MyCD does a slow burn'but well
MyCD does a slow burn'but well
By Carlos A. Soto
Affordable CD-RW drives are quickly taking the place of floppy-disk drives.
Why? A CD-RW is the network administrator's best friend for backing up 650M of data on a single disk, way more than the 1.4M you can fit on a floppy.
The software you use to manage your writing to CD can make a big difference.
If you are burning CDs for the first time, try MyCD from Veritas Software Corp. Although it might not come bundled with your drive, it's worth buying separately.
Many CD-RW drive makers bundle DirectCD from Adaptec Inc. of Milpitas, Calif. [GCN, July 10, Page 40
]. It's a decent program with a familiar feel, rather like Microsoft Windows Explorer.
MyCD's extremely simple interface walks the user through every step of making and copying CDs, adding up to the best and most reliable program for novice CD burners.
Although it can manipulate files and folders on the host drive, it's difficult to use. There is no recording wizard, and the program does not walk you through CD production or even list your options.
In contrast, MyCD supports 74 burners from 19 CD-RW makers'ranging from Acer America Corp. of San Jose, Calif., to Yamaha Electronics Corp. of Buena Park, Calif.
Recently, Hewlett-Packard Co. began shipping MyCD with its CD burners.
MyCD walks you through every step of making or copying a disk and is easier to use than other CD software I've tried.
It's not perfect. Sometimes it took longer to make a disk than the Adaptec software did. It also proved more confining in terms of what I could do with the data afterward.
I spent two minutes installing and loading MyCD, about the same time as for Adaptec's DirectCD. Subsequently, MyCD's friendly wizard helped me through the procedures of making a disk. I was burning data within a minute.
CD recording software
Veritas Software Corp.; Mountain View,
Calif; tel. 805-782-4400
+ Easy to install and use
+ Reliable and inexpensive
- Long burning time
Win9x, NT 4.0 or Windows Millennium Edition; 166-MHz or faster processor; 10M of free storage; CD-RW drive
With the Adaptec software, you are forced to give it a go on your own or read the user manuals first. DirectCD took me about 15 minutes to figure out; other users have told me it's taken them as long as an hour to understand the burning process.
In contrast, the MyCD wizard is so thorough it even ejects the holder for you when it's time to put in a disk.
And though MyCD took longer than DirectCD to burn data, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Most burning programs let you either directly copy a CD or create a new one from multiple data sources such as a PC hard drive. You have to puzzle out how.
MyCD, however, pops up a window partitioned in two, with four simple options.At the left side, you can choose either Make an Exact Copy or Create a New CD.On the right, you can choose either Check for Upgrades or Program Options.
If you choose to create a CD, you next choose to burn either data or music from a CD-ROM or a hard drive.
MyCD searches the hard drive and lets you pick the files by highlighting and then dragging and dropping them to another window.Slower yet secure
If the data is already on CD, MyCD scans the information you want to burn and places it on your hard drive, then burns it to the CD-RW drive.
Even though this intermediate step slows you down by at least two minutes, the data stays secure, and the burn is more reliable than with DirectCD, which writes data directly from the source.
When copying from one CD to another, MyCD creates a 20M buffer on the hard drive to support the data transfer. This also takes up more time but boosts reliability. Most burning programs don't buffer while copying from CD to CD, which frequently causes loss of data.
MyCD's interface is less versatile than those of other programs and has fewer burning options. It also doesn't let you erase rewritable CDs but only append them if room is available.
But if you're just getting the hang of CD burning, MyCD is the best and most reliable novice tool around.