Filed under: OS X
Lightscribe CD and DVD burners are neat. They can print a label on specially coated discs with the same laser they use to burn your data. There are a couple significant drawbacks, though–first, expect each disc to take about half an hour to create at present, although future firmware updates may cut that time down. And second, expect to pay twice as much for special Lightscribe media.
That said, this is a pretty nice option if you don’t need to create custom-printed discs more than once in a while, but want them to look nice when you do. If you have a Mac, though:
1. You’ll want to be sure and buy a LaCie brand burner, because they’re the only ones at present with OS X Lightscribe software.
2. You’ll need a template to create your own labels. That way, if you’ve got Photoshop, you don’t need to wrestle with LaCie’s included labelling program. Here’s mine; it’s not perfectly accurate, but it works for me. The Lightscribe process seems to have a pretty decent resolution, so I make my labels 300dpi, just as if they were going to an ordinary printer.
3. You’ll want to buy DVD-R Lightscribe media, not DVD+R. As the older format in this unwelcome format war, DVD-R still has a slight edge in standalone DVD player compatibility. And it’s even more important for Mac users, because older Mac DVD drives won’t read DVD+R. Unfortunately, Lightscribe DVD-Rs seem to be a bit rare. The only ones I can find at present are these HP brand 10-packs from CompUSA. At about US$2/disk, they’re not exactly a bargain.