What is a good external optical drive for ripping and burning CD's?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by mr.jones, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. mr.jones

    mr.jones AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I just got a new Dell Latitude laptop with Windows 10 which does not have an optical drive so I am in the market for an external one and need some help with my purchase.

    What should I look for in an external drive? I have a large CD collection that I want to rip and store on the hard drive so I want something that will do the job quickly and easily. I also want the ability to burn CD's. I would like something that is plug and play as I am not that computer savvy and do not want a device that that requires a lot of software downloads. Also should I restrict my search to USB 3 because it is faster?

    Amazon has literally dozens of these priced from $20 to $100. The specifications on most are pretty technical so I could use some help.Any suggestions on a good reasonably priced one would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. John James

    John James "Bob's your uncle" (Stolen) Subscriber

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  3. KrisM

    KrisM Addicted Member

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    I went through this a few years ago. The drive in my laptop started to get really clunky, especially with EAC.

    I ended up buying one of those small drives that doesn't require a plug-in for power, it has two USB connections. It worked, but was kinda slow with ripping via EAC.
    I ended up going home for a visit and forgot to bring it along. I ripped a couple of discs from my dad's collection using his LG drive that had a plug-in for power. Holy smokes was it faster! I'm not sure if the external power supply was the difference, but I won't be going back to the other style.
    It's not this exact one, but looks similar:

    https://www.staples.com/LG-GE24NU40...r-With-M-Disc-Support-Black/product_IM1QZ8331

    Not sure if it'll have plug and play software, though.
    I'd say even if it does, skip it and find software that works for you. Lots of free(or almost) software out there for these tasks.
     
  4. Frank Sol

    Frank Sol Addicted Member

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  5. mr.jones

    mr.jones AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    A lot of the ones I see tout how slim and portable they are which is not what I am looking for as I intend on using it at home. Plug in power is OK with me if it means faster. Not sure if there is a connection between power supply and speed..
     
  6. KrisM

    KrisM Addicted Member

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    Yeah, small sample size for me. A cheap slim one and then the LG.
    I forget the exact numbers, but the slim one would take over 10 minutes for a rip, the LG something like 2-4. And that's using EAC with pretty high accuracy settings, and having it convert the files to FLAC.
     
  7. Donal64

    Donal64 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've used Lacie drives for a lot of years and have been very satisfied. They require a power supply and are not real portable. I don't even know if the type of Lacie drives that I use are still sold new, may need to check out ebay. If you go this route, you might want to verify does the drive support dual layer. Here's a bay link. http://www.ebay.com/itm/LaCie-16X-D...firewire-USB-2-0-w-power-supply-/122563029653. And here's a pic of my setup. I recently converted my collection of about 1700 CDs to apple lossless, no problem. I love these things.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  8. mr.jones

    mr.jones AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for the link! I do not care if it is portable just looking for speed and ease of use. Can you please explain what you mean by "If you go this route, you might want to verify does the drive support dual layer.".

    Can anyone tell me how critical the interconnect is to speed? For ripping CD's Is USB 3.0 better than USB 2.0, is fire-wire better and faster? Does it even make much of a difference or is there other factors to consider for speed.

    Thanks!
     
  9. KrisM

    KrisM Addicted Member

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    He's probably talking about dual layer DVDs.

    I'd be curious about your speed question, too.
    I know for a fact my laptop is USB2, and I'm pretty sure my LG drive is as well. I'm not sure how much faster it can get with ripping, to be honest. I know transferring files via USB3 with our newer laptop is way faster than the old one, but I don't know if that would apply to ripping an actual disc. I haven't hooked this drive to the new laptop.
    I'm no computer guy, but I'm not sure if Firewire is still a thing with portable drives?
     
  10. Donal64

    Donal64 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Some versions of this drive, I'm thinking the earlier ones, did not support dual layer. With CDs , I guess it doesn't matter, but with DVD movies and such, it might.
     
  11. rwartner

    rwartner Super Member

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    If it is possible I would install an internal DVD drive. What is the model number of the laptop? Maybe it is possible to retrofit it. It would need the space and slot on the side to install it. I would consider returning it for exchange if possible.

    I've had one external USB DVD drive, it was a pain. That is why I recommend if you are buying a new computer make sure it has an internal DVD.

    Maybe they are better now. USB 3.0 may be theoretically faster, the DVD drive would have to have the capability to use it. You need to examine the specs and get the fastest you can afford. I would go to Best Buy and Walmart and check out what they have.
     
  12. Donal64

    Donal64 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The Lacie drives I mention, if not totally plug and play, are pretty close, as I recall. I don't know how fast you are looking for, but seems like it was taking 2-4 minutes per CD when I was converting mine to Apple Lossless. I used iTunes to convert.
     
  13. PianotunerNJ

    PianotunerNJ Active Member

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  14. Frank Sol

    Frank Sol Addicted Member

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    that BluRay one looks nice and good specs
     
  15. Redikilowatt

    Redikilowatt Audio Understudy Subscriber

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    I would look for fastest input that matches the highest speed of your computers. I purchased my last backup drive with ports for Thunderbolt, Firewire, and USB. Versions are always changing, but last I checked the highest speed cables were Thunderbolt, USB3, Firewire 2, then USB2.

    Roger
     
  16. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

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    Just caught this thread. Trying out the EAC software. Thanks.
     
  17. KrisM

    KrisM Addicted Member

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    EAC is great. TONS of settings though.
    If you get lost there are tutorials out there. I think I used one from hydrogen audio(?).
     
  18. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

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    Thanks will remember that.
     
  19. mr.jones

    mr.jones AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I ordered the LG GE24NU40 from Amazon. The reviews were good and supposedly it is actually an internal drive inside an external case, which is why it needs a separate power supply that plugs into a wall outlet. From what I read the 3.0 USB and additional megabytes of buffering only marginally add to the read and write speed. I don't need Blu-Ray so was able to pick this one up pretty cheap as many of the newer Blu-Ray ones are are more spendy. This one was refurbished with a 90 day warranty for $21.50

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C4401UO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
  20. lini

    lini just me...

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    mr.j: No worries, USB 2.0 ("hi-speed") ist still good enough for most optical drive purposes. I.e., in practice you can reckon good USB 2.0 implementations to be good for ca. 40 MByte/s. Single speed CD only is ca. 150 kByte/s, fastest drives are/were 48 to 52 x speed -> absolutely no problem. Similar for DVD: single speed is ca. 1.4 MByte/s, fastest drives are 24 x speed -> still no problem, but already quite a bit closer to the limit. Whereas BRD is a bit of a problem, 'cause that's already ca. 4.5 MByte/s for single speed, so we can expect 8 x speed to be about the maximum in combination with USB 2.0, while the fastest drives currently are 16 x speed.

    Personally I simply bought two comparatively priceworthy (ca. 25 Euro each) external 5.25 drive cases with USB 2.0 <-> IDE/SATA about 2 1/2 years ago, so I can turn random internal CD/DVD/BRD drives into external ones.

    Greetings from Munich!

    Manfred / lini
     

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