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Home > Essays > Optical Storage

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
VSO latest results April 17th 2005

1. General Information

The latest builds of CopyToDVD and BlindWrite include an optional feature where a statistics database is updated every time a burning sequence finishes and information about the used drive, media ID, speed, error code, if any, etc is automatically posted to the VSO database. VSO Software, a leading CD/DVD software developer, kindly offered their latest statistics to

VSO comments on the new feature saying "... it will be an opportunity to be more reactive and provide more reliable products. By detecting new drives released on the market, latest firmware releases, and statistics about media usage and failure rate, the real time information will be used to improve the technical support and knowledge. We don't collect any information about users or the kind of data burnt. Of course, this is optional, and users can deactivate the feature during installation. Drive and media manufacturers will be able to benefit from the data collected to improve their own products as well. They can contact us for more information. Users will benefit from this exciting database by checking which drive and media are the most reliable...."

- Why should I use VSO's anonymous database feature?

You can use VSO's anonymous database feature for various reasons:

  1. In order to improve the quality of VSO software and to establish a chart of good media, based on real world experience on a wide range
  2. If you refuse to participate, no information is sent
  3. If you accept to participate, a small block of information is posted at the completion of each burning sequence
  4. The information sent is very small and there is no noticeable impact on system performance

- What kind of information is collected?

Each time a burning sequence finishes, the following information is automatically posted to the VSO web site :

* The VSO software that has submitted this information, and it's version number (ex: "C3" for CopyToDVD)
* The burning device manufacturer and model string (ex: "PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-108")
* The firmware revision of the burning device (ex: "1.18")
* The inserted media identification string (ex: "RICOHJPN-W01-01", a ricoh DVD+RW media)
* A unique identifier for the media (a hash string, which differ for each series of media. this help to find out if media is fake of good quality brand)
* Media Kind (a numeric code representing the type of media DVD-R, DVD+R, ...)
* Logical Write Speed (The information returned by the drive)
* Burn Size (size in sectors of the data to be burned)
* Written Size (size in sectors of the data effectively burned)
* Burn Date (When it's been burned)
* Completion Time (Time to burn, from start of lead-in to start of lead- out, with Written Size will give us the real writing speed)
* Status (a code indicating everything went ok, or in case of error, what kind of error ocurred)

All the information sent is protected with a hash key, to avoid malicious attempts to send fake information. As VSO claims "...We *do not* collect any information that may help in identifying a given computer or person..."

- How can I turn this option off?

You have to create a registry key, by following these instructions:

  • open Regedit (click "Start" menu, then click "Run..." and type "regedit" and OK)
  • browse key : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\VSO\CopyToCD
  • search Value "Web_media_stats" (REG_DWORD)

If this value is absent or set to 0, no information will be sent. Otherwise, the aforementioned information will be uploaded to the VSO statistics database.

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