Is Apple about to kill the SuperDrive on Macs?

“Apple has decreed death to 32-bit apps on Macs, but DVD Player is now the only remaining 32-bit application included within macOS High Sierra’s already 64-bit default software stack,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “It means an essential software component used by thousands of Mac users to watch video on their machines has no future.”

“I guess it’s easy to argue that with so much media content streamed or purchased online these days, there’s less need for an optical drive than there once was,” Evans writes. “These days, the only way to get hold of a DVD reading/writing optical drive is to invest in a $79 Apple SuperDrive — and if you use a modern MacBook Pro equipped with Thunderbolt 3, then you need to get a USB-C to USB Adapter to connect the device to your Mac.”

“This lack of compatibility at the high end of the Apple-verse is surely a clear message that the future of the Apple accessory doesn’t look bright,” Evans writes. “This fate isn’t entirely unexpected. Apple’s been phasing out optical drives in its Macs since it introduced the MacBook Air in 2008.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Time marches on.

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    1. No it’ll work fine, the OS plays dvd natively in recent beta builds without DVD player, and there are a couple hundred third party 64 bit options. For data it’ll work exactly the same, and nothing changes. Also I suspect that DVD player will remain until macs with optical drives (2012 Mac Pro & MacBook Pro) until they are no longer supported. About 3 years, given recent history.

    1. Yep. Even the ones in my old Mac Pro stopped working or the door that opens it (an unnecessary Apple design feature that turns ugly in old age) refuses to work properly.

      You’ve have no other choice with current portable models now for some time. I still rip the occasional CD and burn Blu-Rays of projects for promotional purposes.

      1. Correct, and the DVD software will probably still be there until macs that have built in SuperDrives cease to be supported. (2012 non retina MacBook Pro’s & Mac Pro’s)

    1. Agree..
      i have a ton of archives on optical disks that i access once in a while..
      What should i do.. rip them to a hard drive… ??

      Apple is becoming way to minimilistic at the cost of convenience and ergonomics… ( these are work tool after all )
      Their clutter free philosophy only looks/sounds good in a vacuum. Its not a ‘clutter free’ philosophy….. Its a ‘clutter scatter’ philosophy.
      A real Apple work station/desk, now, is cluttered with dongles and external drives hubs and wires instead. Messy ..

      1. Not to a hard drive, use a flash drives. Flash drives are better as they’re hardier than optical, take up less space to store and are less likely than optical recordable media to become unreadable in the next 10-20 years.

  1. About 2 years ago I bought my wife an external Blu-ray player for her 2013 MacBook Pro. We found third party software for watching Blu-ray movies. Works very well.

    I lost access to my iTunes library when I did a clean install of High Sierra using the new filing system and leaving my external drive plugged in. (Lost access to Time Machine too thanks to daisy chaining the thunderbolt drives.). Decided it was easier to re-rip ~400 CDs than try to recreate my library from the files the data recovery software found.

    Thanks to the USB3 interface, the Blu-ray drive is much faster than my SuperDrive. Given there are third party alternatives Apple should drop production of the SuperDrive. It is not so super anymore. In addition those of us who prefer to own physical copies of our media, seem to be shrinking in numbers.

    Oh and Apple had to give me a brand new iPhone 6 Plus after THEY botched a battery replacement at an Apple store.

    Apple has disappointed me in so many ways over the past few years. If you are reading this then you know all the issues.

    Long live physical media, “dumb” speakers, wired headphones, and the 3.5 mm jack! 🙂

  2. about 3 times a year I need to burn a cd-dvd data disk and send it someplace. It would suck not to have that anymore.

    I guess I need to order about 10 small usb thumb drives just in case… they cost about $6 each. I still have about 50 blank dvds…..

  3. I use the DVD player a lot. Downloading works nice for recent movies but it is not an option for many medical or technical videos.

    Unfortunately, DVD player will play a lot of videos that VLC will not.

    Recompiling an app into 64 bit takes very little work. So it could be done quickly and inexpensively if Apple so chooses. The fact that Apple has yet to do speaks volumes.

    High priced computer that are slowly becoming less and less useful to those of us who aren’t interested in the latest flick from Hollywood.

    P.S. I’m not an Apple hater, just a frustrated user. In the last year I have purchased over $10,000 in equipment from Apple. I am well aware of their strong points and weaknesses.

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