Octavo Digicopier full review

The O’Dixion Octavo Digicopier is like LaCie’s Dupli-125 five-CD duplicator (see Macworld Reviews, September 2001) on steroids. With eight 12x CD-RW drives and one reader, it looms on your desk – as a tall as Blue-&-White G3. As with the LaCie, this drive is operated using an LCD-based menu system and a series of buttons. It’s easy to find what you want – and if you get lost, there’s a helpful flowchart in the manual. Setting the drive up to copy is simply a matter of selecting the relevant mode from the menu – from then on, you’re walked through the process with prompts on the LCD display. Usefully, this display is on the top of the unit – so if it’s on the floor, you won’t need to crouch to read it. There’s no backlight, though. The Digicopier offers a few different options for making copies – and is made all the more versatile by the SCSI connection on the back. You’re able to make a direct copy from CD to CD, or do this via the unit’s internal 6GB hard-disk. Additionally, you can create a disc image from a CD and store it internally, then burn copies from it at a later date – more on this later. There are also options for copying audio CDs. As with the LaCie drive, you can perform bulk-wipes of CD-RW discs, and simulated burns. I used a 564.5MB test CD for this review, and made a full eight copies. When I pressed the start button, the Digicopier launched into a series of checks on the target media and the source CD – including automatically deciding the best copying speed – which took a full two and a half minutes. The entire burn took 20 minutes – over seven minutes longer than the LaCie. I didn’t worry about this too much, though; archiving is rarely done to a minute’s deadline. When the burn was done, all the drawers flew out. Again, I can’t see why this is necessary – CD drawers aren’t the sturdiest of things, and most towers such as this would be floor-mounted – leaving them open to your clumsy co-workers’ size nines. The Octavo has a few additional tricks up its sleeve: aside from automatic speed selection, it lets you create custom CDs from tracks stored in memory. If you have, for instance, three audio CDs stored in the buffer, you can mix and match tracks onto a new CD. There are also facilities to check the number of CDs burned, and to upgrade the unit’s internal software via the Internet. Additionally, connecting the unit to a Mac will enable you to use three of the CD writers with Roxio Toast.
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