capsule review

PowerFile C200S

How can anyone with a CD-RW drive resist a nice ten pack of CD-R media? But after you've gone through a couple of those you may find yourself in a pile of unlabeled mystery CDs. The PowerFile C200S can solve the mystery by organizing two hundred software, music, or DVD movie discs. This jukebox will hold your discs and put them only a few clicks away. Although the price is amazingly low for a jukebox, it's too high for the average user.

A Terabyte of Data

The C200S has a translucent case and an LCD panel with buttons for easy loading and unloading of CDs. It connects to your Mac via FireWire. The included MediaFinder software will list the titles of the discs in the PowerFile. You can categorize and search the MediaFinder's index. Mounted DVD movies can only be played if your Mac has the necessary DVD decoder hardware and software, in other words if your Mac already has an internal DVD-ROM drive. The C200S also comes with three extra FireWire ports for connecting other devices.

The C200S is based on the like-named PowerFile C200. However, the C200 costs twice as much and allows networked clients to access discs via the MediaFinder client software.

The C200S is meant for a single user and only includes one CD drive. Although the C200S doesn't currently work with Mac OS X, PowerFile has announced that they will port their software to OS X.

Macworld's Buying Advice

If you regularly waste your precious time popping discs into your computer looking for the right one, the PowerFile C200S may be worth the investment. Graphics artists with libraries of archived images, schools with collections of educational CDs, or anyone who's gone a little CD-burning happy would surely benefit from it. The C200S is quick and easy to use.

Bigger Than a Bread Box: The C200S is roughly the size of a desktop CPU on its side.
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