Hi All,
My sister likes the absolute latest and best technology, and then usually keeps it for awhile. She wanted to buy a MacBook with Retina display. She also has a collection of over 200 DVDs (movies) and more CDs (music) that she has purchased legally over the years. She also burns CDs and DVDs for music and videos.

However, MacBook with Retina has no optical drive. The optional portable drive only has USB 2, and will not play high quality DVD/Blu Ray movies. She is concerned that USB 2 is too slow – she likes fast speed. And she likes the best picture quality.

So she left the Apple store without a purchase, disappointed because she thought she would buy the MacBook Retina yesterday.

Is there a 3rd party that sells a very high quality Optical Drive that will work with the MacBook Pro Retina that has USB 3 and High Picture quality (Blu Ray)? Or is Apple going to make one anytime soon? I didn’t see anything with Mac Rumors. My techie sister wants the best money can buy.

(On Sep 18, 2013, at 5:18 PM, Amy added)
I totally understand wanting a optical drive with a connection better than USB.
I sent the listserve a email I received from OWC that showed just such an item. And a super duper high quality one at that. USB is ridiculously slow for video transfer..


TO MAKE EXCEPTION AMY, USB 3 is anything BUT slow at 3.2GBps AND is supported on most Macs built after 2011. Maybe not enough for HD video output from Final Cut Pro, but surely fast enough to play or burn Blueray or burn backup files to Blueray Optical drive and as fast as one might need to RIP DVDs.

THAT SAID, IT IS IN OUR GCMUG CLUB CHARTER OR MISSION STATEMENT THAT WE DO NOT PROMOTE COPYRIGHT PIRACY OR SHARING OF COPYRIGHT SOFTWARE. The following is an explanation why you aren’t legally allowed to RIP DVD’s. If there are descriptions of how you “might” do it, it is for educational information ONLY. This ARTICLE, and GCMAC does not promote copyright infringement of ANY KIND

Ripping or copying DVD to your computer is a VERY TIME CONSUMING PROCESS and does take some processing horsepower. So the bottle neck really isn’t the USB interface, it’s the CPU & GPU (in Macs). So a good COMPUTER candidate might be an 2.9ghz iMac Quad core i5 model (2011 or 2012). My 2011 Macbook PRO 2.4ghz i5 is pretty slow, but it does it okay. it just takes forever if you have a bunch to do.

Then the next issue is the software. Roxio makes TOAST which has been the best overall CD/DVD burning software for the Mac. They also have several additional products, that do what your sister wants to do. And there are a few others shareware, Handbrake is one of those, MactheRipper another.

the BIGGEST ISSUE DOING what she wants is COPYRIGHT law and the Movie industry. The Movie companies DO NOT WANT YOU TO RIP their intellectual copyright property (MOVIE entertainment falls into that category). No, they want you to buy more modern Blueray DVDs that include a digital copy (for mobile devices) as well as the Blueray and standard DVD. And to a major degree, THEY HAVE THE UPPER HAND according to the law. Read the EULA that comes as the FBI warning at the beginning of every DVD movie. So Roxio software won’t copy a DVD (properly) that has copyright protection built into the movie. and a WARNING COMES UP WHEN YOU TRY. The shareware software CAN get around those issues, usually.

When the music industry successfully shut down MP3 sharing “free” Napster (years ago), Apple and Steve Jobs made deals with the music industry and the iTunes Store was born. Like Xerox giving away the GUI to Apple, the music industry underestimated Apple’s ability to see the future (and sell music), and basically gave away the CD business. Who plays CD’s much anymore??

The movie industry saw Jobs coming after that, tightened their ranks and got law written in their favor, to make sure free movie sharing didn’t follow the same fate (except it has to a minor degree). There is still plenty of illegal movie sharing. But there is also legal Netflix and Movies sold through iTunes and Amazon and others.
Now a few years back when the internet was young and incapable of delivering streaming HD quality video, music was easily stolen. Enter the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It basically said that like computer software (that you actually never own, you are just renting the right to use it), purchased music was legally allowed to be copied and transferred to an MP3 player or an “iPod”. As long as it was for PERSONAL USE. THE MOVIE INDUSTRY lobbied and got written into that act their protection AGAINST copying of ANY SORT. Definitely a blow to end users, but a boon for Apple, Netfilx, HBO, Showtime, Comcast. The cable and satellite providers give you a DVR these days, have movies on demand (they sell to us for recent releases). But you notice how tightly controlled movies are.

Typically movies are released on DVD months ahead of the cable and satellite companies getting them, although that is changing a little because people don’t want to bother renting a movie DVD as much anymore, when they can get HD quality from ON DEMAND to watch it once it is on cable, if they are willing to wait a few months.

If a person really wants a movie they can buy it digitally from iTunes or Amazon, who also get the new releases before the cable company. And you will notice they cost a pretty premium when they first come out. ITunes Store is paying most of the cost you pay, back to the movie companies in the form of “Royalties”. That word itself smacks of old archaic aristocratic “rights” doesn’t it? But iTunes Store is looking at BILLIONS $$$$ OF SALES. STEVE JOBS SAID THAT APPLE WAS NOT THAT INTERESTED IN MAKING MONEY FROM ITMS. (yeah right, even 2¢ times a billion is a lot of money)

The cost goes down and iTunes Store pays a smaller royalty as time passes, eventually they come out on HBO and Showtime for a modest monthly subscription. Then you can record it to your DVR and watch it as many times as you want. (it seems you can’t record some ON DEMAND movies). Usually you can watch it as many times as you want in a 24 hour period after you “rent” the right from the cable company. Same for the rentals from iTunes except I think you get a little more time. (????) I have only rented a movie from iTunes once so I don’t remember. All through this process however, the movie companies are collecting royalties, every step of the way.
So there in lies the dilemma. YOU CAN rip your own CD’s. Legally you own the music after you paid for the CD. Movies on DVD or Blueray, you don’t. It’s a weird law, and recently has been modified in part due to Apple lobbying to cover “Unlocking” your cell phone. Originally the same federal act allowed you to unlock your cell phone at any time if you paid full price for it.

Because you technically don’t fully “own” the phone if you buy it on a “contract” from the big cell providers, that spreads the cost over the length of the contract, until that contract expires. There is a “gray area” in dispute in the courts right now over “jail breaking or rooting” which allows the end user more control over their devices to add unsanctioned 3rd party software. Unlocking allows you to take your phone to another cell company. There is a difference.

Apple really DOESNT WANT TO SELL UNLOCKED PHONES, and it’s a cat and mouse game with hackers that use software exploits to unlock or jailbreak the iPhone. Apple’s programming engineers are pretty smart, buy it seems that the hackers are just that much smarter.

The 6.1.2 release of IOS was jailbroken the day after it was released. the 6.1.3 and 6.1.4 were not partly because the hackers didn’t want to expose their “exploits” to Apple engineers, so as to be able to hack IOS 7. A software was distributed that even a novice could use to do it, as long as you can read and follow the simple instructions.

Now that IOS 7 has been released and the iPhone 5S has a much tighter security protocol and 64 bit processor, it will be interesting to see how long it takes the hacker community to break into the new OS and new iPhone models. I AM “salivating” FOR THE 5S. It is a quantum leap in hardware and software that is underestimated by Wall Street. Expect the 5C to drop in price quickly, while the 5S will remain pricey for a year until the model 6 comes out next year. The 5C is being introduced in China on the 20th alongside the 5S. I think the Chinese price will get lowered first, just to jack the numbers up. Apple made a deal with China Telecom that has 175 million subscribers! There are already 20 million unlocked iPhones in use on that cellular service. CHINA TELECOM HAS 175 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS!, Imagine the pent up demand there is in that market for a cheap iPhone? APPLE HAS ALREADY. China has over 700 million cell phone subscribers (in addition with other telecoms).


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