By Shawn Soni
For Windows XP/Vista only
“Press Burn Go” clearly describes the capabilities of the Lite-On EZ-Dub Optical Drive DVD+RW burner. This medium-sized appliance has an included “foot” to allow it to sit vertically on your desktop. Although loading and unloading it while vertical is a bit problematic, vertical positioning takes up very little real estate on your desktop—a definite advantage.
The drive is a USB 2.0 device and comes with a cable and power supply to facilitate a simple hook-up. Once plugged in and powered up, Windows will find your device and attempt to install generic Microsoft drivers for it. It appears to recognize the name of the device, and will do a basic installation of a DVD burner. But don’t be fooled, if you want to get the full functionality of the drive, you still need to use the included drivers to complete the install.
To begin the setup, it is best to install the included Nero disk-burning software before the installation of the EZ-Dub software If you try to install EZ-Dub first, it will prompt you to install Nero first, and then allow installation of EZ-Dub. A word of caution here, when installing Nero, a dialog box will open asking if you’d like Nero to be the default application that opens all your files (including JPEG, PSD, and TIFFs). It is probably not the best idea to select Nero as the default if you are installing this drive on the main workflow computer for your studio. That’s the only real “gotcha” that you need to look out for in the install process.
The actual usage of the drive is straightforward and uncomplicated. It has two buttons on the black glossy surface Dub and File. Placing a DVD in the drive and hitting “Dub” and following the prompts allows multiple backups/copies of a master disk by simply changing out disks as each successive write session is completed. A DVD with about 4GB of data completed the dubbing cycle in about 25 minutes.
The file-copying feature is also easy to use. Copying 565MB of data from a network drive to the Lite-On unit took about 13 minutes over a wireless LAN connection. A shared Windows drive was used as the source to test the software’s ability to copy from non-local host. While it passed with flying colors, testing was completed on a network that is primarily Mac-based, which likely made the process longer.
If you have another DVD or CD writer in your computer the EZ-Dub software will prompt you to do what it calls an “on-the-fly” copy operation. The dialog box presented talks about getting “unpredictable results” so I chose not to do that.
The Lite-On is a definite enhancement to a studio work environment. The speed of making dubbed copies is a bit pokey if you are considering more than a handful, but as a way to do a “set and forget” copying/duplication operation for a client, this really can’t be beat. After all, what could be easier than inserting a disk, pushing a button then getting back to making money?
The Lite-On drive retails for $89.95.