Lightscribe is a disc printing technology that many modern CD and DVD burners support. The easiest way to detect if the burner supports the technology is to look at the logos displayed on the front panel of the burner. If you see the Lightscribe logo printed on it there, it is supported.
Lightscribe allows you to print designs directly on the upper side of a CD and DVD. The advantage of this method is that it does not use ink but laser etching.
A compatible DVD burner is one component that is needed. The other two are a recordable disc that supports Lightscribe as well plus a Lightscribe driver and a DVD burning software or CD labeling program supporting Lightscribe.
That sounds like a lot of requirements. The Lightscribe driver that is needed can be downloaded from the official website for Windows, Linux and Macintosh systems. The download is labeled LIGHTSCRIBE SYSTEM SOFTWARE (LSS).
You also need to buy media that is supporting the Lightscribe technology.
LightScribe CDs and DVDs have a special coating that interacts with the laser in your LightScribe-enabled disc drive. You must use LightScribe CDs and DVDs in order to burn a label onto your discs.
Lightscribe DVDs start at about 0,30 Dollar or Euro a piece which is a little bit more than one would pay for standard media. The Lightscribe discs have the same Lightscribe logo on their covers.
The last part that is needed is a Lightscribe software that can process the disc surface to apply the design. A free software program that supports Lightscribe is CD Burner XP.
The process would then look like the following:
Lightscribe obviously has to be configured in the software program. Designs can be created individually or downloaded from the official design center or other resources. Additional labeling programs are linked in the download section of the Lightscribe website.
Lightscribe software might not work sometimes as expected. HP has created a Lightscribe Diagnostic software that can be used to analyse the Lightscribe functionality on a system in detail. The Lightscribe System Software needs to be installed on the computer system before the diagnostics tool can be used.
The troubleshooting application can be used to detect software settings, compatible drives and media, check the event log, error files and look up error codes directly in the software.
Have you used the Lightscribe technology before? What was your experience with it?
Update: The official Lightscribe website has been shut down more or less. Most CD and DVD burners that you buy should come with software that installs support for it on your system.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.