Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Continuing Case for Optical Drives

This morning I ran across this post from a year ago regarding the need for optical drives and making the case that the time to kill optical hasn't come yet.

Since that time, Apple has shipped new models of the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini without an optical drive.  Lion shipped without optical (they opted, instead, to make the OS available on a flash drive after user outcry).  And Netflix attempted to shift its business away from DVDs by breaking its streaming and DVD businesses into two separate companies (only to cancel that move shortly afterward).  The Mac App store launched, offering software for download instead of on DVD for install.  But some titles, such as OS X Lion weigh in at 3.5 GB, which would take hours to download.

Several times in the past year I've attempted to deliver some portraits I took digitally, instead of on DVD (but in every case, the client called back and requested a disc so they didn't have to download all their photos).

Also this year, I was able to burn and produce DVDs as freelance projects.  I was able to install some games that I hadn't played in several years from the discs, which I still have.  I was able to deliver press files to print quickly (and cheaply) by burning them to DVD.  I never got these discs back, nor did I expect to because DVDs are so cheap.

So the optical drive landscape has changed somewhat in the last year, but I still agree with every word of what I wrote last year.  We still need optical drives.  Period.

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