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quadlover
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computer server cd drive

my windows xp computer's cd drive just died. as this was going to become my music server are any particular cd drives better than others? also any special sound card for connection to musical fidelity cd-pre24 and powered quads for my office?

struts
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Re: computer server cd drive

quadlover,

Hate to see this go unanswered so I will pitch in with my 2c worth.

There is probably no substantial difference between modern, competent, CD-ROM drives when ripping CDs asynchronously. The error correction software will just keep the drive trying until it gets it right (unless the disc is unreadable that is).

As regards soundcards you don't state whether your PC is a laptop (PCMCIA) or desktop (PCI) but if the latter I have only praise for the ESI MAYA44 I bought for this very purpose. One of the main reasons I went for the MAYA44 is that it sports both coaxial and optical (TOSLINK) S/PDIF outputs on the card itself, obviating the need for clutzy breakout cables. The parts and build quality are first-rate and the MAYA44 drives my Grace m902 superbly well on all bit-depth/sample rate combos I have tried with verified bit-transparency (at 16/44.1) when using ASIO. At around $100 this card is IMHO a great buy.

Hope this helps!

Editor
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Re: computer server cd drive


Quote:
There is probably no substantial difference between modern, competent, CD-ROM drives when ripping CDs asynchronously. The error correction software will just keep the drive trying until it gets it right (unless the disc is unreadable that is).

I am big fan of Plextor drives. The now-discontinued PX-716 has been my reliable workhorse; see www.plextor.com/english/products/Archive/716uf.htm, not the least because it works with Plextools disc analysis software.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Elk
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Re: computer server cd drive

I, too, love my Plextor drives. And the error checking software!

Not all Plextor drives support the software. However, there are other software packages that do similar analysis, such as Nereo's CDspeed which works with most drives Clicky Here

I still prefer Plextor's product however.

quadlover
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Re: computer server cd drive

thanks for the advice. i am using a tower, not a laptop.
i have 500 gb, but it appears nowhere near enough.

Amp_Nut
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Re: computer server cd drive

Unfortunately for me, my Plextor gave up the ghost with less than 1 year's sparing use.

In stark contrast, my SONY drive ( Bought at half the Plextor price ) is still going strong, and now in its 3rd year.

Errors using the Plextor were no better than on the Sony drive...

Elk
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Re: computer server cd drive

Unfortunately there is always the occasional bad experience by someone; it's the nature of electronics and putting lots of products in people's hands.

Without thoroughly testing the burned CDs I wouldn't be able to comment on whether a particular drive burned with less or more errors.

As a practical matter however, optical drives keep getting better as a class. Thus, I wouldn't spend any time worrying about it unless you are burning CDs for professional replication (which is why many studios carefully protect their old Plextors and bought extras).

struts
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Re: computer server cd drive

Elk, My interpretation of the OP was that this relates to ripping not burning. I doubt that there is any difference between current drives from a ripping perspective. Some are better built, some are faster, some are quieter and some come with nice bundled software etc. but my take is that they are all pretty much as good for ripping as each other. And if not, the error correction in the ripping program should take care of things.

The Plextor drives were (are?) the PC World top recommendation for several years. Fwiw whenever a drive has expired I have also bought Plextors and been very happy with them. I just really doubt they do a fundamentally better job of ripping CDs.

Elk
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Re: computer server cd drive


Quote:
Elk, My interpretation of the OP was that this relates to ripping not burning.


Excellent point.

As this is the case, I agree that the built in error correction will take care of just about everything. Download and use EAC as your ripping software and it would be hard to rip a less than perfect copy. EAC

jazzfan
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Re: computer server cd drive


Quote:
The Plextor drives were (are?) the PC World top recommendation for several years. Fwiw whenever a drive has expired I have also bought Plextors and been very happy with them. I just really doubt they do a fundamentally better job of ripping CDs.

Not to mention the Plextor drives were always top rated by Maximum PC and PC Magazine. However, in the case of Maximum PC the Plextors were so highly rated because of their ripping and burning speeds. And to second what Elk stated, using a good ripping program, such as the fantastic (and free) Exact Audio Copy, basically makes any plain vanilla CD drive into a very good ripper.

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