Bravo Disc Publisher

Nearly all Macs these days have the ability to burn CDs - in fact, Apple makes the whole process so easy, it's a shame not to write one every now and again. Older Macs that don't have CD writers or DVD-R SuperDrives can be connected to inexpensive external burners. If you've ever attempted burning more than one CDs - say five, ten or twenty - you begin to feel like a robot in a car factory. Primera has invented a robot to take the monotony out of making lots of CDs. The Bravo Disc Publisher is fairly small, being not much bigger than an inkjet printer. It connects to your Mac via FireWire and USB cables. The FireWire connection is for the Pioneer DVD/CD burner; the USB is to control the printing element. There are two hoppers, which each hold 25CDs: one holds the blank media, and one collects the finished products. Finally, there's a robot arm that all moves the discs from one hopper to the other via the burner and printer. The Bravo Disc Publisher is capable of recording 25 copies of your CD or DVD, and printing your designs on the label. All you need do is tell it what to do, and then go and have several cups of tea. If there is any weak point in this whole arrangement, it's the software. It uses Discribe to mange the process, which looks primitive and clunky compared to Roxio's Toast. Clunky or not, it does have an extra trick up its sleeve - it controls the all-important robot arm. Designing the CD is left to Discus - though you could use any application with a little trial and error getting the template tight. You then tell Discribe which file to print on the CD or DVD. The arm picks up a disc, drops it into the burner, and when that's done, it takes it out and drops it on the printing tray. While that disc is being printed, the arm grabs the next disc and starts it burning. There are two discs being processed at any given time. It still isn't exactly fast, but that doesn't matter because you don't have to sit there watching it work. Of course, to begin with you might want to watch it go quietly through the motions, but only in the same way you stare at your washing machine doing your laundry. You will soon tire of that, though. The version we looked at was capable of making DVDs (burning at 4x) as well as CDs, which meant that the CD-burning speed was pegged back at 16x. If you need only CDs, you can go for a faster 52x CD burner that should speed things up.


While I suspect everyone wishes they had access to a machine like this, only a few of us actually need one. It's affordable, and once you've figured out Discribe, it appears to be reliable. Considering the hours you may be wasting waiting for a CD burner to spit out a CD so you can robotically put another disc in, the Bravo could pay for itself in no time at all.

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