SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe

As mentioned before, I have a new DVD Burner. After getting it to work, I needed to start using it. The first pack of media that I bought had the LightScribe surface. For those that don’t already know, LightScribe is a technology developed by HP that uses the DVD burner laser to effectively print directly onto the surface of special discs. Now I need to get this to work with Ubuntu.

First I went to the download area of the LightScribe website, and in the pre-release area, they have a few Debian packages that are compatible with Ubuntu. I installed these following the instruction provided, and started to use the simple labeller application.

This worked great, but is limited only to the most basic format of label, which consists of only two lines of text with a few provided graphics in a narrow band near the centre of the disk. My handwriting is not the best, so was happy with this as a simple solution, but it would be nice to have more.

I did a quick search to see if anybody has made any other label software for Linux that can use LightScribe, and drew a blank. This seems strange to me as HP have made the API available and even provide a sample application with the SDK. It would be nice to one day bite the bullet and have a go at writing my own application. Maybe this is the one!

A little bit of further research and I found LaCie have provided a LightScribe program for Linux. Initially I discarded this, as I was sure that it would be somehow crippled to only work with LaCie drives, and not with my Samsung one. Well it turns out that it is not. I only need to download the application, as I already had the LightScribe support files from the LightScribe site.

The LaCie software makes a good companion to the LightScribe software. The LaCie software only prints graphics, but will print to the full face of the disk. The clever thing with LightScribe is that the drive is able to recognise the position of the disk, so I can use the LaCie program to put a picture on the lower half of the disk, and leave the top area blank. I can then use the LightScribe simple labeller program to add a line of text. It is even possible to print the same label twice to get a darker image.

So I am happy. I have a method of marking my disks that looks smart, and it all works in Linux. I could really do with making a template for Gimp or Inkscape so that I can generate images easily, but that can wait. I now need to work on a few recipes to cook up some content suitable to burn.