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BlindWrite 5 beta preview


BlindWrite is one of the leading disc duplicator softwares in the industry, competing with Alcohol 120% and CloneCD. It is being developed by the French VSO-Software. BlindWrite is actually older product than any of itís competitors, as its reader component BlindRead has been available for a long time. Later the BlindWrite component was added, so the software suite has consisted of these two parts. But the fact that the software suite is actually a combination of two individual software had the downside that the usability of the package wasnít as good as it could be. Now this is about to change as VSO-Software promises that the new BlindWrite 5 will be an integrated solution with a totally re-thought user interface.

Note that BW5 is still in early stages of development. The new user interface is not yet fully implemented and VSO is also making improvements to the reader/writer engine. Therefore this information and pictures shown here may not be valid for the final version.


The new user interface


VSO-Software is aiming for a very simple and idiot proof usage of BlindWrite 5. The basic options are clearly shown on the left, while source and destination are chosen at the very middle of the window. The Options menu isnít implemented yet in this version (4.9.9.41), so we donít know yet what is there.I had a little chat with VSO spokesman and it may well be that this is not the final user interface.

The user interface can be customized to oneís personal preference. The panels of the windows (buttons, top menu) can be dragged & dropped to the desired location. VSO may still do some work on the graphics and such. But we can see that VSO is on the right track with the new GUI.


The new technology


The reader engine of BlindWrite is about to be redesigned as well. According to the VSO spokesman, the reader engine is able to adjust its operation automatically. This means that minimal user input is required. At some point there was talk about a live assist feature that would retrieve the settings from an online database, but according to VSO this plan is now abandoned. ďAs the the automatic things work, we donít speak about the live assist anymore".


Problems with SafeDisc 2.9


The copy protection expert and our forum moderator Shoey made some quick tests with the BW5. Unfortunately the software choked when reading Madden NFL 2004 game disc, which is protected by SafeDisc 2.9. I discussed this with VSO software and they underlined that the reader engine is still being optimized. Optimizations for the LiteOn drive that was used as a reader were not yet implemented, but VSO promised improvements on this matter. Weíll just have to wait and see.


Conclusions


BlindWrite 5 is starting to look what it should have looked like a long time ago. The automatically self configuring reader engine sounds like a great idea, even though very ambitious too. Already at the current state the user interface is coming up very nicely. With these improvements BlindWrite 5 is ready to challenge Alcohol 120% for the top spot. As CloneCD is about to be updated again, this time by SlySoft, it looks like that we will have an interesting and competitive market situation ahead of us.

Download the latest BlindWrite from HERE. Note that if you register BlindWrite 4 now, you get the v5 upgrade for free. If you need assistance in backing up protected CDs, then proceed to our forums.
Written by: Lasse Penttinen
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