Burning Choices

I'm burning with desire. I'm burning Perlman and Pearl Jam, Miles, Little Feat, Nine-Inch Nails, and Collins - both Judy and Phil. I'm also burning with TDK, Harman Kardon, Roxio, Sound Forge, and Nero.

Fortunately, my insurance agent understands that my passion for burning refers to the pinpoint beam of a laser changing the reflectivity of a witch's brew of chemicals embedded in the polycarbonate disc commonly known as a recordable CD. Once ignited by the lust for burning CDs, it didn't take me long to get rid of my many cassette decks and boxes of blank tapes.

I burn about a hundred CD-Rs a month on PCs at home and at the radio station I work for. I even record my radio show to a hard drive and burn it to CD for broadcast. I record live concerts using a stand-alone component deck, transfer the audio from the CD-Rs to my hard drive, then extensively edit the recordings and "sweeten" them by adjusting the levels and tonal balance, sometimes adding a touch of reverb, prior to burning. Recording CDs has become so second nature for me that it's hard to believe I haven't always done it.

Drive, He Said

After teasing us for almost a decade with the promise of recordable CDs, a handful of manufacturers introduced the first home decks in the early 1990s. They cost $7,000 or so and recorded on $30 non eras able discs. Expensive computer drives appeared soon thereafter. Today, stand-alone CD recorders sell for as little as $300, write-once CD-R discs for about a dollar, and re writ able CD-RW discs for about $2. Com put er drives and discs cost about half as much.