Review: Disc Stakka CD and DVD Manager

Organize your disks and find files easily without that messy desk. (June 21st, 2005)

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Product Manufacturer: Imation Corporation

Price: MSRP $149.00 US

The Good

  • Easy to use and fast search.

The Bad

  • Pro version of software is Windows only. Minor bugs mar an otherwise creative and useful product.

As files grow larger, people offload less frequently used documents onto CDs and DVDs. At the end of the year we end up with a pile of disks the size of the Eiffel Tower. With many of them poorly labeled, and some already damaged, the search for that one file you need is a long and frustrating task. Storage experts Imation have stepped up to the task and provided a clever solution to this towering problem.

Managing Disc Storage

The Disc Stakka CD and DVD Manager provides the storage hungry with up to 500 easily accessible, protected and neatly sorted disks, within an arm's reach. A single Stakka holds 100 disks and the bundled database software can support up to five neatly stacked units. The Stakka is not a media reader and contains no optical drive; it is a database driven carousel storage solution. Imation tells us this is to prevent people's investments becoming obsolete with the inevitable arrival of new media types. With Blue Ray and HD-DVD around the corner, that is a good assumption.

Your Personal CD Library

A Stakka is about the size of two shoeboxes and although no heavyweight when empty (4 lbs), it feels solid. No driver is required and all it needs is a powered USB port or USB hub. They key is in the OpdiTracker Disc Management software, in which all the stored files are cataloged and listed for future reference in your personal library. When you insert a disk into the host computer the OpdiTracker asks if the disk needs to be added to the library. The contents of the disk are then scanned and displayed. After scanning you can alter the title of the disk and media type, and even add an image or personal comments for future reference. The disc is then ejected from the computer and you insert it in the Stakka. The software also has security options, including password protection that can be applied to each unit.

When you need a file, the OpdiTracker software has a powerful search function. It is fast and allows many search criteria, so finding that one file is easy and quick. When the file is found, the disk is ejected from the Strakka and you insert it into your computer to use it. A nice office-related feature is the ability to record the name of the person who removes a disc, so that missing discs are traceable.

No Pro Software for Mac

The product only has minor blemishes. One is a wake from sleep issue where the Stakka continuously cycles through all the disks. Since there is no on or off button you have to yank the USB cable to make it stop. An update to the Opditracker software or Stakka firmware could solve that problem. The other blemish is that the OpdiTracker Pro version of the software, which can manage up to 100 units, is only available for Windows, at this time.

Organize Your Life

The Stakka is a perfect solution for people who create backup disks regularly, since recently archived disks are always close by and easily accessed. Purchasing more then one Stakka might be cost prohibitive, but owning one of can end a lot of frustration and save time.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Maarten Delanghe


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