CD-ROM playerAlso called a CD-ROM drive, a device that can read information from a CD-ROM. CD-ROM players can be either internal, in which case they fit in a bay, or external, in which case they generally connect to the computer's SCSI interface or parallel port. Parallel CD-ROM players are easier to install, but they have several disadvantages: They're somewhat more expensive than internal players, they use up the parallel port which means that you can't use that port for another device such as a printer, and the parallel port itself may not be fast enough to handle all the data pouring through it.
There are a number of features that distinguish CD-ROM players, the most important of which is probably their speed. CD-ROM players are generally classified as single-speed or some multiple of single-speed. For example, a 4X player access data at four times the speed of a single-speed player (also see Understanding CD Burner Speeds in the Did You Know . . . ? section of Webopedia). Within these groups, however, there is some variation. Also, you need to be aware of whether the CD-ROM uses the CLV or CAV technology. The reported speeds of players that use CAV are generally not accurate because they refer only to the access speed for outer tracks. Inner tracks are accessed more slowly.
Two more precise measurements are the drive's access time and data transfer rate. The access time measures how long, on average, it takes the drive to access a particular piece of information. The data transfer rate measures how much data can be read and sent to the computer in a second.
Finally, you should consider how the player connects to your computer. Many CD-ROMs connect via a SCSI bus. If your computer doesn't already contain such an interface, you will need to install one. Other CD-ROMs connect to an IDE or Enhanced IDE interface, which is the one used by the hard disk drive; still others use a proprietary interface.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »
Because nothing says "I Love You" Like an open source app. Read More »Guarding your Data against Cyber Attacks
In this new era of heightened stakes comes an increased need for a comprehensive security strategy. Let's take a look at how cyber-threats have... Read More »The Great Data Storage Debate: Is Tape Dead?
Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »
A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Webopedia Polls
The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »