7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 23, 2009 11:55 PM by Kenichi Watanabe
jactojabbers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have inherited an iMac from my parents and am using it for my daughter. We cannot play DVD's on it at all. I tried using an external DVD player (and it reads the disc) but it won't play. I actually think I may be missing the Apple DVD Player software as I cannot find it anywhere. I do not have the original discs (parents can't find them). I have searched the internet for a copy of the software but can only find 3.1 (which says my hardware is wrong) and 2.7 which says my OS is wrong.

Can anyone point me in the right direction ??

iMac (Flat Panel) G4 700mghz, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    You can't download DVD Player. It gets installed as part of the OS installation, but it would not get installed if its optical drive was CD-only, which is possible for that model.

    You can try a third-party DVD player, such as VLC Player.

    http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

    Be sure to get the version that is compatible with Panther (10.3.9), if that's what you have running.
  • jactojabbers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you SO much ... I have downloaded and installed the VLC application. The thing is, now I can get it running (am still using the external DVD player as the internal one just spits my disk out) but it gets to the first frame of the movie and just sits there forever. Is this a streaming issue ? I tried to play with the options in the streaming preferences, but it made no difference. Have you any idea what I can do to get this working ... or do I just have an old chugging Mac that can't cope ??
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    I should have asked earlier, but does that external DVD drive connect via USB or FireWire. If it's USB, that iMac G4 model has the older slower USB 1.1, not the current 2.0. The speed of the port is probably not fast enough to allow the software to access the video data at a fast enough rate.

    If the connection is FireWire, it should be fast enough, so we'll have to look elsewhere for the cause of this problem.
  • jactojabbers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hmmm..... yes it is a USB port. The Mac does have a Firewire port, but the DVD player does not. Is there such a cable as USB to Firewire ? The player is a Sony and its USB port is a tiny little one (but has the USB symbol on it). Otherwise, any other solution ???
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    USB and FireWire are very different in how they operate (it's not just a matter of the connector's shape), so there is no such adapter.

    There's nothing you can do with that external drive, in terms of playing DVD movies from it. If you are handy with taking things apart (and putting them back together), you can probably replace the internal drive, which sounds like it is a CD or CDRW drive (it can't read DVDs), with a DVD-capable drive.

    There are take-apart guides online, such as

    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/imacg4/imacg4takeapart.html

    (please read it carefully and make sure it is something you can do before trying it)

    Getting to the optical drive is beyond normal user access, so it is not a simple procedure. I have not done it myself, but an optical drive like this will probably work (and it's a super drive).

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Pioneer/DVR117DBK/

    Or you can get an external drive that uses FireWire

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/optical-drives/
  • jactojabbers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for all your advice. You will be surprised to know that I do understand the difference between Firewire and USB (which makes my original thought about the cable and port size sound really stupid I know !! ... my brain is just too tired at the moment !!)

    Anyway, I'm relatively good at installing stuff as I've done some before, so I will keep those instructions in mind.
    In the meantime, I think I might just search out a player with a Firewire connection (at both ends !! )
    Many thanks for the links and all the info. I really appreciate your help.
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    No problem. Just one note to add. Although FireWire is definitely fast enough, 700 MHz G4 should be fast enough, and that iMac's graphics hardware should be good enough, it is possible that some combinations of those factors will still not produce good results when playing movie DVDs. The internal optical drive connection is the fastest most efficient connection, and other stock iMac G4 models came with DVD-capable internal drive (and they played DVD movies), so replacing the internal optical drive would be more likely to give you what you want (although an external FireWire drive will probably work too).