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Official K-Probe Discussion (Tool for Scanning C1C2/PIPO)

General discussion about recordable CD, DVD and BD media and write quality testing.

Postby CDHero on Sat May 10, 2003 11:26 am

rdgrimes wrote:
MInfo support all drives

Is it reporting the correct max speed for the specific media on all drives?

Yes for write speed.
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Postby CDHero on Sat May 10, 2003 11:49 am

cfitz wrote: It is quite nice also, although I do wish the window was a little taller so I could see all the information without scrolling. The entire window can be resized (if you pick the border very carefully), but the list-box remains the same height.

cfitz


I update it !! :D
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Postby cfitz on Sat May 10, 2003 11:56 am

I found one case where KProbe/CD Media Info still seem to report the wrong disc manufacturer:

KProbe/CD Media Info:
Code: Select all
LITE-ON LTR-48246S     
Drive Type   = CD-RW   
Disc  Type   = CDR (C-)             
Lead In      = 97:27:56
Lead Out     = 79:59:74
Nominal      = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Ricoh Company Limited
Cur. Speed   = Wrt(24X),Rd(12X)


SMARTBURN.exe/CD Doctor/CD Speed:
Code: Select all
     Disc Type, Material = CD-R, Phthalocyanine
            ATIP Lead-in = 97m 27s 56f
       Norminal Capacity = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f)
Disc Manufacturer maybe = Mitsui             
  SMART-BURN Speed Limit = 24X


I believe that SMARTBURN.exe etc. are correct, since according to the OSJ disc identification document, Mitsui Chemicals has the range 97m27s50f ~ 97m27s59f while Ricoh has the range 97m27s60f ~ 97m27s69f.

Also, Karr, would you be able to increase the height of the CD Media Information tool's window so that all the information can be seen without scrolling?

Thanks,

cfitz
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Postby cfitz on Sat May 10, 2003 12:02 pm

cfitz wrote:Also, Karr, would you be able to increase the height of the CD Media Information tool's window so that all the information can be seen without scrolling?


karr_wang wrote:I update it !! :D


Whoa! :o Again it takes me longer to post my message than it takes Karr to update the program! :D I didn't see you had posted the updated version before I posted my last message. :oops:

Thanks Karr.

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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sat May 10, 2003 12:29 pm

Wow! nicely done Mr. Wang! I know MANY people who will enjoy the Media Info Tool! :)

cfitz: again you are correct! 97:27:56 *IS* Mitsui :)
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Postby rdgrimes on Sat May 10, 2003 12:40 pm

I do wish the window was a little taller

V1.2 still forces you to scroll or re-size. Why not just make the window a fixed size that's large enough to accomodate the info?
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Postby MediumRare on Sat May 10, 2003 3:11 pm

Minfo is a nice tool! Fast and compact. I like that it shows the read speed too- this confirms, e.g., that VCDs are read @32x.

Now something strange: I checked the SKC and Verbatim Pastel (TY) disks that I burned @48x after disabling Smartburn (limit was 32x and 40x). These are now rated @48x :o by SmartBurn too! Does this mean that information in the firmware is upgraded when SmartBurn is overridden? I could try reflashing the firmware, but maybe someone can confirm this.

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Postby cfitz on Sat May 10, 2003 3:46 pm

You mean the utilities show different information after you have disabled SMART-BURN (the technology, not the program) in your burning program? If so, then that sounds normal. Just re-enable it with the burning program, and things should be back to normal. Or you can reboot the system and it will restore the SMART-BURN limits.

When you disable SMART-BURN, you are configuring a setting within the drive. Therefore utilities like SMARTBURN.exe and CD Media Info will all detect the same burning speed. But it appears that the setting is configured in volatile memory only, not recorded in flash memory, so the default setting (SMART-BURN enabled) is restored when power is cycled. Of course you can alse restore it via a program such as your burning software.

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Postby MediumRare on Sat May 10, 2003 4:58 pm

cfitz wrote:You mean the utilities show different information after you have disabled SMART-BURN (the technology, not the program) in your burning program? If so, then that sounds normal. Just re-enable it with the burning program, and things should be back to normal. Or you can reboot the system and it will restore the SMART-BURN limits.

No. I just disabled it in Nero for those test burns and reactivated it thereafter. That was over a week ago. I just noticed the new limits now while trying Minfo. :o I don't think it was just in the volatile memory.

[edit] :oops: you were right cfitz- I just double checked and SmartBurn was still turned off on the recorder properties. I could have sworn I restored it. After enabling it again, the old limits were back.[/edit]

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Postby KCK on Sat May 10, 2003 5:37 pm

I concur with rdgrimes that MInfo's window should be enlarged. On my 1600x1200 display it comes up cropped with missing left and bottom borders, so I have to drag the left edge to resize it.

Further, the small S-E arrow icon in the top left corner doesn't work (also in KProbe). If it worked like the small disc icon in SmartBurn, it would make resizing easier.

In contrast to SmartBurn, MInfo doesn't display "Material" (e.g., Phthalocyanine). Are we missing something here?

Except for these minor glitches, MInfo is a great tool! :D

As for KProbe 1.1.10, apparently part of S17 has been implemented: the selected drive is now restored (but not the scan speed).
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Postby cfitz on Sat May 10, 2003 5:51 pm

KCK wrote:In contrast to SmartBurn, MInfo doesn't display "Material" (e.g., Phthalocyanine). Are we missing something here?

No... we just look at the disc and we know what the dye type is. 8) SMARTBURN.exe doesn't tell us anything about dye type we don't already know just by looking. And sometimes it tells us less. Stick a Verbatim AZO/Super AZO disc in and see what SMARTBURN.exe reports.

Of course, it wouldn't hurt to have it, particularly if the information from CD Media Info is ever integrated into KProbe and recorded with the test results.

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Postby cfitz on Sat May 10, 2003 6:17 pm

By the way, no one has mentioned one very nice improvement that CD Media Info has compared to SMARTBURN.exe: no flashing Image logo! I hate that annoying flashing. :x :evil: :wink:

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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sat May 10, 2003 7:13 pm

cfitz wrote:By the way, no one has mentioned one very nice improvement that CD Media Info has compared to SMARTBURN.exe: no flashing Image logo! I hate that annoying flashing. :x :evil: :wink:

cfitz


agreed! :D

KCK: can you add jitter testing to your list of requested improvements for K-Probe please?

I'd also like to see a dye type/material feature added to CD Media Info :D
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Postby KCK on Sat May 10, 2003 7:35 pm

Concerning the missing "Material" info in MInfo, I wasn't thinking about SmartBurn alone. (And SmartBurn's dye type defficiencies aren't too important here because MInfo is supposed to improve upon SmartBurn.) Other competing utilities have similar entries: "Recording Layer", "Reflective layer", "Recording Characteristics" as in the examples in

http://www.cdbest.net/2003/ReadNews.asp?NewsID=1384

Hence it would be natural for MInfo to provide similar information. Maybe Karr Wang has simply forgotten to include it.
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Postby KCK on Sat May 10, 2003 8:00 pm

dolphinius_rex:

Are you sure Lite-On drives provide firmware/hardware support for jitter testing? I might have missed something, but I would like to check first whether your request is feasible.
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Postby cfitz on Sat May 10, 2003 8:03 pm

"Material", "Recording Layer", "Reflective layer", "Recording Characteristics", etc. are all different names for the same thing. That thing is the T code (type code) of the media, a number that can vary from 0 to 9. Codes 0-4 indicate long strategy dyes such as cyanine and AZO. Codes 5-9 indicate short strategy dyes such as phthalocyanine. Within these ranges the individual manufacturers can define their own usage, so that a type 1 dye for one manufacturer isn't necessarily the same as type 1 dye for another manufacturer.

Since there are really just two broad categories (short and long strategies), no program can distinguish, based on this number alone, between cyanine and AZO dyes.

Finally, this information isn't actually missing from CD Media Info. The T code is the last digit of the ATIP start of lead-in code. In other words, it is the one's digit of the frames part of the ATIP code. Fire up CD Speed and use its disc information function. You will see that the last digit of the ATIP start of lead-in code always matches the dye type number listed in the "Recording Layer" information.

I guess it is up to popular demand and Karr's whim as to whether or not it is worthwhile to call out this number separately and annotate it with "long" or "short" and "cyananine/AZO" or "phthalocyanine". Doing so doesn't really add any information, but it does make the existing information a bit more user friendly.

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Postby cfitz on Sat May 10, 2003 8:25 pm

KCK wrote:Are you sure Lite-On drives provide firmware/hardware support for jitter testing? I might have missed something, but I would like to check first whether your request is feasible.


According to spath, all drives support at least some form of jitter testing:

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... 0610#60610

Whether the results of that testing are generally applicable and can be made available from LiteOn hardware is open to question.

More to the point is this:

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... 0819#60819

I take it that means it is possible, but that Karr will have to do some work to implement such a test. I don't know how involved that is.

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Postby KCK on Sat May 10, 2003 9:26 pm

I have just edited the list of suggestions for improvement:

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... 4360#64360

to include the recent discussions of S16, the suggestion of dolphinius_rex (S19), and the appearance of MInfo (S20).

cfitz:

Thanks for the links on jitter testing.
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Postby KCK on Mon May 12, 2003 10:40 am

cfitz:

I'm still wondering about the practical meaning of T codes.

If we knew that a disc manufacturer uses the code mm:ss:fx with x = 1 for cyanine and x = 2 for AZO, and if this information were incorporated into the Lite-On Media Library used by MInfo, then MInfo would be able to distinguish the two dye types.

On the other hand, maybe it wouldn't be worthwhile trying to discover how manufacturers assign T codes.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Mon May 12, 2003 11:19 am

I believe the T-Code is as follows:
0-4=Long strategy, and is either Azo or Cyanine
5-9=Short strategy, and this is Phthalocyanine.

However, third tier manufacturers, that is, factories that buy their stampers from other factories, don't always have matching T-Codes to their dye types. Some of the factories that buy their stampers from DST have cyanine T-Codes, but a Phthalocyanine dye type. As you can imagine, this can become VERY confusing! I think that is why the ATIP 97m27s00f was created, it is invalid, and therefor the dye type info cannot usually be trusted... that's just a theory though.
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Postby cfitz on Mon May 12, 2003 11:53 am

KCK, that would be the one way to add real value by annotating the T codes (beyond the valud of user friendly labels). I was thinking about the same thing (hence my caveat that no program can distinguish between cyanine and AZO based on T code alone), but wasn't sure if compiling an extra database of T codes as a function of manufacturer was worth doing. I don't know of any other program that does, so this could be one way to make CD Media Info stand out from the crowd. On the other hand, it is extra work but doesn't add a lot of extra information, and most people with some experience easily distinguish between the different dye types without spelling it out so explicitly anyway.

Dolphinius_rex, your point about third tier manufacturers is valid also, but that is a general problem of ATIP codes - they don't always tell the truth. So I wouldn't worry about that issue in particular with regards to T codes, at least no more so than I would worry about it in general.

What do others (including Karr) think?

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Postby MediumRare on Mon May 12, 2003 12:50 pm

I prepared this 2 days ago- so it's not quite current. I saw similar information over at CDFreaks. A later post refers to some info here, so I'll post it anyway. 8)

There seems to be a problem with older Verbatim discs. These should all be Mitsubishi Chemicals (and were so in KProbe 1.1.9). Here's what I found for all the Verbatims I have (the rewritables are fine):

Code: Select all
   Verbatim MetalAzo 8x
LITE-ON LTR-48246S     
Drive Type   = CD-RW   
Disc  Type   = CDR                 
Lead In      = 97:34:20
Lead Out     = 74:30:00
Nominal      = 654.49MB (74m 30s 00f/LBA:335100)
Manufacturer = Prodisc Technology Inc.  <===========
Cur. Speed   = Wrt(16X),Rd(48X)

Code: Select all
   Verbatim MetalAzo 16x
LITE-ON LTR-48246S     
Drive Type   = CD-RW   
Disc  Type   = CDR (A+)             
Lead In      = 97:34:21
Lead Out     = 74:43:00
Nominal      = 656.40MB (74m 43s 00f/LBA:336075)
Manufacturer = Prodisc Technology Inc.  <===========
Cur. Speed   = Wrt(24X),Rd(48X)

Code: Select all
   Verbatim MetalAzo 16x
LITE-ON LTR-48246S     
Drive Type   = CD-RW   
Disc  Type   = CDR (A+)             
Lead In      = 97:34:21
Lead Out     = 79:59:74
Nominal      = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Prodisc Technology Inc.  <===========
Cur. Speed   = Wrt(32X),Rd(48X)

Code: Select all
   Verbatim SuperAzo 24x
LITE-ON LTR-48246S     
Drive Type   = CD-RW   
Disc  Type   = CDR (A+)             
Lead In      = 97:34:22
Lead Out     = 79:59:74
Nominal      = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Prodisc Technology Inc.  <===========
Cur. Speed   = Wrt(32X),Rd(48X)

These are OK:
Code: Select all
   Verbatim SuperAzo 40x
LITE-ON LTR-48246S     
Drive Type   = CD-RW   
Disc  Type   = CDR (A+)             
Lead In      = 97:34:23
Lead Out     = 79:59:74
Nominal      = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation
Cur. Speed   = Wrt(40X),Rd(12X)

Code: Select all
   Verbatim SuperAzo 48x
LITE-ON LTR-48246S     
Drive Type   = CD-RW   
Disc  Type   = CDR (A+)             
Lead In      = 97:34:23
Lead Out     = 79:59:73
Nominal      = 702.83MB (79m 59s 73f/LBA:359848)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation
Cur. Speed   = Wrt(48X),Rd(48X)

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Postby MediumRare on Mon May 12, 2003 1:06 pm

I wanted to try MInfo on my old burner to see how it does with non-LiteOn's. This is a Tevion (Acer) 4/4/32. It can read the ATIP on blank media only. I replaced it with the LiteOn LTR 48246S when it started flagging power calibration errors and wouldn't erase RWs, but it's still present in my old rig.

KProbe and MInfo don't run under Win95A, so I booted NT4. Here's what I found:
- SmartBurn doesn't recognize the drive.
- MInfo starts, but has problems with the large fonts I use (better for my aging eyes :wink: ). See the screen shot below. It cannot identify any information from the media.
Image

-KProbe starts fine, and has no problems with the large fonts. And here's the surprise: the "Disc Info." panel shows what's on the disk and (for blank media) states the manufacturer correctly.

So I have 2 suggestions for Karr Wang for MInfo:
1. take large fonts into consideration when you resize the window (there are more requests for windows resizing :wink: )
2. implement whatever KProbe does on the Info panel in MInfo so it works with more drives.

Also a question- what is the proper name for the tool?
- the file name is MInfo.exe
- the entry on the status bar says "CDInfo"
- the window title is "CD Media Info"

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Last edited by MediumRare on Mon May 12, 2003 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MediumRare on Mon May 12, 2003 1:19 pm

KCK wrote:As for KProbe 1.1.10, apparently part of S17 has been implemented: the selected drive is now restored (but not the scan speed).

Not on my rig. :o Neither in practice nor in the registry- I still have to choose the drive each time.
KCK wrote:If we knew that a disc manufacturer uses the code mm:ss:fx with x = 1 for cyanine and x = 2 for AZO, and if this information were incorporated into the Lite-On Media Library used by MInfo, then MInfo would be able to distinguish the two dye types.

On the other hand, maybe it wouldn't be worthwhile trying to discover how manufacturers assign T codes.

Well, have a look at the "T" codes for Verbatim x-AZO disks 2 posts previously. You'll find 0,1 for MetalAZO and 2,3 for SuperAzo. It may me that there are subtypes of this pigment, but they're all some kind of AZO. This can be construed as an argument for or against characterizing the dye type. Mitsubishi only has one digit left (4), so these systematics may be doomed. On the other hand, there won't be much faster drives than 52x anyway, so that may be sufficient for the "ultimate" dye. :wink:

Personally. I'm not bothered about plain text information on T-codes.

cfitz- another advantage of MInfo (in addition to absence of blinking eye-sores) is the legible text, as opposed to what SmartBurn (the program) offers.

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Postby KCK on Tue May 13, 2003 12:42 am

cfitz:

I agree (as usual) with your latest stand-point on T codes. Still, yet another (admittedly theoretical only) possibility could be mentioned. Namely, the ATIP info might include other factors (e.g., Writing Power). If such additional factors were included in the Lite-On Media Library, it might be possible to guess, with high probability, the dye type.

MediumRare:

Your experiences with x-AZO discs don't preclude proper dye identification (for whatever it's worth).

Unfortunately I must withdraw my earlier conclusion on S17 about remembered drives. Just as you said, the selected drive is not remembered. However, I'm quite sure it was remembered when I last tested it on Saturday. On the other hand, on Saturday I was able to call SmartBurn, then MInfo, and then KProbe without any glitches, i.e., all of them worked at the same time. In contrast, now I must quit SmartBurn before calling MInfo; otherwise I get weird errors ("Drive F: not detected", etc.). Similarly, I can't call KProbe before quitting from SmartBurn or MInfo. I don't know whether this is due to my XP Pro SP1 setup, or my LTR-48125W burner being connected via FireWire.

I think the issue of large fonts should be investigated, since it may be related to various complaints about display problems. Namely, on my 1600*1200 notebook display under XP Pro, in Display Properties | Appearances | Font size I keep "Normal", but in Settings | Advanced | General | DPI Setting I tried two options. For "Normal size (96DPI)", MInfo comes up unclipped (in contrast to what I mentioned before), showing 7 items up to Manufacturer (but not Cur. Speed); similarly, for KProbe, Write Strategy | Setup looks OK, and SmartBurn doesn't need resizing. On the other hand, for "Large size (120DPI)", the screen of MInfo is even worse than the one you have given (i.e, it is cropped with missing both right and bottom borders, so I have to drag the left edge to resize it); similarly, the windows of KProbe | Write Strategy | Setup and SmartBurn must be resized.

Thus it would help if Karr Wang checked the ouput for large fonts and/or higher DPI settings.
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