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Maximum PC Staff Jan 22, 2009

Verbatim PhotoSave DVD

At A Glance

JHP

The backup process is so easy, even an idiot could do it.

FMJ

Cant add files to spanned discs that arent full. Why no dual-layer?


All it takes is an errant foot strike or a power spike and poof—you’ve lost gigabytes of photos and memories in a single hard-drive crash. Let’s face it, few of us ever actually take the time to copy those photos to a backup drive. And if you don’t do it, do you really think your mother-in-law will? Verbatim’s PhotoSave DVD aims to solve this problem with a solution that even your newbiest relatives can handle.

Each disc contains an executable that auto-launches once the disc is in a drive. The app is Forest Gump simple. You can order it to scan one drive or all drives for JPEGs. Once it’s found all the files, a button push will burn the files to the disc. If your files exceed 4.5GB, the app will span multiple discs. Once the backup is done, you’ll find the files neatly arranged in the same folders they were in on your hard drive, accessible from any DVD drive. A second option lets you import files directly from a digital camera that’s mounted as a drive in the PC. The software is based on SoftR’s Self Recordable Media technology. SoftR has other versions tweaked to back up Outlook files or your My Documents folder, or back up and encrypt these files as well.

The cheapskates in our office wondered why they couldn’t simply use their own blank DVDs to back up to after filling the first PhotoSave DVD. While we’re all for saving a few bucks, we don’t begrudge Verbatim the right to actually turn a profit on these discs. The company simply couldn’t make any money if you bought a single disc for $2. People who think otherwise would probably also like a new, crisply folded 10-dollar bill with each disc. It’s capitalism, get used to it.

By default, the disc backs up only JPEG files, but the app can be customized to also pick up videos and RAW files. If a backup fills only part of a single disc, you can continue to add files until the disc is full, but the same rule doesn’t apply when a job spans multiple discs. For example, in a three-disc backup that we performed, the third disc was only partially filled. When we tried to add additional files to the disc, the app no longer appeared on the third disc and there was no way to add files to it.

That’s a minor kvetch though. Overall, the software is dummy-proof. Is it for a power user? Probably not. Is it for a power user’s gramps? Hell yeah. At $10 for three discs or $15 for five, it’s one heck of a great gift—something the receiver will truly treasure after his or her hard drive implodes.
THE VERDICT

Verbatim PhotoSave DVD

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