Darren Murph over at Engadget seems to be a real optical drive enthusiast. I noticed it earlier this week when I read his Mac Mini review. He basically hates the new Mac Mini because it lacks an optical drive.
I personally have a Mac Mini from 2007 and can honestly say that I have used the Superdrive that came with it twice in total. Once to rip the DVD of my babtisme and the second time to rip the DVD of my girlfriends TV career.
My Mac Mini is my “HTPC”. It plays my movies, TV shows and music but also serves as my TimeMachine server and general file server. It even streams my TV shows and movies to my iPad or iPhone, even when I’m out of town visiting my parents or even out of the country (or continent for that matter) visiting my in-laws.
It does all this with out me ever having to enter some form of optical disc.
Moreover, consumers are buying movies and music by the truckloads on physical media, not to mention games, applications, maps, etc. Those informing you that the “disc is dead” are clearly not looking at the numbers.
I am one of the people “informing you that the disc is dead”. In my opinion the only disc around which still has value is the Hard disk. Darren however does not link to any numbers I’m supposed to be looking at. Even if what he states were true then I’m pretty sure those people are not Mac users. In case you haven’t heard, ever since 2008 iTunes is the US’s biggest Music retailer. Not just digital music, they are even outselling Wallmart.
Nowadays even Netflix seems to agree that the optical drive has had it’s best days. The only discs I frequently see people buying are games for consoles (PS3, Xbox360 etc.). Obviously these don’t count since they are in most cases the only way to get games on these consoles. And they have no relevance to the disappearing of optical disc drives from Macs.
I made crystal clear in my Mac mini review just how awful a decision it was to nix the ODD in the consumer version of the machine… My primary beef is the removal of an optical drive on a desktop. Is Apple seriously so naive that it thinks all Mac mini users will be perfectly fine taking to the wild, wild web to find whatever content and software they’d like to enjoy, including new-release films and 1080p content?
First, durning Apple’s WWDC Keynote Apple mentioned the Mac App Store is now the #1 channel for buying PC software. It’s ahead of Best Buy, Walmart, and Office Depot. So it seems people are doing just fine on the software front. I also honestly can’t remember the last time I ever bought any piece of software that came in a box or on a disc.
Second, Darren seems to conveniently forget that the previous Mac Mini did not include a ODD capable of playing 1080p content either. Apple never made it a secret they were not going to jump on the Bluray bandwagon with Steve Jobs even calling it a “bag of hurt” in 2008.
Last, if you are going to refer to the Mac mini as a ‘desktop’ then don’t try and make the case of watching new-release films and 1080p content on it. Who does that while sitting on his desk ?
And what, may I ask, comes next?
That’s easy. Apple is targeting the HDD next. Don’t look surprised when in the very near future all Macs will come with a SSD by default.