(click thumbnail)Fast FactsApplications: Studio, broadcast, post production
Key Features: DVD and CD duplication; automated operation; application software; Windows XP
Contact: Disc Makers at 866-707-0012, www.discmakers.com.While cranking out a couple of CDs or DVDs at a time doesn't take that much time, it quickly becomes too time consuming as the numbers begin to grow. One at a time, 30 or 40 CDs feels like a lifetime. Thankfully, Disc Makers released the Pico which is a reasonably priced solution to this dilemma. The Pico is a single-drive automated CD/DVD duplicator with 16X DVD and 48X CD duplication at a cost of just under $700.
The visually attractive Pico would look right at home on an Intel assembly line if it were slightly larger. Measuring just 7.1 inches by 15.75 inches and weighing only 6.6 pounds the unit is extremely compact and lightweight. The device has a 25-disc capacity and includes audio, CD data, and DVD data editing software.
The Pico, which is built around a 16x DVD-R/48X CD-R duplication drive, has the ability to duplicate six full DVDs or 12 full CDs in an hour while you continue to work. The Pico interfaces with PC-compatible computers that meet the following minimum system requirements: Windows XP, USB 2.0, Pentium III 500 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 9 GB free disk space, 800 x 600 display with 16-bit color, and a CD/DVD drive for software installation. [Mac-compatibility will be available by summer].
The unit is compatible with every kind of disc media (including 3-inch discs and CardDiscs with the included adapter) and it includes 100 Disc Makers Ultra 52X CD-Rs or 50 16X DVD-Rs or DVD+Rs. The Picos are networkable though I could not test this because I don't have network in my studio (yet). The Pico also has a one-year bumper-to-bumper warranty that includes one-year parts and labor and free technical support. Disk Makers also includes discounted blank media pricing for life (I'm not sure if that's life of the Pico or life of the user but either way it seems like a good deal).
I initially installed the Pico drivers and the editing software on a Sony PCG-V505DC1P laptop and then on an Alienware MJ-12 7500a. In both instances the installation was a snap. For audio CDs, building a playlist of various songs was a breeze as was making multiple copies of data files. I initially made a run of 10 audio CDs that totaled around 60 minutes. I must confess that I didn't return to productivity as the Pico went to work; instead I sat and stared as the mechanical arm lifted each blank disc, placed it in the burner, and then lifted it out of the burner after the disc was finished and then placed it in the finished tray. This really makes me feel like I'm living in the future. Next I started a run of five data discs as backups of a recently completed project, and this time I returned to a Nuendo mix while the Pico completed its task. Again, the box performed flawlessly. After several more duplication tasks I found myself a die-hard Pico fan. Another nice feature is the Relay Mode that allows the user to queue up multiple sets of masters at once.
I only have one significant complaint - faulty media simply gets dropped to the side (ending up on the floor or between tables or wherever depending on where the box lives). Again, this is not an issue at all if you don't have any problems with problematic media.
The Pico is well made, easy to use, it includes a great software package and it is the lowest-priced automated CD/DVD duplicator that I've encountered. If you need a great automated duplicator and price is a consideration then you should give the Pico a look.