Share this Page URL

Data Storage Devices > Tape Drives - Pg. 178

Digital Lifestyle Hardware: Digital Rules, Analog Drools 178 DVD-R and DVD-RW Drives DVD-R and DVD-RW drives are similar to CD-RW drives except that they write to DVD discs. These discs hold much more data than do CD-R or CD-RW discs--4.7GB as compared to a CD's 700MB. This huge data storage capacity makes all sorts of things possible, the most important of which is the ability to store hours of digital video. A DVD-R drive is part of Apple's SuperDrive that is offered on Power Mac and iMac models. When it comes to writing to DVD, the Apple drives are your best bet because they will be the most com- patible with Apple applications, including iDVD. You can add an external FireWire DVD-R or DVD-RW drive to any Mac that has a FireWire port. However, iDVD 2 works only with the Apple SuperDrive. Many of these third-party drives come with DVD writing software that will enable you to create DVD discs, but frankly, none of this software is nearly as good as iDVD. Some of these drives are supported by the Pro version of iDVD, DVD Studio Pro. At the time of this writing, DVD Studio Pro is available only for Mac OS 9, but an update for Mac OS X is very likely. An Apple SuperDrive is most useful for using iDVD to create your own DVD movie discs. However, it can also be used to store any sort of data on the disc, just like CD-R and CD-RW discs. The capacity of DVD-R discs is large enough to use for backing up data; however, their cost and the fact that you can't use an Apple SuperDrive to write to DVD-RW discs makes them impractical as a backup device for most users. However, even at its relatively expensive cost, a DVD-R disc can be an excellent way to archive important data, such as all of the data for a particularly important iDVD project. Tape Drives Tape drives write data to magnetic tapes of varying sizes and capacities--the Travan 20GB format is a common one (see Figure 7.3). Figure 7.3. A tape drive, such as this iMation FireWire Travan drive, makes a great back-up system.