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Appeared on: Thursday, June 27, 2002
Philips JR24CDRW


1. Introduction

Philips JR24CDRW external CD-RW - Page 1

Introduction

External drives are usually addressed to office and desktop users who need a portable and easy to install CD recorder. The most of the drives are connected to your PC through USB or FireWire interfaces, providing fast transfer rates and plug &play features. Philips presents the new "JackRabbit" external CD-RW recorder taking advantage of the high speed USB2.0 interface, and offers 24x recording speeds among with 12x rewriting and 40x reading. We examine the performance of the new drive and compare it with another external USB recorder from LiteOn, the already tested LiteOn LXR 24101A.

Features

The drive supports 24x writing (Z-CLV), 12x re-writing, has a 8MB Buffer, "Seamless Link " as the main anti-buffer under run technology and "Thermo Balanced Writing" system for optimal recording.

The maximum reading speed of the drive is 40x (CAV). The exact writing speeds are 4x, 12x,16x (CLV), 24x , (Z-CLV). The re-writing speeds are 4x, 8x 10x and 12x (CLV). These specifications are applied only when the drive is connected through USB 2.0 interface.

Lastly, the drive supports all the known writing modes (DAO, SAO, TAO and RAW), among with packet write and overburning options.

The Z-CLV writing strategy of Philips JR24CDRW is recognized in the CDSpeed graph below. The drive starts writing at 16x for 16min and then shifts up to 24x for the rest of the recording process, giving a 21.83x average writing speed.

Blue Button

Newer drive types will have a button with the Blue Button-logo next to it. This button is placed on the right side of the drive. Pressing this button on your drive brings up a window with useful access buttons for several web sites and disc applications.

We installed the software that comes with the installation CD-ROM. After installing, we pressed the Blue Button with the logo next to it on the drive. We could also double-click the Blue Button icon in the Windows system tray or restart the Blue Button program via the 'Programs/Philips external drive' program group. This opened a window with three buttons.

In the interface window, you will see a number of buttons and a menu bar. Clicking the first and the second buttons will open your Internet browser and link you to the Philips PC Peripherals product information web page.

When you click the third button an application program associated with the type of disc in the drive opens. By default, if a CD-R/RW disc is inserted in the drive, clicking the third button will Start a recorder / rewriter application. If a CD-ROM, CD Audio is inserted, a Media Player for an audio disc a Video CD or a disc explorer program for a data disc will be launched. Of course, the application allows user to determine the preferences associated with the third button.

As a second option, keeping the Blue Button pressed for 2 seconds or more opens your Internet browser program and points you directly to a drive support website for downloading the latest firmware for your drive automatically.

The package

The package supplied contained: the external drive, 1 piece of Philips 80min multispeed CD-R blank and a application CD-ROM. The CD-ROM contains an installation wizard, a help file, Roxio v5.1.1104a recording software, Blue Button application software and setup analyzer. You will also find the USB cable and the AC/DC power adapter with the power cord.

As you can see the drive is white, and the Lid Cover (top-opened tray) is silver colored with the "Jackrabbit" logo in the middle of it. The green "busy" LED and the red Write/Rewrite LED among with the open button are placed on the front of the drive.

In the left side of the drive there are the USB interface and the power connectors.

Installation

The drive was identified as "PHILIPS JR24CDRW". The tests were made under Win XP operation system. PHILIPS JR24CDRW is a May 2002 model with firmware revision vP1.1 installed. We used the newer build of Nero (5.5.8.2), InCD (3.31), and CloneCD (4.0.1.6) for our recording tests.


2. Data tests

Philips JR24CDRW external CD-RW - Page 2

Data Tests

SCSI Mechanic v3.0x results

Philips JR24CDRW is faster in the Sequential reading test, meaning that the drive has a higher average reading speed than LiteOn LXR-24101A.

Pressed CD results: (Click to see the CD Speed Graphs)

At the Nero CD Speed test, Philips gave an 33.08x average reading speed while LiteOn stayed at 30.61x. The seek times of both drives are in the same level.

CDR Media: (Click to see the CD Speed Graphs)

Both drives improved their reading performance with CD-R media. Philips is still faster than LiteOn, mainly due to the highest reading speed in the start.

HS-RW media: (Click to see the CD Speed Graphs)

For the RW tests we used the Mitsubishi Chemical HS-RW written at 10x. Lite-On LXR-24101A locked the reading speed at 16x throughout the test. The Philips drive is faster, although the drive had some problems while reading, as you can see from the CDSpeed graph.


3. CloneCD tests
Philips JR24CDRW external CD-RW - Page 3

CloneCD Tests

Procedure

We used CloneCD (v4.0.0.0) and 4 original CDs - No One Lives For Ever /Serious Sam (SafeDisc 2), Desperados (LaserLock 2) and V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) - in order to test the reading time of the drives. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between original and backup media. The following pictures show the drive(s) reading/writing capabilities as CloneCD reports:

CloneCD reports that the drive is not compatible with RAW-DAO reading mode.

PSX Pressed Media

Philips JR24CDRW read the PSX disc slower than LiteOn LXR-24101A. The ripping process for the Philips drive lasted 20 minutes.

SafeDisc v2 Results

Lite-On LXR-24101A finished the SafeDisk v.2 test in 9 min. Philips JR24CDRW had very hard times in this test and finished in 1 hr and 19 min.

LaserLock v.2

With LaserLock v/2 protected CDs, Lite-On LXR-24101A continued the good performance. As you can see from the above table, the drive was faster with the backup titles. Philips JR24CDRW finished the task in 51 minutes.

SecuROM v.2 Results

Lite-On LXR-24101A

Original CD
( sectors/sec )

Backup CD
( sectors/sec )

SecuROM v.2
1613.93
1613.93

Lite-On LXR-24101A seems to handle the SecuROM v.2 protected CDs better than any other titles. The task was finished in 3:33 min and the performance is good. Philips JR24CDRW did not manage to rip the disc contents.


4. DAE tests

Philips JR24CDRW external CD-RW - Page 4

DAE Tests

Test Method

We used CD DAE 99 v0.3 beta and EAC v0.9 beta 2 software in order to check the DAE performance of the drive with various AudioCDs (both pressed and CDR). The posted DAE results are the average of both applications. We made a full CD Rip starting from the first to the last track of the CD. The Average DAE reported speeds are displayed in the test graphs.

DAE features

We used EAC v0.9 beta 4 to examine the drive(s) features:

The drive does not support "Caching" of data, supports "Accurate Stream" and no"C2" error info.

 

Pressed AudioCD results

Philips JR24CDRW kept the ripping speed in 13.3x while the Lite-On drive was certainly faster with 24.5x.

CDR AudioCD Results

With CD-R audio discs, the ripping performance of Philips JR24CDRW is even lower, and is kept to 11.8x. The Lite-On drive gave a 20.1x average ripping speed.

EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

After many requests from numerous visitors we have added the EAC's secure extract ripping mode results, which ensures maximum produced WAV quality. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
Philips JR24CDRW
6.1
6
Lite-On LXR-24101A
15.6
13.6

Advanced DAE Quality

Philips JR24CDRW got a 100 score (best), and produced no errors. Its average reading speed is 30.07x. As the following picture shows, the drive can read SubChannel Data and CD-Text:

Freecom 32A Nero Advanced DAE Tests Results

Bad CDR Media results

Despite the fact that Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test stretches drive's mechanism to the max, we decided to do real life tests with a scratched disc. The disc was dirty, and with some light scratches, enough in order cause problems to most of the tested drives. We used CD DAE software to rip the whole disc (756539616 sectors) and the results were very interesting:

Average Speed (X)
Errors Of Total Disc (%)
Philips JR24CDRW
6.4
7.89
Lite-On LXR-24101A
15.6
2.9

Philips JR24CDRW ripped the disc contents at 6.4x, which was expected for this kind of test, but did not manage to give a quality DAE result and the 7.89% of the data were fault. (errors).

CD-CHECK audio test

We tested the Philips JR24CDRW with the CD-CHECK disc and the results are shown in the following table.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Philips JR24CDRW
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5

The drive did manage to completely fulfill the 4th level error correction requirements, and failed to successfully playback (no audible pops or clicks) the 5th level tones. The "bad media" test before did not show that Philips JR24CDRW can completely cover real life random errors on an audio CD. On the other hand, the drive gave a very good behavior in the CD Check test, where tha artificial errors on the disc are severe but not randomly placed in the disc surface.

Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

The drive recognizes only 90 min CDs.

Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 3 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with CD DAE v0.3b/EAC v0.9 beta4) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony KeyAudio
* Pressed AudioCD with Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)


Key2Audio
CDS200
EAC
Lite-On LXR-24101A
Cannot recognize disc contents
Recognizes disc contants - cannot rip
Philips JR24CDRW
Cannot recognize disc contents
Rips disc contents without any problem

Philips JR24CDRW cannot handle Key2Audio titles but rips the CD200 audio CD contents without a problem. Lite-On LXR-24101A cannot rip any kind of protected audio CDs. The drive managed to read the disc contents of the CD200 protected media, but the ripping of the files was not possible.


5. CDR Tests
Philips JR24CDRW external CD-RW - Page 5

CDR Tests

CD-R Tests

We did our tests with Nero v5.5.8.2 and CloneCD v4.0.1.6 software. We created a DataCD (80:01:47) and used the same media for all burns.

The Philips drive is 20 seconds faster than Lite-On at 16x writing speed.

At 24x, Philips JR24CDRW is still faster from the Lite-On drive by 13 seconds.

HSRW writing

We used Nero 5.5.8.2 for writing in the maximum supported RW writing speed of Philips JR24CDRW. The drive finished the task in 6:47 min (12x) and the HS-RW "quick erase" task lasted just 34 seconds. LiteOn LXR-24101A supports 10x re-writing.

Packet Writing Tests

We used Ahead InCD v3.24 for the packet writing tests with Ricoh HS-RW media. The formatted disc had 534mbs of free space. We copied a 403 MB file (403.147 kbs) from a Hard Disk (on the same PC as the writers) to the formatted RW media using Windows Explorer (we dragged and dropped) and we completed the test twice to eliminate any possible time measurement faults and user errors.

Philips JR24CDRW wrote the file at 8.26x average speed, leaving the LiteOn drive second to 7.14x. Philips is also a faster reader with 16.2x.


6. Writing Quality Tests

Philips JR24CDRW external CD-RW - Page 6

Writing Quality Tests

We burned 80 min media at 16x with Nero 5.5.8.2 . The produced CDs were measured by DigitalDrives and the results are illustrated in the following tables:

Brand
C1
Average Burning Time (mins)
Max
Average
Plasmon 80min 16x written at 16x
23
1.1
5:34
Plasmon 80min 16x written at 24x
43
1.6
4:22

Philips JR24CDRW produced high quality CDs. The picture above comes from Ritek 80min 16x media, burned at 24x. The maximum C1 error rate in this task was 43 and and is translated in a higher peak in the graph. The average C1 rate was 1.6. Of course, there were no C2 errors.

Other features

Overburning Writing
Yes
CD-Text (Read/Write)
No
8cm CDs
Yes

CloneCD Writing Tests

CloneCD v4.0.0.1 reports that the drive supports the SAO-RAW and RAW SAO+SUB feature. We performed our usual tests and we confirmed that the drive supports the RAW SAO+SUB writing mode at the following CD protections: SafeDisc 1 and LaserLock 1/2 CD protections. The drive cannot handle SecuROM v.2 protected titles.

SD2 Support

For the SD2 test we used the "Emperor: Battle for Dune", "Max Payne", "Serious Sam - The Second Encounter" and "Medal of Honour Allied Assault" game titles. We used the drive both as reader/writer at the maximum reading/recording speed. The produced backups did not work in all the drives we tested.


7. Conclusion

Philips JR24CDRW external CD-RW - Page 7

Conclusion

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- 24/12/40 USB 2.0 external drive
- 8MB buffer
-"SeamlessLink" anti-buffer underrun technology
-"Blue Button" innovated feature
- Good CD-R reading performance
- Writing times lower than competition
- Good writing quality
- 2 years warranty

- Low DAE speed (13x)
- Medium error correction capabilities
- Does not support RAW DAO
- Very low CloneCD reading performance
- Cannot backup SD2, SecuROM v.2 protected CDs
- Low PSX ripping performance
- No CD-Text (reading/writing) support
- Cannot rip Key2Audio protected audioCDs
- No 99min CD support
- Noisy operation

Philips JR24CDRWis a very good solution for all those users who need a fast and reliable portable recorder for office usage. The main features of the drive are the plug-n-play ability via USB 1.1/2.0 interface and the 24x writing, 12x rewriting and 40x reading speeds supported. CD-R / RW reading is fast and the 24x recording speed provides the best recording times of the competition in the 24x external drive category. Other strong features of the drive are the quality CD-R writing and the "Blue Button" feature, which gives users the chance to have an easy online support for their possible device problems or questions.

However, the main disadvantage of the drive is the DAE speed and the medium error correction abilities. Philips JR24CDRW ripped the "bad condition media" with not a low error rate, and the DAE speed in various tests was kept at 13x average. The drive also cannot handle key2audio protected audio CDs and does not offer CD-text reading/writing.

Philips JR24CDRW is not the best solution for the CloneCD users since the drive is very slow and cannot backup SafeDisc v.2 and SecuROM v.2 protected CDs.

The European retail package is priced at $175 and Philips offers a 2-year waranty.



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