M-Disc Optical Drives


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I was told by an Apple advisor in a store, some time ago, that the current iMac's, (which are now sold without an integrated optical drive) will only run with Apple's own external optical drives. These machines will also be running the same IOS that I am using.

Does anyone know, please, if Mavericks and in due course Yosemite will work without conflict with third party optical drives that use M-disc technology? As far as I can tell, Apple's own optical drive does not support M-Discs. I really only need an M-Disc writer, as the external drive and the integrated one, (if I wanted to use it) should be able to read an M-Disc like any other disk.

I run an iMac with a 3.06 Ghz intel core i3 processor. Memory: 4GB: Software OS X 10.9.3 Mavericks. It has a Firewire port and USB2 ports. My iMac is about three and a half years old. It has an integrated optical drive, but I prefer to use my external LaCie read/write drive.

Thank you.
I
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

I am not sure you received the correct information from the Apple advisor. The Apple USB SuperDrive is only unique in that it will only work with Macs that do not have a built-in optical drive. If you connect it to a Mac that has a built-in optical drive, it will not be recognized by the system. Your iMac doesn't support the Apple USB SuperDrive. Third-party external optical drives work with pretty much any Mac, and only rarely need a software driver to be installed.

M-DISC USB external drives should continue to be compatible with future releases of OS X. As you stated, you do need an M-DISC burner/writer to create them, but most standard DVD drives should be able to read the 4.7 GB DVD M-DISCs. Most Blu-Ray drives should be able to also read the 25 GB Blu-Ray M-DISCs.

Do you already have an M-DISC burner/writer?

C
 
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Hi Cory,

Thanks for clarifying the workings of the Apple SuperDrive. Would my external LaCie read/writer drive be recognised by a newer iMac, one without an integrated optical drive? I hastily add, I am not intending to trade in what I've got. I just want to understand the pros and cons of the current hardware.

I am thinking about buying an M-Disc burner/writer, so I can transfer stuff off CD's that are officially past their shelf life. I have heard of possible 'conflicts' with an iMac and a Lite-On M-Disc burner/writer, in that, the folders do not sit where they should, for example, and it has become necessary to burn to a re-writable DVD first to see if everything is sitting on the disk, as it should. It sounds like programming issues. As I am not conversant with Unix, I don't want to get into a situation where I experience similar difficulties.

Thanks.

:)
 

Cory Cooper

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No problem.

Yes, the current Mac models without an integrated optical drive are compatible with third-party external optical drives like your LaCie.

The only incompatibility is Macs WITH an integrated optical drive DO NOT support/recognize the Apple USB SuperDrive.

If you intend on purchasing an M-DISC burner/writer, just make sure it states Mac compatibility on it's packaging or manual. The real incompatibility lies in the software included, more than the hardware itself.

The Lite-On M-DISC drive should work with iMacs. Maybe they aren't using the correct software as I stated above. Your LaCie optical drive probably has a Lite-On or TSSTcorp (Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology) mechanism in it. Do you have a link to where that iMac incompatibility exists...I can read over it if you'd like.

C
 
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Hello Again, Cory,

To your question, no I don't have any link to the issue at the moment. If I may, I should like to come back to you about that, should I obtain the information, preferably before I dip my toes in the water!

I very much appreciate your advice and help. Thank you.

I
 
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box3.jpg

There is update info on my conflict query. I have also been sent .jpegs of the box that the disc drive was packed in. It is obviously supplied with a software disc. As yet, I have not bought this drive.

I have been told that the unstable icons problem seems to have been resolved by switching off Time Machine when burning to disc!

I am uploading pix of the drive spec etc as given on the box.
box3.jpg
I hope you can enlarge these two jpegs.

Any thoughts?

Again, my thanks.

I
 

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Cory Cooper

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That unit should work, but it is only CD/DVD and not Blu-ray. It shows M-DISC compatibility...not sure if it reading only or read/write.

Strange that Time Machine would affect disc burning...hmmm.

The supplied software disc is probably just the Nero software app for Windows. Macs shouldn't need a driver, however you will need some form of burning software such as Toast or similar.

C
 
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That unit should work, but it is only CD/DVD and not Blu-ray. It shows M-DISC compatibility...not sure if it reading only or read/write.

Strange that Time Machine would affect disc burning...hmmm.

The supplied software disc is probably just the Nero software app for Windows. Macs shouldn't need a driver, however you will need some form of burning software such as Toast or similar.

C
Hi,
It was just a writer I was thinking about getting as I have a LaCie read/write CD/DVD drive that could read the M-discs. I wasn't planning Blue Ray discs as they have too huge a capacity for what I want, burning personal info. I don't have blue ray equipment for watching anything. I have a cut down version of Toast 9 that I usually use for burning.

I was pleased jiggling icons problem was resolved but the cause for it is puzzling.

Do you have any thoughts on the workings of power usb hubs and iMac? With so few USB sockets, it is something I have given thought to using for some peripherals, an M-Disc drive being one of them?

Very many thanks.
I
 

Cory Cooper

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Ahhh...then a CD/DVD M-DISC burner would be fine.

Yes, it is puzzling.

Powered hubs work well, and I never recommend unpowered USB hubs for that reason. As USB is hot-swappable (as long as you unmount and drives that store data before unplugging), you could always just swap around USB devices as you need them, if you don't want/need them connected all of the time. But, a powered USB is a good thing to have and are pretty inexpensive.

C
 
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Cory,

I am very glad of your help with this issue and thank you very much for your advice and for your time. You're a star!

:)
 

Cory Cooper

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Anytime, that's why we are here.

Feel free to ask if you have any further questions regarding this possible purchase.

C
 
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I have a Macbook Pro with Mac OS x 10.6.8 - I insert the m-disc to burn into the internal read/writer; using Nero-like wanderland software and it gives me an OOPS error. Please help. Do I need an external read/writer? a blu-ray? thanks..
 

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