If you pine for a SuperDrive but don't want to sell the Power Mac G4 you bought just last winter, don't worry-DVD recording isn't out of reach. At the heart of Apple's SuperDrive is Pio-neer's DVD and CD burner, a revolutionary IDE drive that can read and write four formats: DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, and CD-RW. This $995 drive hit the retail market in May as the Pioneer DVR A03 (800/42command-1404, www.pioneerelectronics.com ). CD Cyclone sells it as the DVDRevo DVD-R/RW, a $990 FireWire external drive (714/247-0099, www.cdcyclone.com ). LaCie plans to ship a $999 DVD-R/CD-RW FireWire drive in June (503/844-4500, www.lacie.com ).
Although Apple packages its iDVD application exclusively with SuperDrive-equipped G4s, Mac users can turn to several DVD-creation apps, all of which will work with the new Pioneer drive. Can you use it to, say, copy an X-Men DVD? Nope. The DVR A03 burns general-use DVD-R and DVD-RW discs, which don't permit bit-for-bit copies of Content Scrambling System-encrypted (CSS) videos. But with programs such as Apple's DVD Studio Pro, you can create a professional-looking DVD of your iMovie homage to Fellini or your recent trip to Cancún. DVD pros can use the DVR A03 to burn preview discs for clients, although general-use discs are unsuitable for mass reproduction. Pioneer's drive also writes CD-Rs at 8x speed and CD-RWs at 4x. So you can still send a VideoCD to your family back home, for example, or burn a compilation of polka music-whatever lights your fire.