Ray Freeman, OSTA Facilitator

Mike Manuel / George Millington,
Walt & Company Communications


Second Plugfest Reconvenes World’s Leading UDF Software Developers to Ensure Compatibility in Future Recordable Optical Products

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., June 29, 2000 – The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) today announced that Universal Disk Format (UDF) compatibility and interchangeability among recordable optical media and drives has improved with the completion of an industry event entitled "UDF Plugfest 2." Building upon the progress achieved at the first such event, UDF Plugfest 2 reconvened software developers from industry-leading companies to identify any further compatibility issues, and to collaborate on resolving those issues. The companies probed particularly for read compatibility problems in products still under development in their labs.

UDF Plugfest 2 was held in March 2000 in Cupertino, Calif. and hosted by Apple Computer. Gathering 35 of the industry’s premier UDF software developers to Plugfest 2 enabled participants to continue searching for compatibility issues among their UDF implementations by exchanging and testing each other’s products. OSTA’s UDF Compliance Subcommittee facilitated the three-day UDF Plugfest 2, which was attended by 15 industry-leading companies from England, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States. Participants included Adaptec, Allstor, Apple, Hitachi, Micro Design International, Microsoft, Open Interface, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Software Architects, Smart Storage, Sun Microsystems, Tracer, and VOB.

Participants exchanged several types of media during this event, including CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, and MO, across multiple platforms, such as Windows 98, Windows NT, Linux, Macintosh OS, IBM workstations and Sun workstations. Representatives from DVD-R product manufacturers and Linux operating system development companies attended the Plugfest for the first time. Although few compatibility issues surfaced during the exhaustive testing, participants documented those issues they found and began to explore how the issues could be resolved. Most problems uncovered in the original Plugfest have already been resolved. All participants agreed that the gathering was beneficial and enabled new technologies, such as DVD-R, to be promptly tested and analyzed for compatibility issues.

"UDF Plugfest presents an ideal forum for gathering industry developers to find and resolve compatibility issues, note progress, and plan for future innovations by fostering a better understanding of the elements necessary for increasing interchangeability between recordable media," said Mike McMurdie, software engineering manager, Adaptec, and chairman of OSTA’s UDF Compliance Subcommittee. "Based on the progress made at Plugfest 2, many vendors are excited to attend OSTA’s next event, where testing will be even more rigorous, and therefore more beneficial to the industry and to consumers."

Planning for the next Plugfest, scheduled for early December, is currently underway. The organization extends invitations to all UDF software developers, whether or not they are members of OSTA. UDF product developers interested in participating in the next Plugfest are encouraged to contact OSTA at 805-963-3853.

Developed by OSTA’s File Interchange Committee, UDF is a file system specification adopted across the optical storage industry for use on CD-R, CD-RW, DVD and other media to assure interchangeability. By facilitating an open forum where software developers can address the UDF specification and compatibility issues, OSTA has taken another step in protecting consumer interests and investments in recordable media and its content as they upgrade to newer drives.

OSTA will host its next quarterly meeting September 18-21, 2000 at Gate City Hall in Osaki, Tokyo. Companies interested in participating should contact Ray Freeman at 805-963-3853.

OSTA Background
The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) was incorporated as an international trade association in 1992 to promote the use of recordable optical technologies and products. The organization’s membership includes optical product manufacturers and resellers from three continents, representing more than 85 percent of worldwide writable optical product shipments. They work to shape the future of the industry through regular meetings of CD/DVD, file interchange, market development, high performance and planning committees. Interested companies worldwide are invited to join the organization and participate in its programs by contacting an OSTA representative at +1 805/963-3853, by fax +1 805/962-1541 or by addressing its Web site at www.osta.org.

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