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The new version of Blindread / Blindwrite will be released on 26/08/00

To view the screenshots, capabilities and bugs of the 3 programs in this suite click one of the links below.

Blindread   Blindwrite   Database Editor  Shoarthings Review  Forum

Many of you were disappointed with the first release of Blindwrite.  Will you be disappointed by the second release or will it be the answer to your dreams?  I'm afraid the answer to these questions will depend on what CD hardware you possess.  Yes some of you are going to be disappointed that your CD writer is not supported but as the new version now supports more writers than the old version then some of you will be very happy indeed.

We have tested 6 writers in all, the Teac 55s, Teac 56s, Sony crx140s, Iomega ZipCD650, Yamaha CRW6416s, and the Philips CDD3600  We used Need for Speed 4 (Safedisk) for the source CD and various brands of media from the cheap and cheerful unbranded spindled media to the more expensive and reliable Kodak Digital science media.

The  Teac 55s was not even recognised as a writer by Blindwrite but neither is it recognised as a writer by CloneCD.  To be honest I would have been surprised if this drive had been recognised.

The Iomega ZipCD 650 would not attempt to write to the CDR so I added the drive to the Database. As this drive works with CloneCD and is capable of writing RAW (PQ) I was now expecting it to work.  No such luck, though it wrote to the cheap and cheerful CDR, at a maximum of 2x I may add, the CDR was a coaster.  It may have been the media, I thought, so out came the reliable Kodak's but alas another coaster, though at least this time the drive wrote at 4x which is a point worth noting.

The previous evening I had read in our Forum that a new firmware had been released, (Version 1.2C) so off I went to the Iomega web site and downloaded the latest firmware.  Three reboots later, as Auto insertion must be disabled and it is a two step procedure to update the firmware which requires a reboot between each step,  I proceeded to write the CDR once more.  Again I used a Kodak CDR to write to as these are more reliable.  Was it successful?  No! I have yet another coaster.

By this time I was getting a little despondent and thinking of setting up a market stall selling all these nice shiny coasters I was producing.  After all what I thought was my second best chance had just failed miserably.

Alas a review is what I had promised, so I pressed on.  The next drive on the agenda was the Teac 56s. This drive would not work in version 1 of Blindwrite so was it going to co-operate with version 2 of Blindwrite.  I set the writing operation to the CDR going, this time using a cheap CDR.  12 minutes and 17 seconds later the drive door popped open.  Blindwrite was claiming a successful write but it had claimed this before and had produced a coaster.  Was this yet another coaster for my market stall? :-) I took the CDR to the other computer which had been set running windows98SE, NFS4 will not run in windows 2000.  I placed the CDR in the drive and lo and behold the main menu for NFS4 came up.  This was an improvement on the dismal performance of the Iomega.  Feeling a little bit more confident I clicked on play.  Would it work or would it hang on the Safedisk screen and scream for the original CD?   Yes! up came the next screen of NFS4 and I was soon racing round the track, crashing into everything in sight as per usual.  I now knew I had succeeded and the newer version of Blindwrite had succeeded where the first version had failed.  The only problem now was, could I afford the re-spray on the damaged cars :-)

Now full of confidence I set about copying NFS4 to the Sony crx140s.  To be honest I was pretty certain that this drive would produce a good CDR copy and sure enough 9 minutes and 10 seconds later I had a working copy of NFS4, again recorded onto a cheap unbranded CDR.  Oh well, there goes my Market Stall career :-)

All these tests have been carried out with an image dumped from an ultra plex 40 CD reader reading at the slower speed, i.e. nothing checked in the "authorise the use of alternative read method".

It was now time to test the capabilities of Blindread, I inserted the NFS4 CD into the drive, put a check against "authorise the use of alternative read method" and "Extract Sub-codes ( if your reader allows it).  The first slower read of the Plextor was 52 minutes 10 seconds which was faster than the first release of Blindread which took 1 hour 7 minutes and 34 seconds. This read came in at a stunning 3 minutes 44 seconds. This is almost as fast as the later versions of CloneCD which took 2 minutes and 56 seconds.

Now for the Burning Issue would this image return a successful write.  I fired up Blindwrite and wrote the image to a cheap CDR using my Teac 56s.  I received a warning message about the Teac not being able to write the Sub-codes but I ignored this message and continued to burn the CDR.  The burn was completely successful.

The only other test for Blindread I could do was to try reading the NFS4 disk in my Creative Dxr2 DVD player,  this was the only drive, I have, that the first release of Blindread failed to read the CD with.  The new Blindread had no such problem and made an image of the CD which yielded a successful burn.

Verdict:- Blindwrite has someway to go to catch up to the quality of CloneCD but it has certainly improved on the last version.  It is worth downloading and finding out if it is now compatible with you hardware.  If it is compatible then it is a cheaper alternative to CloneCD. 

Perhaps you would like to let us know how you went on with your Hardware in our Forum.

Conclusion:- Blindread / Blindwrite is a very stable suite with few bugs apparent.  If your hardware is supported by Blindwrite then it is a cheaper alternative to CloneCD.  Alas just because your Hardware is compatible with CloneCD doesn't mean that it will be compatible with Blindwrite.  As it is able to write ISO's and Cue/bin files this software could become the best all round writing software on the market.  It just needs to become compatible with more drives, which I believe,  like CloneCD which took time to embrace more drives, Blindwrite will also become compatible with more drives. The writer of Blindwrite is very keen on Quality and has already fixed a bug which was reported

Don't expect miracles but give it a go, you may be happy with the results though on the other hand you may be disappointed, it all depends on your Hardware.

Missing Drives:-  You may be wondering what happened to the Philips CDD3600 and the Yamaha CRW6416s.  Shoarthing has done the tests on these drive so let's go over to Shoarthings Review and see how he went on

Demo 24/08/2000

Blindread   Blindwrite   Database Editor  Shoarthings Review  Forum

Copyright 24th August 2000 Burning Issues - all rights reserved

 

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