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Panasonic boosts DVD-RAM capacity

The company introduces a new higher-capacity rewritable DVD drive that can store up to 9.6 GB of data on a single, double-sided disc.

Panasonic today introduced a new higher-capacity rewritable DVD drive.

Panasonic announced the availability of its LF-D201U DVD-RAM drive. Priced at $549, the drive can store up to 9.6 GB of data on a single, double-sided disc, according to the company.

Rewritable DVD drives, although available as an option in some Apple and Windows-based computers, have not taken off as quickly as rewritable CD drives. CD-RW media cost much less than rewritable DVD discs, and digital music has driven the adoption of inexpensive recordable CDs.

However, just like the widespread availability of digital music online, the swapping of movies and video games seems to be just around the corner. These larger files may spur some PC users and technology aficionados to upgrade from CD-RW to DVD-RAM.

DVD discs can store up to 4,000 color digital images and 2 hours of digital video, according to Panasonic, which is targeting both home and business users.

The LF-D201U accepts three types of DVD-RAM and DVD-R discs, which only allows one-time recording. It can also read DVD-ROM and DVD video discs, plus conventional CDs and CD-ROMs.

The drive works with Windows, Macintosh, and Unix systems.