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Thread: Optical Disks -- did the UMD get it right?

  1. #1

    Default Optical Disks -- did the UMD get it right?

    So here's a thought that came to mind at 3AM. Sony's PSP games run on UMD disks, disks that are essentially little optical disks like CDs or DVDs, but they have something about them. They are protected by a plastic shell so that scratches and other similar damage is minimal.

    So I began to think, why does blu-ray or DVD have this?! This is the way optical media should've been, because this way we wouldn't have to worry about the slightest smudge or slightest nick in the data stream. Seriously, who thought of the idea to put all that precious data you just written to a disk at risk for destruction at the hands of mere human hands (or, you know, your 360 controller that's sitting on top of it... face up...)?! All my UMD disks are great... fine and dandy. No scratches, no marks, no scuffs... You get the picture. It's protected.

    It also gives the disk this kind of "cartridge" feel to it. It feels secure and not so damned delicate --- you know the feeling, when you just finished burning a Linux ISO you spent 45 minutes downloading, and you handle it like it were the holy grail? Yeah, you do.

    So, I thought of a whole new thing right here. keep the formats, keep the disk itself, just make them people-proof! There can easily be a new format introduced like this, because essentially all that's needed is slightly thicker drives. The internals of the drive would be at maximum just modified to fit something a little bigger -- it's simple as that.

    Anyone get where I'm driving at? (or why my car is in the front yard?)

  2. #2

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    Well, I try to keep my discs in one place, but they always find themselves on the floor and scratched. But, I don't think cartridges for 12cm discs would have been a good idea, collections would probably be more cumbersome to handle.

    But the thing you missed is, UMD cartridges are not bulletproof. They can still get scratches through the opening, plus they're more susceptible to dust which is incredibly tricky to get out of cartridges whereas normal discs it won't collect as easily.

    But, cartridges are a good idea for constant portable use, such as in the PSP. I can't really imagine it any other way, EXCEPT for those 8CM discs. That could have been implemented instead but that's non-proprietary, and I don't think Sony likes that idea.

  3. #3

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    One reason: cost. It's much cheaper to manufacture optical discs without the cartridges. Yes, the cartridges help protect the CD/DVD/BD disc, but damage isn't that big of a problem, and wouldn't be much of a selling feature (ie: they wouldn't be able to charge more for it). Another reason is portability. much easier to slips some thin CD's into a wallet, or store them in the car.

    When CD's were brand new to computing in the early 90's, lots of drives used cartridges (I still have some old 2x SCSI ones). My uncle used them until the early 2000's in his garage because they protected his CD's from getting destroyed - and his car manual software had 20-something discs you had to constantly swap.


  4. #4

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    discs
    Whatever. Same shiz xP.

    good arguments, although not everything has to be insanely bulky like the PSP's thick UMDs. you can simply have a 3mm hard plastic shell (or smaller!?) around the disk, and heck, it could be made around disc readers themselves so that they would be compatible.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mm3 View Post
    Whatever. Same shiz xP.

    good arguments, although not everything has to be insanely bulky like the PSP's thick UMDs. you can simply have a 3mm hard plastic shell (or smaller!?) around the disk, and heck, it could be made around disc readers themselves so that they would be compatible.
    Still, it's all about cost. Adding 3 cents to a disc is still a lot when you're talking about the huge amounts that are manufactured every day.

    Also, I don't think it's that necessary. The only place I've ever had problems with scratched discs is in my car, and the get ABUSED in there. If you treat the discs half-decent, they won't give you a problem. Also readers/players nowadays have much better error correction than old ones did.

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