Sony DRX-500ULX DVD Writer

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Sony DRX-500ULX

USB2, Firewire, 8MB
More info
$350 8.1/10
21 votes
Read 22


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DVD Media comments for this DVD Writer (click on the link to read the comments):
1 BeAll 1xDVD-R (BeAll G00001) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 CompUSA 1xDVD-R (PRINCO......) comments, 0 good, 1 mixed, 0 poor.
2 Fujifilm 2.4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR00) comments, 2 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Memorex 1xDVD-R (CMC MAG. CO.) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
1 Memorex 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Optodisc 1xDVD-R (OPTODISCK001) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Princo 1xDVD-R (PRINCO......) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Ritek 1xDVD-R (RITEKG03....) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
1 Ritek 4xDVD-R (RITEKG04....) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 SilverLine 1xDVD-R (RITEKG03....) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Sony 2.4xDVD+RW (RICOHJPNW01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Speedy 4xDVD-R (LONGTEN 001.) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
1 StarLogic 1xDVD-R (PRINCO......) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 TDK 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Verbatim (DataLifePlus) 4xDVD+R (MCC.....002) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
Post your DVD Media comments here
22 comments, Showing 1 to 22 comments

A good product, firewire easily connects to laptop, and firmware upgrade went fine, problems only with bulk DVDs, when I purchased it 5 months ago it was quite expensive.

Comments posted by Donato Fraccalvieri from Other, December 30, 2003. Rated this writer 8 of 10.

I have had no luck with this dvd burner. I have wasted 2 10 packs of dvd-r's and another 7 or 8 dvd+r's. I have sucessfully burned 3 working dvd's using either the included Sonic My DVD software or Nero Vision Express. The first burn with Sonic was fine but every other burn resulted in a coaster. The first burn with Nero Vision was fine but every other resulted in a coaster.
I am using a VPR Matrix system with XP Home edition.
Using Firewire or usb 2.0 does not change the problem.

Comments posted by craig from Other, December 11, 2003. Rated this writer 1 of 10.

Works great with double-sided Ritek DVD-R disc

Comments posted by bennett from Other, November 03, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I have used this drive and the dru500ax both work perfectly with dvd decrypter and dvd2one software and burning with the latest version of nero very fast and easy to use with a varity of dvd media from princo 1x infosmart 2x4x dvd- ,sony dvd+ 2x dvd+rw dvd-rw never had one coaster at any speed the cheapest dvd was priced under $2 ea and the dearest was $4 ea all played on a varity of players from digirex under $200 lg player region 4 player had no trouble with copied region 1 discs to the panasonic dvd recorder region 4 which is a very fussy machine it also copies any of the burnt discs as the copyright protection has been totally removed as well as the region codes , so must say a top burner but you have to get the right software combinations to make perfect copies and not to fail to mention both of the burners were second hand and bought for under half the rrp

Comments posted by paddy from Other, August 01, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I've had the unit for about two months. Not a problem. It'll burn any DVD media I've thrown at it (Ritek, Sony, Pioneer, Princo, etc.), and works phenomenally using i.Link (firewire). The only warning I would say is DO NOT TRY AND USE USB UNLESS YOU HAVE A USB 2.0 CONTROLLER. Every last disc I burned was a coaster.

Also, if you are going to use this with Nero, update to Nero 5.5.9.x or later, as Nero will not see it otherwise.

Good all purpose burner.

Comments posted by Dave from Other, July 31, 2003. Rated this writer 8 of 10.

I have had the DRX500ULX external DVD drive for several months now, and I must say that it is excellent. Installation was a snap on my Windows XP Pro system, and I have had zero problems reading and burning DVDs of various formats.

I have burned Imation, Sony, and Memorex media with 100% success.

I have burned a mix of DVD-R, DVD+R, and DVD+RW discs (about 45 discs total) with 100% success.

My burning software of choice is Nero, and I typically author in Ulead DVD Movie Factory 2. I have tried two methods: saved the VIDEO_TS files and burned successfully with Nero; and burned directly from Ulead DVD Movie Factory 2 with 100% success.

Resulting DVDs play successfully on my PC with PowerDVD and on three standalone DVD players (Sony, RCA, Panasonic.)

The only issue I have had is I burned an Audio CD-R using a Mitsumi CD burner and the resulting disc locked up the Sony. That's been the only error.

The key is to keep up with the firmware updates. When first purchased, it only burned at 2X, but two firmware updates have boosted it to 2.4X and now 4X respectivly. Kuddos to Sony for keeping this product current!

Highly recommended, and worth every penny. Pay the extra for the external FireWire instead of the internal, and you won't regret it.

Comments posted by Jim Barr from Other, July 28, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

THE dvd-writer,
all i tried was ok.
dvd-r, dvd+r.
Tested with many dvd (sony, imation, tdk, noname) and no crashes !

I can read all my burned dvd on my dvd-player denon 2800.


Comments posted by filou1972 from Other, July 28, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

This drive fails most of the time on DVD-R/RW burns, even when I use their "recommended/approved" media. The software used to attempt the burn doesn't matter. Sometimes works, mostly doesn't. All this, despite getting all appropriate OS (XP Pro) and firmware upgrades. DVD+R/RW, however, works flawlessly with any DVD burning software I've used.

Buyer beware: if your DVD units work OK with + media, this drive will work fine. However, the purpose of a COMBO drive is to make + AND - media. You might best get a + only burner and save some $$.

Comments posted by Feelin' Cheated from Other, July 23, 2003. Rated this writer 5 of 10.

i keep having aproblem using this external DVD, the first 4 burns are 25 minutes in length, then 6-7 hours after that, unless i unintall Sonic MyDVD software and reinstall, then again the first 4 burns take only 25 minutes. Sony support has no answer or help for this problem, they just say try another computer,

Comments posted by charri from Other, July 07, 2003. Rated this writer 4 of 10.

The drive itself is great! Got it for $379 at J&R and so far burned DVD-R and DVD+RW (both Sony's media) and it works flawless on my Sony DVP-S7700 (April 99) and even Panasonic A300 (May 97)! Gave 9 of 10 only because of software: Veritas RecordNow DX sometimes goes mad working with +RW media, but you always can get better SW from the net.

Comments posted by FatProgger from Other, June 10, 2003. Rated this writer 9 of 10.

Very nice! Even works excellently as a DVD player. One (rather obvious) word of warning: USB 2.0 is pretty much required to burn at any decent speed.

Comments posted by fo0bar from Other, June 09, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

Bought this 10 days ago at Best Buy. Will be returning it today. First 3 burns worked well, then about 10 coasters. Bought DVD X Copy and it reported "Power on or bus reset error". Went to Sony site and downloaded their "DriveCheckC" program. It reports a failure to write DVD on this drive.

Comments posted by Ray Hetherington from Other, May 27, 2003. Rated this writer 1 of 10.

Had the external model for three days, what a hot baby this is !!! No coasters yet - using Datawrite 'Classic' DVD-R media and DVDShrink software to copy rentals from Blockbuster. 10/10 !!!!

Comments posted by Linkret from Other, May 18, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I have had this drive for nearly 5 months and burned over 100 DVDs on it with all different media types +R and -R. No problems at all with any of them. I connect it using the firewire port and it works great. I would rate it 10 without any doubt.

Comments posted by Sherif Ishak from Other, May 18, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I'm using this drive on a Powermac G4 with Mac OS X 10.2. Mac OS X does not currently support burning on the drive. Hopefully, they will fix that in a future update.

The drive does work well with Dantz's Retrospect Express backup software for the Mac. This allows me to backup my system to a small number of DVD+R discs instead of a large stack of CD-R discs.

Sony does not support the Mac on this drive. I had to use a Windows system to upgrade the firmware to the current release. Sony should support the Mac. The Mac is a large proportion of the market for firewire drives.

I haven't had any problems with DVD+R media (mostly Fuji). I've seen some weird problems with DVD+RW media, where the drive and/or software has problems erasing previously used discs. It seems to depend on what drive and software was previously used with the disc.

Comments posted by John from Other, May 16, 2003. Rated this writer 7 of 10.

This is my first DVD burner and it works great for me. No problems setting it up, it was just plug and play via my USB 2.0 port.

System: Dell computer with Win XP.

So far I have only recorded DVD+R movies and CD (VCD, data and music) with no coasters(except a couple that were my fault, playing with various dvd burning options).

Burning Softeware Used: Roxio EZ CD Creator, VCDEasy, and Nero (as well as the supplied Sony burning software) all with no problems.

DVD+R Used: TDK, Memorex, Fuji and Vebatum all with great success.

Going to try some DVD-R soon.

So far I have found no problems with this drive after backing up over 30 DVDS with various freeware (SmartRipper, DVDShrink , etc.)

Comments posted by ipgpe13 from Other, May 12, 2003. Rated this writer 9 of 10.

Bought this unit the other day and extremely happy, not that I thought it would perform anything less. Internal IDE was cheaper, but this drive will pay for itself in no time, and its portable. If it came bundled with loads of full version apps I would have given it a 10. Best writer on the market IMO.

Comments posted by Druid from Other, April 21, 2003. Rated this writer 9 of 10.

An absolute must.This is the drive of the drivers.
22 minutes +rw and only 14 for -r and +r.
-rw is 30 but it still ok.
Anyway +r and +rw are better.

Comments posted by George from Other, April 20, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

This writer is top of the line...for now anyway....until we're writing at 24x onto DVD's...
I have been burning -R's, +R's, and +RW's with Nero and have had no problems....not one coaster. The media is Meritline and Sony. I've backedup over 200 DVD's. Paid 400 at bestbuy online. I recommend using Nero software, RecordNow is kind of confusing.

Comments posted by mvman from Other, April 19, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I havent had any issues at all with this burner. The 2nd DVD I tried to backup was i-Spy, it didnt burn correctly so I did it again and it worked fine. Not sure what's up with that.

Overall I have been extremely impressed with this drive. I am using the iLink connection on my AMD 2600 Barton with an nForce 2 MB. Has been flawless. Only issue that I have is when it boots into Windows it doesnt show it as being a drive, I have to turn the unit off and back on again and it shows fine.

As far as media goes, I used Memorex 2x DVD-R discs and they ran fine. The DVD+RW disc that came with the unit has worked perfectly 9 times now making sure that my backups will burn to their more permanent counterparts in the future.

Overall 10 out of 10.

Comments posted by Ian from Other, April 15, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

Buyer Beware! In ourt opnion and experience shows that the Sony DRX-500ULX burner is highly unreliable! This is the latest unit Sony has put out and supposedly required no Firmware upgrade like the DRX-500UL. We are running the unit through a Sony Vaio GRX 550 Pentium 4 (1.6 Gig) through a Belkin Firewire card. Nero support has been poor and slow in coming ... already waiting 3 days later for a reply. CopyDVD Pro basically blames problems on the burner and firmware issues, so we no longer have support through those folk for burn issues other than getting referred back to Sony. We paid $429 at CompUSA and lets not get into their customer support. We performed the firmware upgrade and still no positive results unless you consider 8 DVD-R coasters success. We tried the Veritas Data disc burn and more coasters.
Sony support is shamefully poor and amateur. The burner tech support blames the Vaio laptop people and vice versa.
Steer clear of this unit ... check the forums ... there are some serious firmware issues here.
Money best spent elsewhere.
And no .... its not the media ... the unit failed even with the Sony DVD-RW disc enclosed.

Comments posted by Pmaizitis from Other, April 13, 2003. Rated this writer No rating.

This is a great writer (and it's portable!!!). It is my first DVD writer and it is an impulse buy I do not regret. I have it plugged in to MSI main board's USB 2.0 port and have had no problems. I will agree with others that the software bundle is lacking. The programs are very basic with little options and a whole lot of overprogramming for visual appeal (Price of writer=$399, value of software bundle to me<$10). The packet writing software cannot be installed with out internet connection, not that I use it. This drive works great with DVD Decrypter for DVD isos that will fit on a single disc. I had a problem writing movies I had compressed to fit on one disc with software mentioned in guides I've found on net. I tried the Veratis writing program that came with drive to rule it out and it worked great to my suprise. I just create a data disc and write the VIDEO_TS folder to disc.

I haven't really messed around with the other software enough to comment but I am currently in the middle of a project using ShowBiz and Sonic MyDVD which came with this drive to see if I should keep or unistall. These programs are mainly for home video editing and I would recommend using other software, easily found on net, for backup purposes since there are already guides for them.

Comments posted by RcknRll77 from Other, April 11, 2003. Rated this writer 9 of 10.

22 comments, Showing 1 to 22 comments

1 DVD Writer hits, Showing 1 to 1 DVD Writers
Column Explanation:

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New comments= New comments since your last visit.
New Writer = New DVD Writer since your last vist.

Original Equipment Manufacturer.


The manufacturer of the main chipset the DVD writer/recorder is based on.

Write support / Read support
= Works
DVD-R = Is not supported
DVD-R? = Not tested

Single Layer(4.7GB) write speeds
1x (CLV) = about 58 minutes
2x (CLV) = about 29 minutes
2.4x (CLV) = about 24 minutes
4x (CLV) = about 14.5 minutes
6x (CLV/ZCLV) = about 10-12 minutes
8x (PCAV/ZCLV) = about 8-10 minutes
12x (PCAV/ZCLV) = about 6.5-7.5 minutes
16x (CAV/ZCLV) = about 6-7 minutes

Dual/Double Layer(8.5GB) write speeds
1x CLV = about 105 minutes
2.4x CLV = about 44 minutes
4x CLV = about 27 minutes

Single Layer (4.7GB) read speeds
1x read speed is 1.321MB/s = ~56 minutes
6x CAV (avg. ~4x) read speed is max 7.93MB/s = ~14 minutes
8x CAV (avg. ~6x) read speed is max 10.57MB/s = ~10 minutes
12x CAV (avg. ~8x) read speed is max 15.85MB/s = ~7 minutes
16x CAV (avg. ~12x) read speed is max 21.13MB/s = ~5 minutes

DVD Write types
CAV = Constant Angular Velocity, the DVD is written at a constantly increasing speed.
CLV = Constant Linear Velocity, the DVD is written at a constant speed.
ZCLV = Zone Constant Linear Velocity, the DVD is divided into zones. After each zone the write speed is increased.
PCAV = Partial Constant Angular Velocity, the DVD is being written at an increasing speed until a certain speed. After this speed it will not increase anymore.

Desktop = Standalone desktop DVD Recorder
EIDE = Computer DVD Writer with EIDE/IDE connection
SCSI = Computer DVD Writer with SCSI connection
USB = Computer desktop DVD Writer with USB 2.0 or/and 1.1 connection
FireWire = Computer desktop DVD Writer with IEEE 1394/FireWire/i.Link connection (some standalone desktop dvd recorder supports this also but then it is usually to connect your DV camera to the recorder)

The first rating is based on a weighted rank (the true Bayesian), it requires at least 5 votes to get a weighted rating.
The second rating between the ( ) is a normal average rating.

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