Crash, Don't Burn

You have to wonder what Sony is thinking. The product copy claims that the new Sony "VAIO Digital Studio" computer is the company's "incredible computing and entertainment hybrid combining television, recording, playback and even music." Oooops. Forget about that music part, especially if you purchase Sony Music's latest Celine Dion CD.

It would appear that the company's right music hand is trying to chop off it's computing left as European consumers are discovering that Dion's new disc has been crippled so that it will not play on a computer's CD drive—or worse. Early reports on online message boards and in news groups are claiming that not only will the discs not play, in most cases they will relentlessly crash the computer.

The Dion disc, ironically titled A New Day Has Come, has been incrypted with Sony's Key2Audio restricted -use technology. The company claims that more than 10 million Key2Audio discs (Sony is careful not to call the modified audio discs "CDs") covering 70 different titles have been sold in Europe, and carry clear warning labels that they will not work in computers.

But if you do put one in a PC or Mac, and presumably a Sony computer as well, a Sony spokesperson says that "The CD will probably cause a system to crash, but it will not alter anything. And it won't eject properly, but that's just because the computer has crashed." So how do you remove the disc from a machine that won't eject the disc but continues to crash until it is removed? So far Sony is not saying.

Meanwhile, TDK announced last week that it's latest CD burner can rip a music track in 5 seconds with "bit-perfect accuracy" and burn an entire audio disc to a blank disc in under 3 minutes. TDK says the new 40X veloCD burner is an internal ATAPI/E-IDE drive with 40x audio and data write, 12x rewrite and 48x data read speeds.