Computer: Storage
2 sided optical disk drive and disks   (+2, -1)  [vote for, against]
CD, DVD, HD DVD, BD, HVD, readable, writable, +, -, whatever.

A disk drive with a second laser on the top facing down to read the other side of a special type of disk.

The disk would be two sided, with the information on the top in the opposite direction of information on the bottom (actually the same direction instead of the opposite direction), since the drive would be reading the top of the disk in the opposite direction.

With this drive and these disks, you could store more information on a single disk and access information from either side simultaneously, without having to flip the disk over to read the other side.

This would be especially useful movies, or large games.
-- BJS, Jul 14 2006

a CD http://upload.wikim...CD_autolev_crop.jpg
[BJS, Jul 14 2006]

a DVD-R http://upload.wikim...D-R_bottom-side.jpg
[BJS, Jul 14 2006]

Holographic-versatile-disk HVD http://en.wikipedia...phic_Versatile_Disc
[Ling, Jul 14 2006]

in that they would take up twice as much space as normal disks and drives.
-- tcarson, Jul 14 2006

The drive would take up almost twice as much space, but not quite since it would be a single devive. The disks would be the same size as normal disks.
-- BJS, Jul 14 2006

If it used laptop disk drive technology, then it could possibly be small enough to fit in a standard desktop computer disk drive bay.
-- BJS, Jul 14 2006

[bjs], the disk would have to be thicker in order to account for the second layer necessary on the top for the second layer. as you mentioned, using laptop size reducing methods might get this down to standard 3.5 inch drive size, but this wouldn't fit in my powerbook. also, you couldn't write a label on it, so it creates a market for label printers that can put a label in the clear inner ring.
-- tcarson, Jul 14 2006

Sorry, but wouldn't it be cooler if you had to flip it over to play the other side?
-- jmvw, Jul 14 2006

Glue two disks together and see if it works.
-- greyfiend, Jul 14 2006

Now I might be wrong, but I distinctly remember that the new high density DVD disks will use both sides.
Edit: I checked: I'm wrong. But I found out about Holographic DVDs. Check it out.
-- Ling, Jul 14 2006

[tcarson], I don't think that it would "have to be thicker in order to account for the second layer necessary on the top for the second layer.", if you mean it will be slightly thicker just because of the "second layer", then simply make the plastic disk slightly thinner to account for it. There are already label printers that print on the clear inner ring.

[jmvw], I don't see how it would be cooler to flip the disk over.

[greyfriend], gluing two disks together wouldn't work because the disk has to spin in a certain direction, the top would be spinning in the wrong direction to read. And double sided disks already exist.
-- BJS, Jul 14 2006

//it will spin in the wrong direction// - no it won't, if it's back to back. Discs are old news anyway and not worth developing further.

Coming soon - "Your entire record collection on a toothpick"
-- xenzag, Jul 14 2006

[xenzag] you are incorrect, if you think about it you should be able to figure that out.
-- BJS, Jul 14 2006

The idea is valid, but sheesh! Could you be a bit less abrasive about it? You'll damage the disks!
-- david_scothern, Jul 14 2006

From How Stuff Works "How DVDs work"//An interesting thing to note is that if a DVD has a second layer, the start of that layer's data track can be at the outside of the disc instead of the inside. This allows the player to transition quickly from one layer to the next, without a delay in data output, because it doesn't have to move the laser back to the center of the disc to read the next layer.//
Normally the spiral starts at the centre. This means that the second layer spiral direction is opposite. So I think that either direction of spiral is possible. By the way, multi-layer disks reduce the need to read from the other side.
-- Ling, Jul 14 2006

Now I'm thinking of the entire British Library inscribed on grains of sand and placed in a match box, complete with tiny tweezers, magnifying glass for loading, and minuscule optical player for viewing.
-- xenzag, Jul 14 2006

random, halfbakery