Macintosh delivered the Mac Book Air in January, with no optical media (CD/DVD) drive. Many are singing their praises, many are cursing them. I fall into the former group. The Pirates Dilemma has a great quote:
Moving to all-digital media formats isn’t just the most efficient thing to do economically, it’s the right thing to do environmentally, and it wouldn’t be happening as quickly without companies like Apple accepting the reality of the situation when most media and technology companies won’t.
Optical Media needs to be dead…
At my house are over 1,000 old CD’s that are stacked and awaiting their recycle date. CD’s and DVD’s are terrible for the environment and not terribly easy to recycle. I burned a CD for the first time in months last week when I downloaded the newest Live CD of DSL to install on an old laptop. I hated that I had to do it, but I could not boot such an old machine from a usb thumb drive, unfortunately.
Why use something that is one shot?
We have long since retired single shot firearms, why are we holding onto this archaic media? I understand there is such thing as a re-writable disc, but they are much more of a pain than they are beneficial. Like the semi- and fully-automatic firearms of today we have new media to replace the CD/DVD. Hard drives are dirt cheap and flash media is coming down in price while also being faster than both disc drives and optical media. Flash / USB Thumb Drives are nearly indestructible (I’ve seen someone wash his thumb drive 3 times), have much higher capacities than CD’s or DVD’s, are compatible with nearly every operating system and computer, are 100% reusable, and are far smaller than optical media.
You have 1,000 DVD’s and 1,000 CD’s at your house?!
Personally I don’t have a single CD anymore. iTunes, Napster, and more have changed the landscape of music and no longer do CD’s hold our music hostage. I have a central entertainment server at my house which cost me just a few hundred bucks (far less than your CD collection). It houses all of my music and movies to stream across my network to any laptop and my two Xbox Media Center enabled consoles. Netflix has rentals which don’t require media to be mailed, try that for starters. You can legally rip all of your DVD’s onto a machine and we all know hard drives are dirt cheap (500 gigs for less than $100).
I’m weaned of Optical Media, so should you be.
My flash drive never leaves my side. My MP3 player keeps me rocking the time away. The internet holds all the files I need. My server feeds up my Movies and Music. While there is no optical media to be found! Join the Revolution!
You guys can’t be serious. Clearly none of you have any understanding of economic factors. For one, optical discs are still WAY WAY cheaper for their capacity than any other medium. Second, they are still the most reliable format for storage. Many people like to actually collect and store their music and movie collections, not just download popular singles on their ipods that they will likely throw away once a year for a new model (ipods and cellphoens are a much greater environmental hazard than optical discs). I would die before I trusted my media collection to a hard drive, nevermind an ipod. Once flash is vastly improved and WAY WAY cheaper, I would consider switching over to that, but then and only then. Also, many people still like to buy a physical object that delivers their media in a nice format like a graphically rich music cd. Only the rich or well off can afford to do away with optical discs. The majority of the world BY FAR still uses optical discs are their primary media “holders”. Sure, optical will die in less than 10 years, but not anytime soon, and certainly not because Mac decided not to use it anymore. Mac also solders graphics cards directly to the motherboards of most of it’s computers. I seriously doubt that this will kill the stand alone graphics card industry. What a joke.
Optical media is the single most greatest invention in external computer storage in history, can you imagine what life would be like if optical media had not been invented? Secondly please don’t compare a mp3 to a CD. MP3s were meant to be listened to on cheap stereo music players not high fidelity speakers. CD audio will always have the best pure quality that cannot be replaced by compressed MP3s. Finally, hard drives are cheap but they are not distributable. If you had to distribute a video to 100 people would you buy 100 hard drives? You’re obviously thinking to much about how nice it would be if the world were only flash. But flash is also a environmentally destructive. More resources are wasted created hard drives and flash chips than producing plastic recyclable optical media that use organic dyes. You say that digital downloads don’t harm the environment but what you don’t realize is how much energy network servers waste per hour by just being turned on. All forms of technology damages the environment, the destruction from the internet is just not immediately visible.
AMEN! Ignore the shouts and honking of the monkeys commenting here, optical is DEAD. It deserves to die and is on it’s deathbed as we speak. Sure, it served a purpose, but now its time to move on. There are tons of technologies that are on their way out once the infrastructure and the usage hits a tipping point: land-line telephones, Fax Machines, the combustion engine and film based recording media.
The real question is WHY does the death of optical scare so many? Sure it will probably linger as a niche tech, the way vinyl has. But it’s dead.
@Sam I distribute video, audio and photos to 1000s of people each day. I use bittorrent, facebook, youtube, email and FTP. EVERYONE has a HDD.
Hallelujah, Ellis!!! RIP optical media. Follow the light and embrace ‘The Cloud’ my fellow disciples…
Yes, millions of people love to collect their media on CD and DVDs. Heck! I was one of them!
That said, i’m also old enough to remember collecting my music, movie and game collections on Vinyl, Cassette Tape, Cartridge, Floppy Disc, 8mm and VHS!!!
Credit, where it is due, goes to optical media. It has served me well and saved my bacon countless times. But that was merely by being superior to floppy discs! Need i even say more?
The era of optical storage media has passed. Whether it’s more friendly to the environment than power hungry HDDs and server/internet based storage solutions remains to be proven to be quite honest. Until then, i reckon that it deserves to be laid to rest with the rest of the arcane storage media at your nearest landfill site 😉
I agree though I am of the age where I can say I have enjoyed great optical media such as 8track, cassettes, vhs, 5″ floppies, 3.5″floppies, cartridges, CDs, DVDs, etc. But I am a big fan of flash media because it is hot swappable and can be taken on the go, need I say more? I am with Jason as far as what toll the internet, power hungry HDDs, and internet servers pay on the environment! SO in closing, I say RIP Optical media and VIVA FLASH!