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Why no optical drive in new Mac Mini?

50540 Views 67 Replies Latest reply: Aug 4, 2013 9:23 PM by PMare RSS
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Jane Garcia Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 20, 2011 12:47 PM

Which genius decided to put out the new Mac Mini without the capability to burn anything?  The Apple website says it can use your Mac or PC for that purpose, or the MacBook Air.  What if the Mac Mini is the only computer you have?  What are we supposed to do if we create something in iMovie and want to burn it to a DVD?

 

I guess people can buy an external burner but I thought those went out with steam-powered computers.

 

  • Tim_LA Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2011 1:05 PM (in response to Jane Garcia)

    It's all about the app store - no need for install discs, buy all your apps from us!

     

    As far as burning... they don't care about your stinking burning. Seriously, though,I have the previous mini server which shipped with a second HDD in lieu of the optical drive, my girlfriend got a cheap HP external DVD drive for 30 bucks or so - it works fine.

  • LinusFlambeau Calculating status...
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    Jul 20, 2011 4:03 PM (in response to Jane Garcia)

    Jane, good question.

    For your situation, unless you already own a compatible external DVD burner, fork over for the Apple superdrive.  As noted, you only have one computer so you can't 'borrow' from another device.  There're other ways to share your creations: move it using wifi/drop box, publish or post it on internet privately or publicly, or other media such as flash drives.  If you have Lion Server, you can enable services (wiki/web, e.g.) and publish your own stuff anyway. 

    SHop for a suitable/compatible used one from a trusted source.

    Good luck.

  • Tim_LA Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2011 4:33 PM (in response to Jane Garcia)

    The Apple superdive has mixed reviews - look for yourself, I checked Amazon and Apple reviews. $79 is very steep for such a peripheral - a lot to pay for sleek looks and the Apple brand, but common sense already told you that. The non-Apple drive I got is a standard, silver-grey brick, looks fine sitting on my shelf. Haven't burned with it yet, just loaded some software.

     

    The reviews I read say the superdrive has a (short and flimsy) hardwired USB cable.

     

    That's just ridiculous.

  • Timiambeing Calculating status...
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    Jul 23, 2011 4:30 PM (in response to Jane Garcia)

    Not having an optical drive is a killer for me as well, I wanted the Mac Mini as a home theatre unit under the 50" plasma, not much point in that if my family can't just put in a DVD and watch it! And what about ripping audio CD's to iTunes - and no I don't want a bloody add-on super drive, or use my MacBook superdrive and transfer the **** files - more boxes, more cables! Anyone who says 'just get a USB DVD drive' obviously doesn't realise what's going on here? Most people who buy this will not have a clue it hasn't got a optical drive, so when they want to buy software for it what will they do - ah! they will use the App Store! How convenient for Mr. Apple, another locked off and certified platinum plated revenue stream! And when they want to add some music or a movie - ah! iTunes store! This is getting silly now, I am starting to talk about Apple the way I used to talk about Microsoft a few years ago - don't these corporate morons realise we actually 'know' whats going on? Do they think we are all certifiably stupid? I was going to fill my new house with Apple gear, Mac Mini as the central home theatre unit, AX's in every room feeding powered speakers, AE bringing in the wireless, iPad for a remote... it goes on. I love the gear, I am starting to hate the company... not good PR :-/

     

  • azdawg99 Level 2 Level 2 (320 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 23, 2011 8:02 PM (in response to Timiambeing)

    >Most people who buy this will not have a clue it hasn't got a optical drive, so when they want to buy software for it what will they do - ah! they will use the App Store!

     

    There is absolutely no connection between the app store and the lack of a dvd drive in the mini. All Apple software will eventually be through the app store (not offered on disc) and as for 3rd party apps, they can be purchased as downloads from the original vendor or only through the app store. Your argument is nothing but a rant and completely invalid.

     

    >don't these corporate morons realise we actually 'know' whats going on?

     

    I really don't think you do. You're just stuck on old technology that is in the process of being phased out and Apple is way ahead of you and has seen the light already, keeping the costs down on the mini. You're just having a hard time adjusting to the future and need to blame someone else for moving forward when you weren't prepared to do so. It's ok, you aren't alone. Time heals.

     

    Get used to it, DVD's are on their way out, just like floppy disks.

  • Iron Monkey Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Jul 23, 2011 9:29 PM (in response to azdawg99)

    I can understand Apple using the mini with its niche market to test the waters of producing and computer with no removable media but I still think it's too early as software in stores is still being sold on DVD's.  I think a move like this would have been better timed when the majority of retail software is being sold on USB drives (and think of the packaging reduction savings, no more big software boxes).

     

    Yes, I don't use my optical drive often, not even once a month.  I use my DVD player for movies, and my mini's optical drive only when I need to use the system recovery disc, install software (very rare after the 1st week of purchase), and backup files (which is its primary use).  I still prefer optical media for backup as once its burned and verified, you simply store it away and if properly stored your data is safe.  I think anyone who has their hard drive fail and their backup drive also fail can understand.

     

    In the new mini, Apple removed the optical drive and just left the space where the optical drive would go unoccupied, and if their motive is to increase digital downloads and keeping all your purchased apps,  TV shows, movies, and music on the included hard drive, it would be in their best interest to put larger capacity hard drives in their computers.  Hence, with no optical drive and empty space, I think Apple should have fit a standard desktop 3.5" drive inside the mini which would easily put storage over 2TB.  Think how much you would have to spend on the iTunes store to fill that up.

  • Iron Monkey Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 23, 2011 9:40 PM (in response to Iron Monkey)

    I'm sitting on the fence contemplating whether or not I need a optical drive in my mini anymore, but it also would have been a good opportunity for Apple to test the markets for themselves and could have offered the new mini in two SKU's: one with an optical drive, one without, and ALL with AMD Radeon graphics and see which one sells more.

  • Timiambeing Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 24, 2011 3:20 AM (in response to azdawg99)

    >>Most people who buy this will not have a clue it hasn't got a optical drive, so when they want to buy software for it what will they do - ah! they will use the App Store!

     

    There is absolutely no connection between the app store and the lack of a dvd drive in the mini. All Apple software will eventually be through the app store (not offered on disc) and as for 3rd party apps, they can be purchased as downloads from the original vendor or only through the app store. Your argument is nothing but a rant and completely invalid.

     

    >don't these corporate morons realise we actually 'know' whats going on?

     

    I really don't think you do. You're just stuck on old technology that is in the process of being phased out and Apple is way ahead of you and has seen the light already, keeping the costs down on the mini. You're just having a hard time adjusting to the future and need to blame someone else for moving forward when you weren't prepared to do so. It's ok, you aren't alone. Time heals.

     

    Get used to it, DVD's are on their way out, just like floppy disks.

     

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------

     

    Hmm - you obviously didn't read 'why' I need an optical drive, and who are Apple to say 'now' is the time for optical disc reading/writing technology to be dropped! Are you really serious about optical discs being old technology? The vast majority of people who buy Macs are middle aged and middle class - they wouldn't know a USB external drive if it jumped up and bit 'em - they will just buy media from iTunes store and applications from the built in app store. And also are you really serious when you say there is no connection between the app store and the lack of an optical drive in the Mini - boy have they got you brainwashed. Go look at the revenue Apple make out of selling Mac Mini's, Macbooks, iMacs - then go look at how much they made on the iPhone app store last year!!! Get with the plot - of course we won't be sticking DVD's and CD's in the slot in five years time, but right now we do and the only alternative on the Mini is...? Now if there was an Amazon App Store on the Mac Mini, built in as an app that downloaded and installed seamlessly any app you wanted, well, who am I to complain, but you know I don't see Amazon getting that app authorised by Apple do you!?

  • A.L.F. Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jul 24, 2011 6:15 AM (in response to Jane Garcia)

    I am in the market for a new Mac, as my old Core 2 Solo mini can't run Lion. I wish that the new mini had an optical drive for the few times that I load software from a disk, or rip a CD. I realize that I can buy an external optical drive, but I hate the clutter that entails.

     

    Apple is always on the cutting (bleeding) edge of technology transitions, and it is always hard during the transition itself. I felt the same way when I bought one of the first iMacs that did not come with a floppy disk drive. Now, everyone agrees that is outmoded technology. Maybe we will all feel the same way about optical disks in a few years, but I have a feeling that it will be quite a while before nobody plays movies from DVDs, or plays music from CDs.

     

    I will still buy a mini in a week or two, and I will have to buy an external drive as well.

  • icerabbit Level 3 Level 3 (765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 24, 2011 7:44 AM (in response to azdawg99)

    azdawg99 wrote:

     

    There is absolutely no connection between the app store and the lack of a dvd drive in the mini. All Apple software will eventually be through the app store (not offered on disc) and as for 3rd party apps, they can be purchased as downloads from the original vendor or only through the app store. Your argument is nothing but a rant and completely invalid.

     

     

    Oh really?

     

    Removing the most widespread optical media device from the past decade (purchased software, audio cds, dvd movies, backup cds, backup dvds, ...) most definitely is a push for the new Apple eco-system that after music & movie downloads, now is going for exclusive operating system and application downloads as well.

     

    One can make the argument that users can use a third party drive, and thus are not locked out from traditional optical media; but that is just a kludge and an eyesore. We're not talking about an ultra-portable notebook where weight & space is at a premium. This is still a desktop system. Apple is all about sleekness, elegance and simplicity ... but once you add an external drive to a mac mini, imac, notebook, etc. all that sleekness goes out the window. But you can use the drive in another mac. Sure, if you have a compatible system and don't mind decreased performance, burning coasters, etc.

     

    I would happily upgrade to a faster & more powerful mini, but without the optical drive built-in? Not so much.

     

    Maybe if there is a new model newertech drivestack with a superdrive built-in (these match the mac mini pretty closely) that I can place under it.


    As far as I am concerned, leaving out the optical drive may be the future, but is premature. I certainly see it as a cost cutting measure on the manufacturing side and a push for Apple's online distribution models.

  • Tim_LA Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 24, 2011 2:46 PM (in response to azdawg99)

    azdawg99 wrote:

     

    There is absolutely no connection between the app store and the lack of a dvd drive in the mini. All Apple software will eventually be through the app store (not offered on disc)

     

    There is absolutely no connection between what I'm saying now, in this sentence, and what I'm going to say in my next sentence, which refers back to my previous sentence.

     

    Huh?

     

    Calm down - just messin'.

     

    Anyway, I work as a projectionist, people often bring me burned DVDs to screen - it's not as if the format is obsolete... yet.

  • A.L.F. Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 27, 2011 9:43 PM (in response to A.L.F.)

    Well, I bought a new Mini 2.5 GHz i5 today at the local Apple Store, and decided to buy an external SuperDrive along with it. They told me that the SuperDrive was substantially back-ordered, due to so many customers buying one with their Mini. That should say something about whether or not Mini customers think it should have come with an optical drive.

  • woodmeister50 Level 4 Level 4 (3,690 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2011 2:02 AM (in response to Jane Garcia)

    The only real loss of not having the optical drive is playing

    back DVD's and CD's.  The whole software issue thing is

    totally bogus!

     

    I haven't bought any software on disk in years!  The only

    software that I gave purchased on disk in the past 5 years

    was Snow Leopard.  Look at your local Best Buy and you can

    see that digital delivery of software is becoming the norm.

    Used to be three to four rows of shelves with software.  Now,

    there is only a a short row of shelves with just one side

    partially populated.  So wake up, it's not just an App Store plot

    it is an industry wide trend!!!!!

     

    Also, if you are so upset about the Mini not having an optical

    drive, then don't buy one and quite complaining and get on with life.

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