OK, as discussed in a previous post, you now know how to obtain FLAC files for your music and you would like to print nice CDs (like in the 80s).

It turns out that I have an ASUS DRW-1814BLT CD/DVD writer (excellent drive, somewhat noisy when playing some DVDs but otherwise fine; it has an ATA connection and is very easy to plug) which supports LightScribe. LightScribe is a system that lets you burn images directly on the opposite side of the CD granted that you buy proper CDRs (note: these are different from CDs that can be printed using Ink Jet printers). These CD are somewhat more expensive than standard ones but not more so (something like +15%).

Having this working in Linux (under Debian 4.0 "etch" indeed) was rather easy: I installed

  • lightscribe-1.12.37.1-linux-2.6-intel.deb
  • lightscribeApplications-1.10.19.1-linux-2.6-intel.deb

from LightScribe's site and

  • 4L-1.0-r6.i586.rpm from Lacie's site which I converted to deb file using alien before installation.

As discussed elsewhere on the net the print quality was very bad (with only a faint printer image) until I activated the "enhanced contrast utility" using /usr/lib/lightscribe/elcu.sh, as explained here.

To print an image I use the Lacie's 4L-gui utility which is not very sophisticated but usable (you can do a few image manipulations to fit on the disk) although I do sometimes need to use it twice, either that it fails or it does nothing (I suspect that this is rather due to the lightscibe lower level functions). The printing process is very long (something like 20mn) but I do like the results (picture coming soon).