Thanks to the slow-poke way standards for DVD drives were adopted and some still-evident confusion, most home computers still don't include a credible, easy-to-use DVD burner.
Sony, cognizant of this, has come up with a really good line of internal and external DVD burners that will create both plus and minus format discs. The external DRX-530UL drive ($250)will write a DVD+ or -R disc rated for 8X-speed burning in less than 11 minutes. It burns the DVD+RWs at 4X speed and DVD-RWs at 2X.
Although an internal drive keeps desktop clutter to a minimum, I like the external DVD writer because I can move it between my desktop computers and laptop, none of which have DVD burners. You can connect the external to your computer through a Universal Serial Bus 1.1 or 2.0 port or IEEE 1394 FireWire port.
The dual format DVD drive will even handle 40X CD-R and 24X CD-RW burning, so that you don't need to hunt down a CD burner to add to a slightly older computer. It can be attached via USB port cables.
The software bundled with the drive enables you to edit both the audio and video that you want to burn to DVD or CD. You get a suite of programs including Sonic RecordNow for burning CDs and DVDs; Sonic DLA, a packet-writing program so you can drag and drop or delete files on RW versions of DVDs and CDs; CyberLink Power DVD so you can watch DVDs and Video CDs; and MusicMatch Jukebox to organize and play your digital music.
You'll need at least a 400 Mhz Pentium II PC with 64 megabytes of RAM and a gigabyte of hard disk space Windows 2000 or XP; although Sony recommends an 800 Mhz Pentium III for real-time burning.
Information: 800-352-7669 or www.sonyburners.com.