Build a $50 DVD burner

Tired of your slow notebook burner?Want to rip a lot of CDs - as I have in the last week?
Written by Robin Harris, Contributor

Tired of your slow notebook burner? Want to rip a lot of CDs - as I have in the last week? Or maybe you've decided that, really and truly, you are going to get serious about backing up important data?

Adding an external burner - especially for notebooks - is a good option or maybe the only option. If you build one it is economical too. You can build a burner for $50-$60 shopping online.

Show and tell This video is aimed at the lady across the street who - despite owning 2 computers, several digital cameras and a wide format inkjet to support her photography business - wasn't too clear on the difference between disk "memory" and system "memory" - and had max'd out both.

If you've installed a PCI card you'll find this pretty boring. But a lot of folks haven't and this video is aimed at them.

Caveat emptor The video assumes an ATA/IDE drive, not a SATA drive. And case to match, natch. Most cases are IDE or ATA, but it appears that most of the new HD drives are SATA. They don't mix and match.

If you want to play movies this may not work. I'm not sure why, but decoding movies from DVD is more than simply being able to read or write the disk.

Without further adieu Here's the video:

Update: I can't seem to update this post AND keep the YouTube code in. So I've also posted the video at my other blog StorageMojo. Check it out. End update.

Update II: where does the audio plug go? Several folks have asked this question. I've never used the audio and the questions got me wondering why you would. These are computer optical drives: no computer, no controls. If they are hooked up to a computer the FireWire or USB cable carries the audio signals, NOT the case's audio connector. That goes to a headphone jack.

I just cracked my case and tried to get an audio signal out through the headphone jack. Couldn't do it. So unless someone has a good reason for hooking up the audio cable to the headphone jack on the case I'd say it isn't worth the bother.

But if you must:It goes in about half an inch to the left of the big, fat ATA connector. Directly to the left of the ATA connector on my Samsung drive are a group of 6 pins with a plastic connector or jumper connecting two of the pins. Do not remove the jumper or attempt to plug the flat audio connector into the other pins. Unlike the other connectors the audio connector is not keyed. You can see the narrow horizontal slot - on the Samsung - it goes in. I *assume* it is similar on other brands, but like I said I don't think it buys you anything. End update II.

Comments welcome. Yes, I was playing with my new editing software, which enabled the opening credits. I also mention LightScribe, a handy way to label a few DVDs and CDs without the bother of running them through an inkjet.

Hey, when will laser printers start printing on optical media?

Update: I gave the post a quick edit this morning that tightened things up.

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