cfitz- thanks for your experience. I know about CD Doctor. I spent at least 2 days after Christmas going through my junk box doing post mortems and have been using it routinely since.
Strangely, the green read-activity LED did not flash during the test, and the maximum extraction speed was limited to about 32-36x.
I had noticed the slow transfer rate with the VCDs but didn't quantify it like you did. I tend to use only one type of medium for the VCDs and thought that might be the issue. I'll try my DVD (LTD-163) and have a look at the blinkin' lites when I get home tonight.Edit:
The LTD 163 behaves the same as your 166S, cfitz. The LED on the 48246S lights up only during the spinup phase of CD Doctor. The Doctor does not like the DVD- dies with memory error.
Apparently the drive is programmed to avoid noisy high-speed spinning while video is playing. Interesting, and how polite!
Sometimes its better to be impolite.
What appeals to me with the CD-Speed quality scan is the simultaneous presentation of the transfer rate and the error count. Prior to your work on making CD Doctor useable to non-oriental(ist)s (thanks!!), I usually used the surface scan option.