Yamaha has announced it will be releasing the first rewritable CD (CD-RW) drive to write CD-RW discs at 8X. Available immediately, the CRW8824EZ is an internal EIDE drive that sells for US$250. Next month, Yamaha will ship three additional models, including both internal and external SCSI-3 versions, and a model with an IEEE-1394 (also known as FireWire) interface. Pricing is not yet available. Besides its 8X CD-RW speed, the CRW8824EZ writes CD-R discs at 8X, and reads standard CD-ROM discs at 24X. Yamaha also says the CRW8824EZ can rip audio CDs (in other words, create .mp3 or .wav files) at 24X – a speed that the company claims is three times the speed of competing drives. The CRW8824EZ has an average access speed of 24 ms., and a 4-MB buffer. It requires 8X-certified CD-RW media, which is just starting to become available. Included with the CRW8824EZ are Adaptec Inc.’s Easy CD Creator, Direct CD and Toast; Adobe Systems Inc.’s ActiveShare, PageMill and Photo Deluxe Business Edition; MusicMatch Jukebox; and the Neato CD Labeler Kit. Yamaha, of Tokyo, is at http://www.yamaha.com.

Prices listed are in US currency