New Mac mini abandons DVD drive - does anybody care?
By Adam TURNER
Apple's ditched the optical drive on another Mac, but is it a big deal?
Faster, cheaper and more powerful, the new Mac mini has a lot to offer. Every time a new Mac mini hits the Apple store I start to fantasise about building the dream media centre PC, even though I’m convinced that a handful of dedicated devices is a more practical solution for most lounge rooms. It’s just that the Mac mini is so small, sleek and sexy, plus every new model seems to be cheap yet more powerful than the last.
This week’s new Mac mini is $AU699 and looks better than ever (although we still get screwed on price considering its $US599). It features a dual-core Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor and AMD Radeon HD 6630M discrete graphics, or else a quad-core Core i7 in the server configuration. On the back you’ll find HDMI and Thunderbolt. It’s not until you study the spec sheet that you realise the optical drive is now missing from both the desktop and server models.
Apple tends to lead the way when it comes to ditching legacy features. It generally cops a lot of flak but, in hindsight, people tend to agree that it was the right move. Eliminating the DVD drive from the Mac mini is a major milestone, probably more significant than ditching the optical drive in the MacBook Air. It’s also perhaps the final nail in the coffin of any hope of seeing Macs ship with a Blu-ray drive.
If Apple could, I think it would be happy to scrap the DVD drive from every Mac today. It’s a business decision - it suits Apple for us to purchase our entertainment from the iTunes store and our software from the Mac App store. There’s no space for optical discs in Apple’s plans for world domination, but if Cupertino moves too fast it will scare some people away. If optical drives are phased out slowly enough, Apple is hoping that no-one will care. I’d say the time is right for Apple to make this next move and I doubt many people will complain.
A year or two ago, people would have made a big deal about scrapping the DVD drive in the Mac mini - especially as many people envision it as a media centre computer. But these days, anyone who wants a lounge room PC has probably ripped their disc collection to their computer or network drive anyway. Their lounge room media player is little more than a streaming media box, pulling content from their network and the internet. If you do have a disc collection, it doesn’t cost much to drop in a Blu-ray player alongside your media player, but you’ll find yourself using the optical drive less and less.
Optical discs are far from dead, just because the early adopters have embraced something new doesn’t mean the mainstream is ready to change. But the release of the new Mac mini without an optical drive will certainly be mentioned in the obituary when physical media eventually dies away.
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Instead of upgrading to the latest technology (Blu Ray) they are going backwards. Digital downloads are a joke. Both MP3 and their movies are far inferior in quality to the CD/DVD/BLU RAY discs content. I will stick to my FLAC CD Rips and Blu Ray Movies since downloads do not even remotely come close to matching.
Don't try to eat all the apples at a time. That make you go to the sick bed.
I have something in the region of £3,000 of dvd's which if I now get a new Mac mini - I cant use?!!
I leant on Macs and have possessed one for all of the last 25 years and loved them - but have HATED Apple - arrogant, smug and supercilious, and rapacous.
So now I have to have an add-on if I want what I had before and avoid dependence of Apple for audio visuals.
Apple does make mistakes. Will they coorect this one?
Some of us still need to convert our CD collections.
Some of us bought Adobe Photoshop on DVD.
Some of us use this machine as our DVD player.
Apple is forcing me back to my PS3 again, with the hopes that I would buy more on line content from them. (***** them.)
I'm tired of Apple controlling the flow of information. My last mini-mac was great. It was hooked up moments from purchase.
This one sat in the box for a full month, because I didn't want to spend the time overcoming all of it's shortfalls.
Is it a faster CPU with more RAM? Yes.
Is it a better product? Far from it.
A mac out of the box, can't play half of the internet videos. Ok, download VLC, buy Flip4Mac... Now where did those codecs go?
It can't identify a logitech keyboard out of the box... ok, pick a key. Don't forget to fix your scroll.
Apparently who would want to install software from their previous machine? Crazy talk I know.
I anyone else tired of this rigmarole?
Who would ever want to ever save? (That's right... Trust the OS which hides more from you.) I guess using extra file space for my text document is necessary, because the new 132 saved versions of this document seem so important.
Fun, I can't save my image, because even though I spent 20 minutes fiddling with it, it's now locked.
You can ditto that for the last OS upgrade. I've had Macs for 16 years. Yosemite was brilliant. My last mini was brilliant.
Apple (Insert your own negative words reflecting your personal experiences here) isn't always.
Why do I feel like 2012 feels like 1992... bring on the PowerPC and the clones? This company is losing it's mind again.
Maybe they at least made it more convenient to import video from any major video camera.... nope.