Yamaha introduces the Spyder CD-RW

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Yamaha is touting its new "Spyder" Slimline CD-RW as the industry's first 12X high-speed, slim profile, compact CD-RW recorder featuring the new USB 2.0 interface.

To use it with a Mac, you'll need a third party USB 2.0 PCI card. Such devices are available from Orange Micro, Adaptec, and Keyspan.

Seven inches long, 5.5-inches wide, and about one-inch deep, the titanium colored Spyder can record a CD-R disc at 12X, rewrite a CD-RW disc at 8X, read any CD at up to 24X, and rip audio CDs at a maximum speed of 24X. The CRW-70 Spyder boasts Yamaha's SafeBurn Buffer Management system to prevent buffer underruns, as well as Yamaha's PurePhase Laser System, which purportedly reduces glare during CD-R recording up to 25 percent.

The CRW-70 has a top-opening design. Another exclusive feature that Yamaha has built into the Spyder is an MP3 Playback mode, designed for today's extensive MP3-driven music uses. The CRW-70 comes with built-in hardware decoding for MP3 playback, allowing the user to play hundreds of hours of music from a single data CD, according to Allen Gharapetian, general manager, Yamaha Multimedia Products Division. The software suite included in the product package features both encoding and decoding of MP3 and other condensed music formats.

The CRW-70 can also be used as a standalone CD player. Yamaha includes all necessary control buttons on the unit itself, allowing it to function as a CD player without the need to be connected to a personal computer. In addition, the CRW-70 is able to play back up to 300 MP3 titles from a CD, effectively functioning as a practical MP3 jukebox, Gharapetian said.

The CRW-70 Spyder will be available early next month with an estimated street price of US$299.99.

This story, "Yamaha introduces the Spyder CD-RW" was originally published by PCWorld.

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