Sony May Offer a Standalone 200 Disc CD/DVD Changer for Media Center
Sony XL1 Previously I’ve blogged about the new Sony XL 1 Media Center PC. Perhaps the most exciting thing about this new PC is that it includes a 200 disc CD/DVD changer where you can load your discs and play them through your Media Center PC. While many will be interested in the unit as a place to hold all of their DVDs for easy retrieval on their Media Center PC, what holds the most interest for me is that allegedly this unit will allow you to load up 200 CDs, go to bed, and wake up with all 200 ripped in the morning in a nice convenient folder on your hard drive.
As I still get virtually all my music still on CD (hate that pesky DRM) this feature was very exciting to me. The problem with the product in my opinion though was that it only came with the XL1 Sony PC as part of a package deal. Personally I’m not interested in buying a Sony PC and was planning on customizing something of my own with more firepower from Dell once Vista was shipped and Dell had a CableLabs approved PC (most likely later this year).
According to Jason Alinen (user name, soundintegration on Remotetly Cool), he spoke with someone from Sony at CES who said that they would be offering their DVD changer on a standalone basis when the XL2 lauches:
From his post: “I spoke with some of the Sony people at CES this year and they mentioned that their CD/DVD changer will be available for purchase seperately for any MCE PC when the XL2 is launched. They said the cost would be around $600 or so. It uses firewire so as long as the dell mce has firewire you should be good to go.”
This is definitely good news and at $600 I’d buy one for sure if it really worked and could in fact mass rip my CDs for me. It’s such a pain having to rip them one by one right now and being able to do big batch jobs would be tremendously helpful. (Of course watch out for resistence from the RIAA on this product as I doubt they want you to be able to easily rip 200 CDs at once, and yes the irony is not lost on me that this product is being brought to you by the same folks responsible for the Sony rootkit).
Niveus has also announced their own 200 disc DVD changer, but apparently it won’t rip CDs like Sony’s will and is quite a bit more expensive at $2500.