DVD-RAM: The Disc that Behaved like a Flash Drive

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DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW ain’t got nothin’ on my man RAM. Oh yes, DVD-RAM, the format of mild obscurity which seems like it should have been friggin huge. Alas, it was but mildly useful.
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  • PRetty sure I had a computer in 1998 with well over 50-150 gigs ( so about 44-145 gigs) hard drive space. Originally discs were and still are used to store media, but by the time dvds were just getting churned out none stop and the tech crawl was in full swing,most new computers and laptops of all kinds just had so much more drive space that having cds was too cumbersome unless a person just liked them. And of course flash drive and mp3 tech was popping up, which to me were cheap.

    Screw The NetScrew The NetVor 9 Stunden
  • This format was the best way to implement a DVR back in the early 2000s. It was AWESOME. I rewrote that fucker countless times and never had any issues. If I wanted to watch a movie instead I'd just pop in a normal DVD. The price point math perfectly illiterates why DVD-RAM didn't make much sense for computers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. No surprise there I had countless zip drives at the time. Back at that time even floppies were quite useful for business applications because they could store small images and most documents used in publishing at the time. However using a harddrive for your DVR was a pretty harsh investment at the time. HDDs weren't even that reliable either and extending your DVR to include more storage space would be hard further encouraging the idea of DVRs with massive storage space raising their price point. DVD-RAM meant that you could get a DVR box and have a decent storage capacity for about $400 and then you could add to its storage in $30-50 dollar increments. I have a handful of DVD-RAMs still for this purpose. Around 2005 I got my first flash drive which I believe was 256MBs at a cost of $50. That pretty much killed any reason to ever use DVD-RAM on a computer not to mention the obscurity of the drives that supported cartridges on desktop computers. Compare that with the plethora of flash combo drives and USB flash card readers. While the price per data was certainly better for DVD-RAM you also couldn't really do much in the way of video on a desktop anyway. In fact the rise of DE-visions comes right at this time but along with it is flash memory compact cameras with barely a megapixel resolution. Meanwhile 720p cable programing was still fairly large and relegated to DVRs. Yet another topic in this discussion is that the cable companies fought against DVRs really hard and this had a lot to do with their limited use early on. By the time DVRs got really popular harddrives were already the better choice.

    penguins forallpenguins forallVor 9 Stunden
  • I had a DVD-RAM DVD recorder that I got in 2003. The discs don't last at all. Within a year, virtually NONE could be read on my computers drive that was DVD-RAM compatible. And within maybe a year and a half, not on the DVD recorder either. I also had a DVD camcorder that took them. Both the camcorder and recorder took DVD-R and RWs as well

    GoodRiddanceGooglePlusGoodRiddanceGooglePlusVor 16 Stunden
  • I was really in to using these for backups for a few years. And before 2.6GB DVD-RAM discs there were Panasonic PD discs which were like a CD-RAM and held 650MB. I had a lot of those with backups of various stuff on them.

    Brian GregoryBrian GregoryVor 17 Stunden
  • The reusability of DVD-RAM probably hurt sales

    Stephen MStephen MVor 20 Stunden
  • I wish there saw something so ahead of it's time today as DVD-RAM was then. I'd love a decent cold storage solution for my almost 50TB of files, movies, etc As a kid, I learned that CD RW was cramp Flash drives were amazing when they came out and I could ditch CD-R and CD-RW

    Stephen MStephen MVor 20 Stunden
  • I had a video recorder that recorded TV on DVD-RAM discs. The files simply appeared as MPEGs when you put the disc into a computer's optical drive.

    zh84zh84Vor 21 Stunde
  • I think the problem with all the "floppy replacements" such as DVD-RAM, Superdisk, Zip, Floptical etc etc is that you could not exchange them between systems. That's one of the biggest uses of removable storage. Zip did okay by virtue of the fact that a lot of systems seemed to have it (but it didn't do great. either) DVD-RAM disks did not generally work in most non DVD-ram drives. Some multiread drives may have supported it. But this also is what made formats like CD-RW less attractive: less than universal support. But CD-R was successful because a CD-R is exchangeable to any optical drive, so it had complete support with existing systems. Since a major use of removable storage is transporting data, something like DVD ram only lives up to its full potential if you can use it with your computer, your friend's computer, your school's computer, your work computer, your brother's computer etc etc.

    Steve PackardSteve PackardVor 22 Stunden
  • Thank you for another excellent video. I’ve always been confused by the differences between DVD-/+R, DVD-/+RW, DVD-RAM.

    m00semanusm00semanusVor Tag
  • I used DVDs for backups when it was cheaper than HDDs :-)

    Doncho GunchevDoncho GunchevVor Tag
  • Very cool video thanks much for making it! I am one of the people who was aware of DVD-RAM and couldn't wait to get my grimy hands on a DVD-RAM drive in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I can't remember when I got my first one but I used it through much of the 2000s for backup and as a big floppy drive. I was also flummoxed as to why it didn't take off more than it did. I also had a Panasonic DVD-RAM compatible recorder and it was EXTREMELY GREAT for recording HDTV OTA at DVD quality. Those videos could transfer to the PC almost effortlessly. Alas my Panasonic DVD recorder broke, as did most of them since they had a fatal flaw. Glad to see yours is still working. I still have a PC with a DVD MULTI drive (always had to look for that logo).

    philbiker3philbiker3Vor Tag
  • Wow! I saw "DVD RAM" logos a few times over the years but had no idea it was something so cool. It's really a shame these didn't take off. Jack of all trades, master of none, I suppose. I love your channel. You won my heart with the two-parter on my beloved sodium street lamps, and nobody else delves into tech like you do. Also, you horrible, horrible man! PT Cruisers will live on in our hearts as the most adorable cars of the past 50 years!

    Josh FredmanJosh FredmanVor Tag
  • DVD ram = so much pornog.....

    The Cheese SaidThe Cheese SaidVor Tag
  • Poopie nonsense my new favorite word.......

    The Cheese SaidThe Cheese SaidVor Tag
  • Why did i never hear of these, not only do they look cool af but it shits on anything of the time

    dj PeKdj PeKVor Tag
  • I recognize that Microcenter Powerspec computer case.

    Nate W ThibodeauNate W ThibodeauVor Tag
  • i've seen these before, i recognize the pattern but they are definitely rare.

    vidaoTimevidaoTimeVor Tag
  • 12:25 PS2 Memory :D

    RafeeRafeeVor 2 Tage
  • External hard drive was much better for the backup files. And those days came more and more storage space. Windows 7 couldn't read my DVD files made by Vista. DVD sucked total crap.

    Adelram WolfrikAdelram WolfrikVor 2 Tage
  • There really not that hard to find. Just do a quick search on amazon

    jeremy121690jeremy121690Vor 2 Tage
  • 8TB for $100?! 😲 Where from?! 😲

    Orion OsirisOrion OsirisVor 2 Tage
  • In the early 2000s, I encountered DVD-RAM in the wild, once. The discs held slightly more than the maximum capacity of the hard drive of the machine they were backing up for a small business. Every night, the machine would synchronize the contents of its hard drive across the network to the DVD-RAM on another machine. The next day, the disc would be swapped and hte process repeated. They had a disk for each weekday, and two for Saturday. Monday morning, Saturday's disc was taken offsite. Friday afternoon, the previous week's Saturday disc was brought back onsite to be this week's Saturday disc. I asked why: Not significantly slower than a tape to write a backup, since backups are incremental, but extremely fast recovery time compared to a tape, and much easier to recover data from a damaged disc since it was likely the data hadn't changed too much from the previous day's backup. No compression, no archive formats, just really simple recovery, really quickly, because people's downtime in the event of data loss was far more expensive than the backup solution even for this small business. Today actual spinning hard drives get used the same way, I dunno many companies of any size using a tape backup system anymore.

    iKarithiKarithVor 2 Tage
  • dvd-ram was just re-label version of magneto optical

  • The best archive storage now seems to be RDX cartridges. If anyone has a better idea for archiving please let me know!

    John AireyJohn AireyVor 2 Tage
  • They were slow and expensive. Nobody I knew was using this nor zip drives. We were just writing everything to cheap dvd-r. Sometimes rw, if we needed temporary storage.

    Jochem BonariusJochem BonariusVor 2 Tage
  • whats the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R ? thx

    Roderick CavalloRoderick CavalloVor 2 Tage
  • Please cover the +/- business. I never fully understood why they were both endorsed by the consortium and so just stayed with +R as they played on DVD players and computer media drives.

    vcv6560vcv6560Vor 2 Tage
  • www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/mobile-phones/popular-motorola-razr-flip-phone-is-reportedly-getting-reinvented-with-a-foldable-screen/news-story/ed58da948ec28f521c644979ceb3e1fb

    Scott BrownlieScott BrownlieVor 2 Tage
  • This format (& your temperament) would fit well at NPR / PBS! Public TV & Radio are becoming niche, but they retain gravitas that few media sources can even approach

  • I really hope you do make a video about the whole DVD+/-R(W) debacle. I'm an IT guy who lived through it all, and I still don't know the difference between pluses and minuses.

    somethingcoolsomethingcoolVor 2 Tage
  • Obviously the DVD-RAM flopped, because I adopted it early on. That's usually the demise of any technology. Remember Travan tape and HD-DVD? I picked that up, too. Now talk me out of buying an electric vehicle. ;-)

    MayContainJoeMayContainJoeVor 2 Tage
  • No way in hell is that a dash. It's a hyphen or a minus (or a hyphen-minus).

    Kronaz邪児Kronaz邪児Vor 2 Tage
  • Very nice presentation. My old PPC Mac G4s 450 and dual 500 came with the drives. Re: TV use, then TV switched to ATSC, making all that equipment garbage. I remember the set-top recorders came with the warning on the box saying that the tuner was expected to be obsolete in the near future.

    Magaphoto OfficeMagaphoto OfficeVor 2 Tage
  • i work in computer recycling and we just got a drive and a few cartridges in of this we were very confused what it was

    Wade DennisWade DennisVor 2 Tage
  • ending song is floaters by jimmy fontanez

    Brett CBrett CVor 2 Tage
  • Hey, I just realized you're moving from older technology to newer as your channel progresses.

    BonkedByAScoutBonkedByAScoutVor 2 Tage
  • Optical disks could still be useful, if they could suddenly ramp up the storage capacity to the terabyte range b/c we still don't have any affordable consumer backup systems. Everything is in the cloud, which not everybody can afford or has the badnwidth to use sanely, or super expensive hard-disk or tape based systems. So basically the only viable option for me and many others, is to just buy 2 HDDs at a time. Optical is a way more stable format for long term cold storage anyway, which is what you want in a backup. Looks like Sony and Panasonic managed >3TB a while back but I'm not aware of any consumer parts. The article I'm reading says they're targeting datacenters and such...

    statikregstatikregVor 2 Tage
  • I'm playing at home!

    stageselectcastageselectcaVor 2 Tage
  • Dvd is short for dirty video disk.

    Gillenz FluffGillenz FluffVor 2 Tage

    reggiep75reggiep75Vor 2 Tage
  • I have a HP brand DVD-Ram disc from 1998 and it still works!

    Rhino PawsRhino PawsVor 3 Tage
  • Your videos are ones that I can't pass up! You explain complicated topics in an easy to understand way. This would have taken me hours to figure out on my own.

    Nathan CollinsNathan CollinsVor 3 Tage
  • Jackie Chan ending)))

    Big BroBig BroVor 3 Tage
  • Ready for my weekly dose of rewind, pause-play-pause-play-pause-play-pause ... *chuckle* play

    Henry Steele IVHenry Steele IVVor 3 Tage
  • Your videos are so informative, especially given their historical nature. Keep up the good work!

    Hoa DuongHoa DuongVor 3 Tage
  • You should do an episode on how electrical organ replace the Reed organs or one on how electric pipe organs replaced tracker pipe organs.

    Edward Eddy67716Edward Eddy67716Vor 3 Tage
  • interesting video

    burned oilsburned oilsVor 3 Tage
  • I'm possibly a rare beast, I still use optical storage, these days its 50GB blue-rays. I use amanda and optical cold storage because I still can't afford tapes.... :)

    Mowley ChrisMowley ChrisVor 3 Tage
  • Thank you for explaining the tech behind DVD RAM. I purchased by first stand-alone, set top box type DVD Recorder in early 2008. This Panasonic unit also recorded to DVDRAM, and the owners manual detailed several features of DVDRAM that were not possible with any other type of disc: - Simultaneous program recording while playing back same track from an earlier point - Pause live video and resume. - Deleting any track will free up space for reuse. - Play with audio at x1.3 speed - Simultaneous recording of MTS Stereo and SAP audio tracks with built in tuner. - 16:9 (without recording letterboxed black bars) - Editing of tracks, such as removing of commercialsIso - On-the-fly chapter point creation while recording or playing back. - Chapters can be deleted, divided or playback order changed with a playlist. - Selectable disc protection to prevent accidental changes. - Recording direct digital to CPRM compatible disc (one time recording of DRM program). Alas, DVD RAM discs were "unobtainium" where I am, and the unit stopped working a few years ago. This left quite a few un-finalized discs "stranded" and not recognized by a PC. I had to pay about $40 to unlock the "pro" functionality of IsoBuster to recover the video files.

    HaweaterHaweaterVor 3 Tage
  • well its the hardware we had back in the day to store data on the pc's to answer your question matt , pretty much we didnt know about down loading data from a phone this was the early 2000's

    Charles DeLiberisCharles DeLiberisVor 3 Tage
DVD-RAM: The Disc that Behaved like a Flash Drive