Some time ago I bought a USB DVD burner that supported this feature called lightscribe. Essentially it means you can buy DVD or CDROM’s with a special covering and then you can use the player laser to burn text and or images onto the disc. Looks kinda cool. As I expected back then the feature was not supported under Linux. But today I noticed that they actually released and SDK for linux which means CD burning applications or even graphics applications like the Gimp could potentially support it.
The SDK is available under a standard restrictive proprietary license though so don’t expect the functionality to be included with your average distro anytime soon unless some of the DVD burning software developers allows bundling with this non-free library in the license. There is a simple application available from their site, but unfortunatly it seemed unable to detect my drive so I couldn’t test if the lightscribe functionality actually do work.
There are of course two ways to look at this. Either one think that they supporting Linux is cool and help validate the platform for desktop use, even though their support is not free software. Or one considers the support worthless since it is not free software. Personally I do hope that this non-free library doesn’t stop people from trying to create opensource support for lightscribe burners, but in the meantime I do take their closed source support as a positive sign that the linux desktop is gaining in importance.