Rewriteable CD drives drop in cost

Rewriteable CD storage technology gets another boost with a comparatively low-priced entry from Smart and Friendly.

Paul Festa
Paul Festa Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Paul Festa
covers browser development and Web standards.
Rewriteable CD storage technology got another boost today with a comparatively low-priced entry from
Smart and Friendly.

The Chatworth, California-based company announced its CD-RW 226 Plus, a double-speed rewriteable CD (or CD-RW) drive with 6X read capabilities and a SCSI-2 host adapter, used for connecting peripheral devices to a PC. Smart and Friendly's drive joins products from Yamaha, Hewlett-Packard, and others.

CD-RW resembles the traditional CD-ROM with the important exception that the user can not only write on it but rewrite on it up to 1,000 times. CD-RW is touted by some as an optical storage product that could be an alternative to long-anticipated rewriteable DVD technology.

The Smart and Friendly drive comes with numerous bundled software titles. These include Adaptec's CD Creator CD recording software; Smart and Friendly's CDR Disc Jockey for compiling audio tracks; Macromedia's Backstage Designer for creating Web pages; and MediaPath's MediaAgent, a network access and management solution.

The internal version of the drive will sell for about $400 and the external drive for about $500. The product will ship this month.