Are you always searching for that elusive CD or DVD – you’ve got the case, but where is that disc? There has to be a better way to manage all your optical media! Well, now there is – the Imation Disc Stakka.
Quite a while a go I was given a Disc Stakka to review and when discussing the concept of writing the review, I had all these great ideas of how I could use to re-organise my drawers, shelves, desk, floor and a myriad of other places I have CD wallets, Spindles, the plastic tops from the spindles and just plain loose CDs and DVDs lying around. I knew that here had to be a better way of finding the DVD archive of all my mail from 10 years ago than searching through “that pile” or perhaps “that one” – didn’t there?
Well, many months passed by and I got no further with writing the review – Yes, I had opened the box containing the Disc Stakka. I had even installed the software, but I never quite made it to crawling under the desk to plug the Disc Stakka in to the USB port of my PowerMac G5 tower – I must have been too busy looking through all those hundreds, or perhaps that is now thousands, of CDs and DVDs I’ve amassed over the years.
One day at work, my boss and I were hunting high and low for a CD that contained a job that we had just recently archived off to DVD and we needed to access again. We knew it couldn’t be far way, as it had only been burnt a few weeks before. Alas, we didn’t find it that day – we decided it would be quicker and easier to recreate the file required and it was. As we were cursing away, I realised that I knew of the ideal solution – that big box sitting on a shelf in my home office, not doing much – the Disc Stakka.
I didn’t say much then – but the next day I walked in to office with a huge bundle under my arm and proudly announced, “I have solution to our little problem!”
Yes, you guessed it, I bought in the Disc Stakka!
A new techno-toy had arrived, so all other work was suspended for the morning as we cleaned a space on the boss’s desk to place the Stakka and wouldn’t you know it – in doing so, we found that bl**dy DVD we hunted high and low for the day before 🙁
In un-packing the Disk Stakka box, we found the unit itself, the USB cable but alas no install CD – It must be “somewhere” amongst the stacks upon stack of all those bright shiny pieces of plastic I have back at home. Never fear, we just googled “disc stakka” and very quickly found the install software “OpdiTracker” and also a Disc Stakka Firmware updater. Both were promptly downloaded and installed.
disc stakka support »
By the way, there is no power cord supplied as the Disc Stakka draws it power directly from the USB port.
Once the firmware and OpdiTracker software was installed, we were ready to start feeding the Disc Stakka all the loose CDs and DVDs that were floating around loose on the desk.
The process is extremely simple, but could be made simpler still – I’ll cover that point later on. All you do is place the CD or DVD in to your regular CD/DVD drive and the OpdiTracker software indexes the content of the disc and the ejects the disc. You then place this disc into the Disk Stakka unit and the OpdiTracker software asks you to confirm which disk it is you are inserting and it records the slot the Disk Stakka has store the disc in.
Now when you want to retrieve the disc, you simply switch to the OpdiTracker software, and select the disc from the list available and it is automatically ejected from the Disc Stakka ready to place into your regular optical drive.
If you are searching for a particular file and can’t remember which disc it is actually stored on, no dramas, because as mentioned earlier, the OpdiTracker software indexes the contents of the disc and you can then search the OpdiTracker database and find the right disc within seconds and then eject it, ready for use.
The Disc Stakka stores up to 100 of your discs – Data CDs & DVDs, Music CDs, Movie DVDs, in fact, virtually any optical media.
If you need to store more than 100 discs, never fear, you can actually stack up to five Disc Stakka units on top of one another and they are then effectively treated as a single unit.
The Disc Stakka works with any G3, G4, or G5 running Mac OS X 10.1 or greater and yes it’ll work with any Windows XP, 2000 or 98SE running on a Pentium II or better.
You’ll also need a minimum of 32MB RAM, with 64MB recommended, 200MB free hard disk space and a spare USB 1.1 or 2.0 port. While the Disc Stakka will run through a powered USB hub, it is recommended that you plug it directly in to the USB on the motherboard, particularly if you are running it as a Stakka Tower.
As the Disc Stakka itself does not have an optical read head itself, you’ll need a CD or DVD drive for indexing the contents of the disc.
And this comment leads me back to a comment mentioned earlier – the only way I can see the Disc Stakka been improved is by the inclusion of an actual CD or better still a DVD reader in the Disc Stakka itself, so you didn’t have to eject the disc and then place it in the “regular drive” to actually use it.
That said, the Disc Stakka as it stands is still incredibly useful and has helped us keep track of our most commonly accessed CD and DVD archives in the office.
Hmmmm… If only I had bothered to crawl under my desk to plug the review unit in, I’d have cleaned up my many stacks of discs at home and would be put my hands on the right CD or DVD with in seconds… Oh well, I just have to enter the September 2005 Raffle at AUSOM where first prize is a Disc Stakka. Failing that, I’ll just invest AUD$199.00, although I know can do better than that if I shop around a bit.
I would recommend that any who needs to keep track of more than a dozen or so CDs or DVDs to also consider purchasing the Imation Disc Stakka.
“A truly efficient, simple and cost effective solution for managing your discs has arrived – The Imation Disc Stakka”
A copy of this article, with colour images, is available from my website, http://www.nicholaspyers.com.
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