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ATPM 4.07
July 1998



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Review: DirectCD 1.0.2

by Michael Tsai,


DirectCD Logo

Product Information
Published by: Adaptec
Street Price: $70

System Requirements
<> to make sure your CD-R or CD-RW drive is supported.

With prices now less than $400, CD-Recordable (CD-R) and CD-ReWritable (CD-RW) drives are increasingly affordable--and popular. Dantz's Retrospect is great for backing up to CDs, and Adaptec's Toast is excellent for audio CDs and CD mastering. However, neither makes using recordable CDs as simple as working with other removable media, such as floppies and Zip cartridges.

With Adaptec's DirectCD, all this changes. DirectCD lets you work with CD-R/RW disks right from the Mac desktop. When you insert a blank CD-R/RW into your drive, DirectCD brings up the standard Macintosh dialog asking if you want to initialize the disk. After initializing it in DirectCD format, you can copy files or folders to the CD, just as with any other Macintosh disk. When Toast writes to a CD, it takes over your machine, and when you're through, the added files show up as a separate volume on the desktop. This is because Toast writes in sessions. DirectCD, in contrast, can write in packets. Because DirectCD uses packet writing, it lets you add, move, and modify files on a single logical volume. If you're using Mac OS 8 or Connectix SpeedDoubler, you can copy files to the CD in the background.

DirectCD even lets you delete files from CD-R/RWs. The catch is that since the media is write-once, the file isn't actually deleted, it just becomes unavailable to Mac OS. This also means that deleting a file does not free up disk space, as with normal Mac disks--even if you have a CD-RW. You can, however, completely erase a CD-RW disk to reclaim all the space, but not from within DirectCD.

Any Macintosh or Windows machine with DirectCD and a supported CD-R/RW drive can read and write to DirectCD-formatted disks. To make a disk readable on machines without DirectCD, you use the DirectCD control panel to "close" the disk. Once closed, a disk can no longer be modified, but it can be read by any Mac or PC that can read UDF 1.5 disks. At present, no Macs support this format, but Adaptec has a free UDF 1.5 Volume Access extension on its Web site. Apple will probably include UDF 1.5 support directly in Mac OS 8.5 (be released this fall).

DirectCD is a stable and elegant piece of software that will be useful for anyone with a recordable or rewritable CD drive. I highly recommend it.

Copyright © 1998 Michael Tsai, <>. Reviewing in ATPMis open to anyone. If you're interested, write to us at <>.Blue Apple

Reader Comments (8)

Degaulle · July 17, 2002 - 22:38 EST #1
Hello! I've got a problem. How and with which software can I make DVD-RWs rewrite, like CD-RW? Help me. Thanks.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 18, 2002 - 21:44 EST #2
Degaulle - assuming you have a Superdrive in your Mac, the drive is capable of rewriting DVD-RW discs, but I read somewhere that there's a trick to it. I'm at a loss to remember where, and perhaps someone can find info on it--but it said that if you're using Apple's Discburner, you have to trick the computer into thinking it's preparing to burn to regular DVD-R media by putting a DVD-R in the drive at first and, at a specific point before burning, eject the blank DVD-R and replace it with the DVD-RW. Perhaps this is no longer the case in the latest versions of OS X, and something like Toast may can write and rewrite DVD-RWs without the red tape.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 19, 2002 - 00:48 EST #3
I was just informed of an xlr8yourmac page that discusses DVD-RWs.
James Kritzman · December 23, 2002 - 13:03 EST #4
Help! I am trying to recover data from CDs created with Adaptec DirectCD 1.0.2 (the CD sessions were not closed). My old software was corrupt and I loaded version 1.0.4 on LaCie's advice. It will not recognize the open volumes. Does anyone know where I can locate Adaptec DirectCD 1.0.2 for Mac? Roxio is unable to provide any assistance.
anonymous · February 10, 2003 - 19:52 EST #5
If you have a disc created with DirectCD on a Mac, can you operate similarly with InCD on a PC?
anonymous · February 15, 2003 - 21:57 EST #6
If I format CD-RWs with DirectCD, I know that I lose some space to burn and only get a bit over 500MB. But, can I format the CD-RW fully to not only get the full 650 MB back, but to get rid of the DirectCD software in the disc? Please help. Thanks.
Stefanie · March 27, 2005 - 03:25 EST #7
I have burned a cd-rw with some music and would like to rewrite it, but it is say that I do not have certain privelges to rewrite? How do I fix this? I am using a powerbook
ATPM Staff · March 27, 2005 - 12:20 EST #8
Stefanie - you must erase it first.

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