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Computer Connected Disc Duplicator Buyer's Guide

Finding the Right Duplicator to Copy CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs

There are many reasons to use a disc duplicator. Your reasons to copy discs might include:

  • disc duplication services are part of your business
  • to distribute marketing material or other information
  • to share music, video and photos with friends and family

  • There is a disc duplicator that meets your budget and needs. Disc duplicators come in many varieties. In this buyer's guide we will help you determine if a Computer-Connected Disc Duplicator is the best choice for you.

    How Computer-Connected Disc Duplicators Work

    A computer-connected duplicator requires an available computer to control the duplication process. Here are some things to consider:

  • If the computer you plan to connect to your disc duplicator is an older computer that does not have a lot of computing power, you will need to dedicate this computer to controlling your duplicator.
  • If you have a newer computer with lots of computing power, you could use this computer for other applications in addition to controlling your duplicator, but it will affect the performance of the system and other applications.
  • If it is not convenient for you to dedicate a computer, or part of a computer's resources, to controlling a disc duplicator, you will want to select a standalone duplicator. These duplicators do not require a computer connection.

  • Computer-connected disc duplicators are an efficient way to make multiple disc copies from a source. Your source may be

  • Data that is read from a disc by an optical drive in your computer
  • Data that is read from a disc by an optical drive in your duplicator
  • Data from a hard drive in your computer or other external drive

  • The source data is transferred via USB connection to the disc duplicator and written to blank discs in the duplicator's target drives. Your duplicator will have from two to many target drives.

    Disc Duplication Software

    Software must be loaded to the computer used with your computer-controlled disc duplicator to enable the duplication process. There are a variety of applications available that will provide the necessary functionality. Typically, the required software is provided with the computer-connected disc duplicator at purchase to ensure trouble-free integration and operation.

    You will need software that is compatible with your computer (PC or Mac) and you will want to make sure your computer meets the software's minimum system requirements.

    Some software has additional features that enhance the duplication process or may improve duplication quality. For example:
  • Your software may facilitate the compilation and organization of audio, video or photo files to create custom discs.
  • It may allow you to adjust write speeds to reduce home playback issues on audio CDs or DVDs.
  • Some software will allow you to test write your source to a disc and to verify error free duplication.

  • Choosing the Computer-Connected Disc Duplicator That Meets Your Needs

    Computer-connected disc duplicators come in many versions. Here is an overview of issues to consider that will help you narrow your selection:

    1.  What types of discs will you duplicate?

    If you typically copy CDs or DVDs and do not copy Blu-ray discs, then you can choose from a wide range of DVD/CD Duplicators. These duplicators are generally less expensive than comparable duplicators that also have the capacity to copy Blu-ray discs, but you are limited to making DVD and CD copies only.

    If you currently duplicate Blu-ray discs or think you will in the future, you will want to invest in a duplicator that also has the capacity to duplicate Blu-ray discs: a Blu-ray/DVD/CD duplicator.

    2.  How many discs do you typically duplicate at a time?

    The way you answer this question will help you determine how many target drives you need on your duplicator. Aleratec offers computer-connected disc duplicators with from two to four target drives, as well as robotic duplicators which can duplicate up to 100 discs unattended.

    It is not necessary to have the number of drives match the number of copies you are going to make. If you need to make more copies than you have available target drives, you can reload and repeat the duplication process as many times as necessary. To avoid repeated reloading for large jobs, you should consider a robotic duplicator.

    Available Options for Faster Disc Duplication

    The number of target drives on your duplicator—which determines the number of discs you can duplicate at one time—will be the primary factor determining how quickly you can complete your project.

    However, there are a number of other components that can impact duplication speed. Faster components are generally more expensive so weigh your need for speed against your total budget. Here are the additional factors to look at:

  • Drive speed of the duplicator
  • Type of discs you are duplicating. Generally speaking, CDs can be duplicated more rapidly than DVDs.
  • Write speed of the discs that will become your duplicates.
  • Quality of discs you are using. Using lower-quality discs can mean more duplication errors which will make it necessary to duplicate additional discs.

  • Final Considerations

    As with any high technology product, it's important to consider the reputation and qualifications of the manufacturer when choosing your computer-connected disc duplicator.

    It's best to choose a brand that has a history of quality and credibility.

    You want to be sure that the company offers adequate support and warranties on its products.

    If you carefully consider your needs and available features, it will be a breeze to select the Computer-Connected Disc Duplicator that's right for you.

    You're on your way to creating high-quality discs for all your duplication needs.

    By Perry Solomon
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