LightScribe : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary
I have left this tombstone entry for historical interest.
Was a combination of a special DVD (Digital Video Disc) burner, special
CD (Compact Disc) blank discs and free software
that allow you to etch black and white photographs or images on the back of
DVDs (Digital Video Discs)
to label them. You flip the DVD over and the laser etches the design in the special
light sensitive coating. You can get them in a number of different background
- The labels look professional, not something scribbled with a Sharpie permanent
- The advantages over paper labels are they can’t come off and gum up the
mechanism and they have no thickness or weight to interfere with the
- The process puts no mechanical or chemical stress on the
DVD which could
interfere with the data recording.
- If you make backup copies of your master software disks onto LightScribe
CD s, you can engrave
the enabling keys onto the discs where they cannot get lost and in clearly
readable type. Hand-written keys can sometimes later be hard to decipher and the
originals are easily lost.
- The DVD is very unlikely to get scratched in the process,
unlike schemes that put the DVD
through an inkjet printer.
- LightScribe in monochrome, unlike an inkjet printer which ran print labels is
full colour. You buy the LightScripe blanks in the background colour you like, but
the foreground is always black.
- The etching process is quite slow. It can take 45
minutes to etch the entire CD
surface or 15 minutes just to do a title band. Unlike a
printer, there is just only one print nozzle —
- The colour of the surface is not encoded. You must tell the software what it
- The blanks cost twice as much as ordinary.
- The labelling software comes with only a few patterns. You must manually
download and install many small free packs to get the entire set.
- If you get a printer with a DVD
holder, you can print full colour DVD
labels in a
few seconds and without having to buy expensive LightScribe blanks.
- It roughly doubles the cost of the drive.
If you are labelling a set of CDs, particularly a set of audio CDs, label them so you
can read the disc number no matter how the CD is oriented, like the CD on the left.
Lightscribe cannot do red, just shades of grey.
What can you do instead? Get an inkjet printer with a device to hold
CD/DVDs (Compact Disc/Digital Video Discs)
to print on them in full colour. You need special printable blanks.