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LightScribe software for optical disc labels finally updated

Mel Martin

Optical discs... Apple hates them, but lots of people still use them. Blu-ray has been a relatively slow starter in the computer world and we will never see that technology in an Apple product. LightScribe software has been around since 2004 when HP brought it to market. If you had a LightScribe-compatible disc burner, you could use a LightScribe-branded CD or DVD and create a label using the laser in the CD burner. It could be plain text, or even etched photographs on the label. It was a great system, but when Apple updated to a new version of Mac OS X the LightScribe software tended to fail, and you were back to using an ink marker or a stick-on label.

Finally, the LightScribe system software has a Mountain Lion-friendly update. The LightScribe free applications are running again, and so are some of the third-party apps I've tested. The LightScribe free apps give you pretty basic disc labels, but Roxio Toast and apps like Disc Cover 3 (now on sale for US$14.99 through the Mac app store) can output some very detailed and attractive discs.

If you already have a LightScribe-enabled disc burner, rejoice. If you don't have one, it's dead easy to burn permanent labels on your optical discs. LightScribe-enabled DVD burners are available from Samsung, LG, LaCie and others. Other World Computing keeps a good stock of LightScribe hardware and blank discs.

Hopefully, HP will do a better job of keeping its software up to date, because optical discs are not dead, and Apple's OS X Mavericks is just around the corner. We can't be sure HP will stay committed to LightScribe forever. Updates may remain spotty on both the Mac and Windows side, but the LightScribe software is working now, so grab it if you like LightScribe and its easy labeling features.

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