This was the day—the release of Bruce Springsteen’s
Devils & Dust
, a mega-major release in the DualDisc format. Talk of DualDisc, a format that features stereo audio content on one side of the disc and DVD video on the other, has been hot lately as rumors of incompatibility have circulated across the Web. Some who have tried these discs claim that they don’t play properly on their computer’s media drives and that they won’t rip in programs such as iTunes.
With the biggest release on DualDisc yet, it was time for me to ferret out the truth about these allegedly poisonous discs.
After a quick jaunt to Costco to pick up the disc ($12.99 there, $13.49 at
Amazon, and downloadable from the
iTunes Music Store
—complete with PDF digital booklet—for $9.99), I tossed it into my Power Mac G5’s SuperDrive ready to release a string of invectives when the disc failed to play or be ripped.
Okay, so maybe I got lucky with the G5. I next flipped the disc into my PowerBook G4 with slot-loading SuperDrive.
Right. Windows XP and a DVD burner would surely find a way to fail.
External CD burner attached to Mac via FireWire?
Ah, maybe I just need an older Mac. Okay then, a 933MHz Power Mac G4 with SuperDrive.
I dashed upstairs and shoved it into my stereo’s CD player, a boombox, the home DVD player, my daughter’s portable Panasonic DVD player, even the car stereo, for god’s sake.
In short, it played on every device I introduced it to. The outside of the disc’s packaging tells me, in very tiny print:
*The audio side of this disc does not conform to CD specifications and therefore not all DVD and CD players will play the audio side of this disc.
Given this miniscule warning I kind of expected that I could find
that wouldn’t play the thing.
But I failed.
Now it’s possible that this disc, unlike other DualDiscs, has been treated with kid gloves. After all, The Boss is America’s Stand Up Guy and you don’t want to piss off his fans by distributing a disc that won’t play in a lot of players or can’t be ripped to an iPod.
But I’m not so sure.
And because I’m not, I’d be interested to hear your experiences with other DualDiscs. Have one that won’t rip? Does your computer/boombox/home stereo/My-Little-Pony-Close-And-Play-Music-Machine spit it out in disgust? Click the Comments link below to let me know. I hate working up a good lather over nothing.