Is lightscribe a good idea or is it justa gimmick?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by redsquash, May 20, 2008.

  1. redsquash macrumors member

    May 6, 2008
    Is lighrscribe a good idea or is it justa gimmick?
    Does it fade.

    Is there a downside?

    How long does it take to burn,5 minutes or 50 minutes, I have no idea.
    If a simple design is used does that make creation a lot shorter than a complex design............what time frame are we looking at?
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Wikipedia has some info about how lightscribe works, no idea how long it takes to burn though.
  3. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    The current version isn't very cool anymore.

    It's still black on a yellowish background. It's still very slow. As I understand it, closer to 50 minutes than 5 since it takes multiple passes to get a darker and darker image burned on the top surface.

    There are new versions in the pipeline that will be much faster and support more colors. But they've been coming "real soon now" for years.

    But your best bet is to just find good media, with good labels that stay on after a lot of uses, or even get one of the inkjet printers that can print right onto a CD itself and the kind of media that supports it.
  4. asme macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2008
  5. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    It's not a software thing; it has to be built hardware into the drive; so if you can find a slot-loading LightScribe drive it will work; as with the peformance and quality, no it doesn't fade and it doesn't look too bad, but it's slow and you're better off buying a label printer and labeling your discs.
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Personally I like Lightscribe.

    It looks very professional if done right. It is easy to use. Burn the label side with your label content. Flip the disk over and burn the data side.

    It does take a while to burn. Mine usually take about 30 minutes. I have an external Lightscribe drive. Light gray scale pictures and images do not show up well.
  7. big_malk macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2005
    I have a LightScribe drive in my Mac Pro.
    It takes a lot longer to label than I thought it would, so I usually just print a label for the disc unless it's and audio CD I'm making for someone else, then I use LightScribe. Audio CDs are usually taken in and out and more ill-treated than DVDs I'd guess, so it'd be more likely that the label could come off and cause problems. Not an issue with LightScribe.

    I think LightScribe would be handy as hell in a laptop, if your not near a printer (if it was quicker). But I don't know if you can put a LS drive in a MBP, it would void your warranty I'm sure, but it might work?
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Is there software do LS on the Mac?
  9. big_malk macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2005
    You can download the software I use here, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was better software somewhere else.
  10. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I like the idea of lightscribe but it could definitely use some work. If you do anything other then text labels it takes a long time. Not to mention the disks are still pricey.
  11. MacDD macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2008

    I know I sound like a broken CD but I really am not a fan of LightScribe. It just seems like it is a stop gap method to label discs and not a true solution. I suppose it's ok if you make one label a year but if you make disc labels for work or are a collector of any media you need a better way. I use my Dymo DiscPainter for work because it allows me to design and print color labels in just a minute. My time is worth too much to waste a half hour every time I need a disc label.
  12. danceheidi1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2008
    Does DiscPainter use inkjet? I can't use anything that will bleed or smudge.
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Like others here, I like the idea of LightScribe, but the speed issue is a snag. Inkjet supplies usually aren't the best cost wise, but:

    How long does the ink cartridge typically last for you on your Dymo DiskPainter?

  14. MacDD macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2008
    The DiscPainter is an inkjet printer designed to print only discs. I use Imation Auqa guard printable discs which do not smudge or bleed. The DiscPainter labeled discs are also ok to touch almost immediately.
  15. MacDD macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2008
    How long does DicPainter ink cart last

    I usually use my DiscPainter on the highest quality setting (1200dpi) so that means I use up more ink than if I set it to 600 dpi. That said, I consistently get 125-150 disc labels per ink cartridge. At the lesser setting you can expect closer to 200. The maker (Dymo) states in their literature that you should get 100 labels per cart but I think they are just being conservative with their claim.
    BTW time wise, the DiscPainter prints at high in 3 minutes and 1 minute at regular quality.
  16. Forced Perfect macrumors 6502

    Forced Perfect

    Jul 2, 2004
    Toronto, Canada.
    I have a LightScribe LG burner in my G4 MDD.

    "Printing" takes ~16 minutes on highest quality. Although I usually "print" twice to make the blacks, blacker.

    I have dual optical drives, so I just burn in one and print in the other at the same time.

    Discs cost more. But not much more. They won't be as good quality media, however. They tend to use "good" but not "awesome" quality discs. I hear Pioneer make the best ones. I haven't tried.

    As I hinted at before, you can "print" more than once to a disc. It will make it more contrasty each time and you can even add stuff that wasn't there. You can't erase.

    I've found if you make an image with a lot of detail or solid blacks, there will be a fine coating of dust on the disc (presumably material literally does burn off while writing). Simple images and text don't seem to produce much. I wipe it off before doing a second print. I have no idea if this impacts either drive or computer life.

    Overall I'd say it's a pretty neat thing to have. I spent ~$65 for a drive + discs. People are usually impressed when they see them since they're not your usual sticker labels.
  17. MacDD macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2008
    Interesting observation

    Forced Perfect said:
    "I've found if you make an image with a lot of detail or solid blacks, there will be a fine coating of dust on the disc (presumably material literally does burn off while writing). Simple images and text don't seem to produce much. I wipe it off before doing a second print. I have no idea if this impacts either drive or computer life."

    Very interesting observation Forced Perfect! I have never heard of that before but it truly makes sense. I now wonder if that dust could affect the operation of the optics or other functions of the disc drive.
    It'll stick to my DiscPainter because the only thing it leaves on the disc is ink.
  18. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    Lightscribe - my personal experience

    I apologize for bumping very old thread, but I would like to share my personal experience
    of Lightscribe technology with fellow MacRumors members, and hope it would be appreciated

    While purchasing the lightscribe discs, please make sure that:
    1) Their origin country is not India (most lightscribe discs produced there suck)
    Good lightscribe discs are made in Taiwan. Do not know about other countries yet
    2) They are manufactured by famous reputable company, e.g.: TDK, SmartTrack, Verbatim

    There are a lot of detailed FAQs at Lightscribe website, with many helpful answers
    (including the explanation of whitish powder - it is not harmful, but do not eat :D )
    Getting started and Advanced information

    After installing Lightscribe System Software for Mac, do not forget to enhance the contrast
    with a terminal command, for better quality:
    For burning software, I prefer Disc Cover, but DiscLabel is good as well. Use high-contrast images;
    if you are going to burn a color image, check that its appearance in black and white would be nice.

    With best settings, it takes about 21 minutes to burn a large label. Pretty long, but the resulting quality is
    truly professional-grade! We use Lightscribe discs a lot for promotional materials of our IT company, and sometimes receive questions from customers about from where we order these discs. They are always surprised when we tell that we make these discs by ourselves and without any special equipment -
    just with $30 disc drive! :)

    Personally, I am very excited about lightscribe technology, especially because after prices went down,
    these discs cost almost the same as without lightscribe. I do not see any reasons why not choose them.
    These gold color discs look good even if you do not burn a label. I like to use it myself from time to time,
    for presents to friends and other different occasions. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask ;)
  19. TheAppleFairy macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2013
    The Clinton Archipelago unfortunately
    Nice update, I used lightscribe many years ago when it first came out. I agree it makes some nice looking disc, but I later bought an Epson Artisan 800 printer that prints directly on the disc. The quality is amazing, I think those are the two best options for people who want to professionally label their disc.

    Before lightscribe and printing directly on disc I did several backups and home movies on DVD's using stick on labels (ones that cover the entire DVD) that was a bad move. The DVD's warped and it was extremely hard to recover anything from the DVD's that had labels. Some I got nothing from, others partial data.

    I had to remove the label and flatten the disc before I could recover data.

  20. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2009
    I agree, I used to think it was cool but it does take a long time and, yes, it does fade.

    I switched over to an Epson printer (Artisan 725) that prints on discs and it is great, color printing and very fast. Downside is it will run/streak if gets wet.
  21. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    It seems that Decrepit's post was a review of previous lightscribe version, because it was posted at 2008.
    Personally, I never saw Lightscribe label fading, probably because of latest version and quality media (e.g. Verbatim)

    I agree with you that ink print could be more attractive than Lightscribe, because it has colors.
    The problem is the need to buy a printer and then to constantly buy the ink to continue printing.
    Color printing ink could be expensive (but there are ways to get cheap and good unofficial ink)

    Also, the world is currently shifting to color laser printers. Just a few years before,
    they were so damn expensive that I could not even think of buying one!
    However, today it is possible to get an excellent color laser printer for under $200.
    Laser printers do not have the disadvantages of ink printers, so if I would be switching
    to color label printing in the future, color laser printer would be my choice
  22. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2009
    Yes, the lightscribe labels that are fading are several years old; I truly don't know about the newer process because I switched to inkjet printing a few years ago (mostly got tired of the monochrome black on gold LS labels and the long amount of time to produce a label).

    Neither I nor the OP want to print labels to stick on CD/DVD (extremely bad idea); is there a color laser printer available that prints directly on CD/DVDs?
  23. AppleMacFinder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2009
    I believe that lightscribe labels are fading after time passes because discs are often stored in disc pockets, and
    most popular cheap disc pockets are made of PVC, which has a slow chemical reaction with lightscribe layer.
    Polypropylene disc pockets should be used instead of PVC.

    About direct print function: probably there is such a printer, but I doubt it would be as affordable :(
    Could not find it in the range of models which are aimed on home / micro office usage (by price)
  24. Grohowiak macrumors regular


    Nov 14, 2012
    My friend uses it all the time to label his DVDs and to be honest it looks pretty nice and clean.

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