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Ritek Mini CD-R: Part 2

Ritek Mini CD-R: Part 2

Hi everyone,

Today, I burned a few more Ritek Mini CD-R media, where I found out they have a surface issue:

Ritek CD surface issue 2

I didn’t realized this, but it seems to be a plant manufacture problem. I opened another of the 100-pack I have and it have the same problem.

The problem is that the data was burning fine, with no errors on my Lite-On iHAS524, but it failed to verify on some parts of the disk, as it was approaching the end. I was burning them at 24x, the maximum speed it supports on the writer.

I decided to use the Optiarc AD-7561A drive I have to see if it would burn fine with it, since slim drives usually burns at a lower speed.

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 10
Optiarc AD-7561A

When the CD is inserted in this drive, it is detected as a 10x media:

I burned the CD with this drive, where it was able to both burn and verify successfully. It also seems that the drive burned surface is a bit darker than with the LiteOn drive, so maybe that makes it handle the bad surface better.

Quality tests

I burned 2 CD’s with the Lite-On drive where both burned successfully but didn’t read fine. One was able to read completely, but lowering the read speed at the bad section. The other one failed with unrecoverable errors.

Let’s see their quality tests with the LiteOn drive first, followed with the Optiarc drive:

CD #1 – LiteOn

This is the CD that was able to read completely but lowers the speed. When playing it back, it pauses while reading the wrong area. It can be ripped, but will struggle in the bad area. The ripped file appears to be fine, but EAC reports timing problems. Listening to the track didn’t revealed any issues.

You can see the excesive amounts of C1 and C2 errors.

CD #2 – Optiarc

Here is another burn of the same data, burned with the Optiarc drive and tested on the LiteOn drive. You can see that it only reports a maximum of 10 C1 errors and no C2 errors. The quality score is 99%. Same media, but burned on a different drive, at 10x speed.

CD #3 – LiteOn

This CD failed to test properly. Once again, you can see the excessive amounts of C1 and C2 errors. The positions of the C1 and C2 errors seem to match the ones of the previous LiteOn burn.

CD #4 – Optiarc

Here is another burn of the same data of the previous burn. You can see this time it was successful, with only a maximum of 8 C1 errors and a total of 19. Again, the quality score is 99%, which is the same as the other Optiarc-burned media.

Conclusion

As seen from the above tests, it seems the Optiarc AD-7561A drive can successfully burn these discs if we intend to use all of its capacity. Maybe it is because of the slower burning speed, or because the optical laser can burn them better than the one on the LiteOn drive.

The LiteOn drive can only burn these CDs at 16x and 24x, while the Optiarc can only burn them at 10x. I’ll test burning a disc at 16x at a later time and see if it works. If not, I’ll continue using the Optiarc drive, which has proven to burn them correctly and without any issues.

Ritek Mini CD-R Photos and Quality Tests

Ritek Mini CD-R Photos and Quality Tests

Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I received some Pocket/Mini CD-R I purchased on eBay, which were being sold for cheap due to them not being branded or not having their specs listed.

The seller was selling 3 packs of 100 unbranded silver surface Mini CD-R, and since the price was lower compared to other branded media, I decided to buy all 3.

Ritek Pocket CD-R 210MB media - 1

The discs were wrapped with no spindle.

Ritek Pocket CD-R 210MB media - 2

The discs have a silver surface:

Ritek Pocket CD-R 210MB media - 3

Here we can see a single CD-R:

They have the usual light green color on the data side.

The disc loaded fine on my LiteOn iHAS524 drive. I launched ImgBurn which says that the discs are made by Ritek. Their media ID is 97m15s17f:

Pocket CD 97m15s17f Ritek Media 1

They also have a capacity of 210MB or 24 minutes and a maximum write speed of 24x.

Pocket CD 97m15s17f Ritek Media 2

This is the first Mini CD I use with this LiteOn drive, which has the unique LabelTag feature to add labels to the data side. The software detected the disc and a label can be created:

Pocket CD 97m15s17f Ritek Media 3

I burned some of these CD-R with Nero Express, which allows the creation of the label on the same run. I also burned them at its maximum speed of 24x without any failure.

Quality tests

I ran a Disc Quality test using Nero DiscSpeed. Below you can see the results of those tests. I limited the test to the first session of it, as the second one is the label produced with the above software and contains unreadable data. This makes the test fail. By limiting it to the first session, we can get the actual data track quality.

Disc 1

The first test gave us a maximum of 14 C1 errors with a total of 58. The average was 0.11. There were no C2 errors reported. The Quality Score was 98%.

Disc 2

This test was perfect! No C1 or C2 errors were reported, making the Quality Score be 100%.

Disc 3

This disc had a maximum of 9 for the C1 Errors with a total of 13. The average was 0.07. No C2 errors were reported. The Quality Score was 99%.

Disc 4

This final disc I burned had a maximum of 13 C1 errors with a total of 27. No C2 errors were reported. The Quality Score was 98%.

Final Thoughts

These blank CD-R media seems to be good to write small amounts of data. This could be an MP3 album, some photos, or software you’d like to archive. The burns seem to be of good quality and the 24x burning speed is adequate. This sure was a great find on eBay!

The M Way USB External DVD Drive

The M Way USB External DVD Drive

Hi everyone,

In this post, I’ll show you the M Way USB External DVD Drive.

This is a slim External CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive, which is quite interesting, given that most units today are DVD writers. This one just reads and writes CD-R/RW, and reads DVD’s, but can’t write them.

The brand is unknown, too, but it was on sale a few days ago and decided to get one, just to have just in case one of my other drives goes bad. While CD/DVD usage has degraded over time, I do have music CD and I listen to them sometimes, so having a drive is handy to listen to them.

Unboxing

Let’s start with the box:

It is pretty colorful, and has a description of what it contains, as well as its features.

Opening the box we find the drive inside a bag:

We then find that the drive is wrapped in bubble wrap, and that there are some cards inside:

We can see that the faceplate of it is generic, with no CD or the actual DVD logo.

Taking off the bubble wrap, we see the DVD drive:

On the back, there is the USB cable:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - 10

The USB cable contains a USB-A 3.0 plug as well as a USB-C plug. Both can be used depending on the device you wish to use this DVD drive.

The documentation included is a manual, a thank you card, and another card telling to send an email to get a free 32GB USB drive.

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - 12

Once the drive is plugged in the PC, I’m able to open the tray:

The drive is detected as a TEAC DW-224E-C drive:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - 15

The following is a screenshot of the capabilities of the drive as shown in ImgBurn:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - 16

As we can see, it reads most major CD and DVD formats and can write CD-R and CD-RW. Interestingly, it reports that it can’t read double-layer DVD+/-R. I’ll need to test this to confirm if this is in fact true.

I tested the drive with my Music CD collection and it reads and plays them fine. This is really great, and will be my main usage for it.

You can get this External CD-RW/DVD Combo drive on Amazon here.

DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade

DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade

Hi everyone,

On Thursday, I received the DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade Audio CD. This CD was released in 2003 and contains 8 remixes from Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade and it was released exclusively in Japan.

DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade 1
DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade 1

The remixes included in this CD are really worthwhile. Once you listen to this, listening back to the original Main Street Electrical Parade track may be boring, and you’ll want to continuously listen to this CD.

DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade 2
DJ Digs Main Street Electrical Parade 2

The track listing for this CD is the following:

  1. Main Street Electrical Parade. – KONISHI yasuharu
  2. Main Street Electrical Parade. Influence du jazz mix – Sunaga t Experience
  3. Main Street Electrical Parade. Swingle Hoedown mix – YOSHIDA tetsuto
  4. Main Street Electrical Parade. DJ JIN Back-in-the-dayz Remix – DJ JIN (Rhymester)
  5. Main Street Electrical Parade. CAPTAIN YTR mix – YOU THE ROCK & TAKAGI kan
  6. Main Street Electrical Parade. Electro Parade mix – IKEDA masanori (Mansfield)
  7. Main Street Electrical Parade. *cbsmgrfc calypso mix – CUBISMO GRAFICO
  8. Main Street Electrical Parade. yukihiro fukutomi remix – FUKUTOMI yukihiro

Track #4 (Main Street Electrical Parade. DJ JIN Back-in-the-dayz Remix – DJ JIN (Rhymester)) is also featured in another CD called Breaks & Beats Disney, also released exclusively in Japan. That one is another great CD.

I’d love if Disney in the United States release more albums like this, but they seem to be always released in Japan for some reason. That said, you can purchase them at Discogs, where I got this remix CD.

The link to get this CD is the following:

Rip your Audio CD to Opus using my latest opusenc.exe build with Exact Audio Copy

Rip your Audio CD to Opus using my latest opusenc.exe build with Exact Audio Copy

Hi everyone,

Today, I’d like to show you the steps to rip your Audio CD to Opus using Exact Audio Copy and my latest opusenc.exe build.

Why use my opusenc.exe build?

  1. First, it includes the newly added –tracknumber argument which enables you to easily pass the track number to the opus file.
  2. Second, it is not needed to specify the output filename, as it will use the same input name. For Exact Audio Copy, this means that you only need to add the source and not the destination.
  3. Third, it includes all of the latest commits performed to the opus, libopusenc, and opus-tools, so the build is up to date.

You can read more about the new features in opusenc.exe in yesterday’s post.

Please note that my build is only for 64bit systems. If you PC runs a 64-bit version of Windows, then you can proceed with these instructions.

Downloading opusenc.exe

You can download my latest build of opusenc.exe by clicking here. Then, you need to extract opusenc.exe to a location of your choice.

Setting up Exact Audio Copy

1. Launch Exact Audio Copy:

EAC Opus 1

2. Go to the “EAC” menú and select “Compression options”:

EAC Opus 2

3. Now, head to the “External Compression” tab if you’re not there:

EAC Opus 3

4. In “Parameter passing scheme:” select “User Defined Encoder”. Then, in “Use file extension”, write “.opus”:

EAC Opus 4

5. Next, browse for the opusenc.exe executable in the place where you extracted it:

EAC Opus 5

6. Next comes the command-line options. You’ll write the following line:

--music --bitrate 64 --artist "%artist%" --title "%title%" --album "%albumtitle%" --date "%year%" --genre "%genre%" --tracknumber %tracknr1% --comment "COMMENT=%comment%" %hascover%--picture "%coverfile%"%hascover% %source%
EAC Opus 6

7. Finally, press “OK”:

EAC Opus 7

You’re done!

With these easy steps, you’ll now be able to rip and encode your audio CD’s to the Free and Open Source Opus format!

Enjoy!

Ripping my Audio CD music collection to Opus with EAC

Ripping my Audio CD music collection to Opus with EAC

Hi everyone,

Today, I did a quick experiment using a relatively new Open Source Lossy audio format called Opus, by the Xiph.Org foundation. I downloaded the opus-tools package from the official Opus Website and tried a tool called “opusenc.exe”.

Wow! I was really impressed by the sound quality! I like to listen to my audio CD music collection, and I personally have them ripped to the FLAC audio format, which is a Lossless Audio Codec, but being Lossless means it consumes a lot of space, but less than what would use an entire Audio CD if no Lossless compressed codec is used.

Enter Opus. This amazing audio codec provides amazing sound quality that easily beats other lossy formats like MP3 and AAC/M4A. What I did was start at 128kb, and then gradually getting the bitrate down to 64kb. I went ahead and ripped a CD to 48kb/s, but at that bitrate, you could hear artifacts in the audio which aren’t heard at 64kb/s, so I chose 64kb/s to rip my music CDs.

The tool I’m using is called Exact Audio Copy, which looks like this:

To use Opus as our encoder, we need to go to the EAC menú, then to Compression Options…

You’ll see this:

If you’re not in the External Compression tab, click it. Then, we will choose “User Defined Encoder”. We’ll also enter the “.opus” file extension which is the one used for Opus files.

Next, we need to browse for the “opusenc.exe”. If you went above and downloaded the “opus-tools” package, you should be able to extract the “opusenc.exe” executable to a place you desire, and then you should browse for it, or copy and paste the path. If you haven’t downloaded Opus Tools, you can download the latest builds for the 1.3-rc version which is currently in development here: https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,116059.100.html

Next, we need to setup the parameters. Copy and paste this in the “Additional command-line options” field:

--music --bitrate 64 --artist "%artist%" --title "%title%" --album "%albumtitle%" --date "%year%" --genre "%genre%" --comment "COMMENT=%comment%" %hascover%--picture "%coverfile%"%hascover% %source% %dest%

–music tells it to encode lower bitrates for music instead of speech, –bitrate is pretty obvious, you can change the bitrate of the audio file by changing the “64” above to anything you’d like. Feel free to experiment!

The next arguments are related to the file metadata, were if will add the album artist, album name, track title, year, genrge, comments, picture if it has a cover art, and lastly, the source file and the destination file.

Once you’ve setup the encoder, press “Test encoder” to test that everything is ok. If it is, you should see something similar to this:

Now, press OK and then OK again. Now, you’re be able to rip your music collection to Opus!

Once the rip is complete, you can see that the file size is really small!

Impressed? Go experiment with the Opus audio codec right now! You can use foobar2000 to play back the files or use a compatible hardware music player like the Hiby R3