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Sony Unveils First Ultra Slim Portable CD-RW Drive With Native i.LINK Interface

Compact Design and Plug-and-Play Connectivity Ideal for Mobile Computer Users

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 11, 2000-- Sony is increasing its lead in CD-RW technology by expanding its Spressa(TM) CD-ReWritable (CD-RW) line with the industry's first portable drive featuring a native i.LINK®IEEE1394 (FireWire®compatible) interface.

The new drive supports high-speed 8X maximum recording, and with the high-speed i.LINK interface ensures a maximum transfer rate of up to 400 Mbps and eliminates the need for expensive and bulky converter boards. The lightweight drive features easy-to-use software for Macintosh® and Windows® platforms.

The Spressa Mobile (CRX75L-A2) model incorporates Sony's i.LINK high-speed interface which ensures a transfer rate of up to 400 Mbps and eliminates the need for expensive and bulky interface converter boards.

"The ultra slim design and `plug-and-play' connectivity of the new Spressa Mobile (CRX75L-A2) model makes it the first truly `portable' CD-RW drive, which is ideal for mobile computer users who need to back up files and record CDs on the road," said Toshi Naito, vice president of data storage, of Sony Electronics' Component Company. "The ease-of-use and high performance of this drive will appeal to both the tech savvy, as well as casual PC users."

The Spressa Mobile external drive supports high-speed 8X maximum CD-R writing, 4X maximum CD-RW rewrite, and 24X maximum playback for quick and easy use. The drive is the first portable recorder available with 8X maximum write speed.

"Invented by Apple and adopted as industry standard IEEE1394, FireWire provides incredible business opportunities for developers seeking to create peripherals with true `plug-and-play' functionality," said Clent Richardson, Apple's vice president for Worldwide Developer Relations. "Sony's sleek new Spressa Mobile CD-RW burner with native IEEE1394 interface is a top-notch portable solution for enhancing the ease and efficiency of CD data storage."

Sony's new drive comes complete with all accessories needed to start recording right out of the box, including both four-pin and six-pin IEEE1394 interface cables, and a high performance recording software package called Sony Spressa Mobile Software Suite.

The software bundle includes CD Extreme(TM) (Windows) software, abCD(TM) (Windows), Spressa Liquid Player (Windows), and Toast (Macintosh), as well as Retrospect Express(TM) (Macintosh and Windows), and Mixman Studio(TM) (Macintosh and Windows). The software suite offers robust, feature-intensive applications for Macintosh and Windows-based systems, and comes with an integrated product installer that provides an easy path for users to choose the software they prefer to install on their system. The software suite includes:

  • CD Extreme, which allows users to create and copy most popular CD types with a simple and intuitive interface. CD Extreme's unique HyperDrive function allows up to two CD-RW drives to be used simultaneously;
  • abCD, which allows users drag-and-drop files and folders to formatted CD-RW discs as easily as to a floppy or hard drive, or "save as" to the disc from within an application;
  • Spressa Liquid Player, which makes a catalog of more than 70,000 Liquid Audio secure music tracks available for download (some paid, some free) and record to CD. The drive also plays and records other popular music formats;
  • Adaptec Toast, the industry standard CD recording application for Macintosh users;
  • Dantz Development's Retrospect Express, a full-featured unattended back-up software that is easy to use, and utilizes compression to store up to 1.3GB of data on a disc. Large back up jobs can "span" multiple discs. It also includes disaster recovery capability, and
  • MixMan Studio, which gives non-musicians the ability to create professional sounding music from a library of royalty-free music pieces. Up to 16 sounds can be "mixed" at once. Users can even record their own sounds through their sound cards to add to the mix. Mixes can be exported to most popular sound file formats for recording onto CD or emailing to friends.

Availability, Pricing and Warranty

The Spressa Mobile portable (CRX75L-A2) drive will be available in November for an estimated selling price of $399. Sony supports the notion of "worry-free" installation and easy operation with toll-free customer and technical service, Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., along with a one-year limited warranty from date of purchase.

Other Spressa News

This month Sony celebrates the shipment of its 10 millionth CD-RW drive, representing the further market expansion of CD technology. Customers who have purchased or plan to purchase any of the new Spressa CD-RW drives with CD Extreme software can access the "Spressa News & Marketplace" web site for information on new CD-RW models, updates on new software versions, technology information tips on how to use the products, and special promotions on hardware, software and audio files. All of these services are available only to Spressa drive customers through software that is bundled with the new drives. Current owners of Spressa CD-RW drives with CD Extreme software can visit Sony's web site at to receive the latest software update.

Key Specifications

Spressa i.LINK External

CRX75L-A2 Drive

  • i.LINK (IEEE1394) External Interface
  • 8X recording (CD-R), 4X recording (CD-RW), 24X (max) reading
  • Drive dimensions: 129mm x 15mm x 134mm (L x W x H)
  • Drive weight: Approximately 200 grams (main unit only)
  • Platform support: MacOS 8.6 or higher, Windows 98, 2000, ME
  • System requirements: PII 233Mhz or faster PC with 32Mb RAM, HDD with 1.2Mb sustained transfer rate or faster, Direct-X supported sound card, Installed IEEE1394 interface, Power Mac G3, Power Mac G4 or iMac DV computer running Mac OS 8.6 or higher OR Windows 98/2000/ME
  • Sustained Data Transfer Rates:
  • 300 kB/s Mode 1 (2X, read/write)
  • 600 kB/s Mode 1 (4X, read/write)
  • 1,200 kB/s Mode 1 (8X, read/write)
  • 1,800 kB/s mode 1 (12X, CAV reading)
  • 3,600 kB/s Mode 1(24X, CAV reading max)
  • Burst data transfer rate: 400 Mbps (max)
  • Random access time: 160 ms
  • Buffer memory: 4 Mb
  • Recording method: Disc at Once, Track at Once, Multi-session, Fixed and Variable Packet Writing
  • MTBF: 100,000 POH
  • Availability - November 2000
  • ESP - $399(a)
  • (a) Estimated U.S. retail selling prices. Actual prices may vary.

Sony Electronics Inc. Background: Based in San Jose, the Value Added Products Division of Sony Electronics' Computer Company markets storage solutions through commercial distribution, industrial distribution, VARs, retail and reseller channels. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2000, Sony Electronics had record sales of more than $12 billion. For additional information about Sony storage products, call (800) 352-7669 or visit Sony's World Wide Web site at

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