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Can’t seem to find that CD or DVD you were looking for in your pile of disorganized discs? Consider some mechanical help. Imation’s Disc Stakka stores and retrieves all kinds of optical discs in a compact desktop unit.

Plug the Stakka into a free USB port on a Mac or PC for both communications and power, install Imation’s OpdiTracker software, and you’re off. When you insert a disc, the software prompts you to enter a description and disc type (DVD, CD-R, and so on) and files it away. To retrieve a disc, you right click on its listing and click Eject. Three to five seconds later, it pops out. There is also a basic search feature to root out discs based on the name or description you type in.

The Stakka holds up to 100 discs, but you can expand it by stacking up to five units on top of each other, all accessible through a single USB cable. The OpdiTracker software, which runs all the time in the background, also asks for an name and description of discs you insert into your CD drive, so it will have an electronic listing ready for when you pop the disc in the Stakka. At first this is a distraction, but it’s handy for filing things away later.

But Disc Stakka isn’t without its drawbacks. OpdiTracker’s list of discs lumps everything into one folder, which can be tough to scan, maybe even tougher than finding a disc under papers on your desk. You can’t narrow your disc search by disc type either, although the search feature does provide a workable alternative for fast retrieval. More advanced search features are available in a Pro version of OpdiTracker for Windows only, but that costs extra, and the Stakka sticker’s already high at $150.

For disorganized and busy folk who often misplace discs, Disc Stakka will makes a handy solution to a cluttered desk. Many of us could do as well with a CaseLogic CD wallet and some organization skills. Visit the product site and decide which camp you fall into. –Jim Mathisen

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