investigating all of these options, according to a recent Cnet story. One model reportedly under consideration, Pioneer's forthcoming DVR-A03, writes to CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R and DVD-RW media. Media will cost around $15 for DVD-R disks and $20 to $25 for DVD-RW disks. The drives will sell for less than $1,000, shipping to manufacturers in January and to consumers in April, said Pioneer DVD marketing manager Mike Mickes..."



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