Drawing on nearly a decade of experience in advancing CD technology, Verbatim Corporation unveiled this week a new family of CD-R discs that will give baby boomers a blast from the past and younger generations a glimpse at yesterday’s popular vinyl record format.

Called Digital Vinyl CD-R, the new discs combine the look of a 45-rpm record with today’s CD production technologies. Reminiscent of the 45-rpm records of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, the Verbatim Digital Vinyl CD-R discs provide high-speed write performance and broad read compatibility with even the oldest CD drives and players.

“Digital Vinyl is certainly one of the most, if not the most, original looking CDR discs to have hit the market since recordable CD media was introduced,” says Ron Hanafin, Verbatim’s CD product marketing manager. “The appeal factor for Digital Vinyl is the retro 45-rpm look; however, there is more substance to Verbatim CDR media.”

As with conventional CD-R media, the new Digital Vinyl CDs can be used for burning and recording personal music mixes. The retro-looking discs are also a means for people to copy their old, delicate LP records onto a premium-quality digital media that won’t degrade or lose sound fidelity every time the discs are played, Hanafin says. At the same time, users will keep the look and feel of their favorite LPs.

Digital Vinyl CDs allow people to save their LPs onto the latest recording technology that provides a broad range of playback compatibility. LP collectors can copy their records to their PC; and, with the right software, minimize or eliminate hiss and scratch noise that developed over years of playback. The enhanced sounds can then be copied to the new digital vinyl discs so they can be played in the car, a home stereo system or even on a computer.

“I have a collection of records from the 70s and 80s that are in safe keeping,” Hanafin says. “I don’t have the opportunity to listen to them as often as I would like, but will make sure to keep them for as long as possible.”

According to Hanafin, the Digital Vinyl discs are based on a proprietary recording technology, “Azo Blue,” which was developed by Verbatim’s parent company Mitsubishi Chemical. The latest version of Azo, “Super Azo,” is used in Verbatim’s flagship DataLifePlus product line of CDR media. Hanafin says Charlotte-based Verbatim is the only manufacturer with original CDR and CDRW technologies, providing a standard across all CDR and CDRW media, including Digital Vinyl, a dual-layer protective anti-scratch coating for enhanced protection against sunlight, high temperature, humidity and handling.

The new Digital Vinyl CD-R discs have been tested and certified by all of the leading drive manufacturers, the company says. Like all DataLifePlus CD-R media, the Digital Vinyl discs deliver an estimated archival life of more than 100 years and provide the broadest compatibility possible with current and future CD drives and players, Verbatim adds.

“Digital Vinyl is an idea born from the natural extension of the product line,” Hanafin explains. “Just as personal computers were grey, black or white boxes which transcended into more visually appealing products like the iMac, the CDR is also being given a facelift. Verbatim has been a pioneer in CD technology, but the company has also been a pioneer in giving something new and exciting to CD media and consumers. We started this almost two years ago when we were the first to introduce color CD’s and color slim cases. Digital Vinyl is another branch in the evolutionary tree of the CD.”

Backed by a lifetime warranty, the new 700MB, 80-minute Digital Vinyl CD-R media will be available from October in single and multiple-disc packages. Expected street prices for the new media are $1.49 for a single disc and $12.99 for a 10-pack.

Verbatim: www.verbatim.com