Bravo Disc Publisher
At a Glance
If you frequently burn, label, and distribute your own CDs or DVDs, you now have an alternative to sending a master disc to a disc-duplication service. The Bravo Disc Publisher, from Primera Technology, has everything you need to perform automated duplication and labeling of DVDs and CDs. It's an easy-to-use machine equipped with a robotic arm; two 25-disc reservoir trays; a 2,400-by-1,200-dpi ink-jet printer; and a 4x DVD-R, 16x CD-R drive. Anyone who runs batches of CD or DVD copies should consider the convenience afforded by a Bravo.
Setting up the Bravo Disc Publisher is straightforward, as long as you have both a USB and a FireWire port available. This could be problematic if you need those ports for other peripherals.
Using the two software components -- Magic Mouse Production's Discus, for designing labels, and a specialized version of Charismac Engineering's Discribe ( ; May 2002), for operating the Bravo -- is not difficult, but neither program is all that sophisticated. People with graphic-design experience will surely opt to forgo Discus and create labels in their preferred design programs. Fortunately, it's easy to print designs saved in almost any common image format.
Likewise, Discribe, while functional, is no Roxio Toast ( ; June 2002). While you need Discribe to access the Bravo's robotic feeder arm and to print, Toast will work with the Bravo's DVD-R/CD-R drive. So users who need Toast's functionality can create master discs and then use Discribe to duplicate those discs.
These easily circumvented nuisances aside, the Bravo consistently met our performance expectations. Burning speeds are what you'd expect from a 4x DVD-R (22 minutes or so). And printing is also reasonably brisk; a disc-covering full-color photo took just less than two minutes to complete. Of course, an image rendered on a disc isn't as clear as one on paper, but with some fine-tuning, we achieved fairly impressive-looking labels with the Bravo. Tack on another few minutes for the robotic arm to swing discs from tray to burner to printer to tray, and the entire disc-duplication process finishes in just less than 27 minutes per disc.
Macworld's Buying Advice
Although we'd like to see the included software refined and expanded, the Bravo Disc Publisher is a useful machine and a new option for people who burn CDs and DVDs. The Bravo is most cost-effective for people who need to duplicate a modest number of discs fairly regularly.