Are optical drives becoming obsolete?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TSE, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

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    #1
    With the increase of software being bought with digital downloads from major companies, with the use of wifi and access anywhere wireless internet, and the fact that people are willing to spend 2k on a laptop without an optical drive, it seems as though optical drives are slowly becoming obsolete.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    Steve Jobs believes optical media to be dead, so yes, optical drives are becoming obsolete.

    Isn't it funny, a company that everyone copies...
     
  3. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

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    #3
    Yes, I believe they are slowly becoming obsolete, though not quite yet. Isn't it just a natural progression away from tangible media?
     
  4. Decrepit macrumors 65816

    Decrepit

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    #4
    Everything becomes obsolete at some point.

    Punch cards
    Cassettes
    Floppies
    Etc.

    My problem is that as we go forward, the replacements reduce our ability to redownload or reuse these products.

    With a CD, I can take it out of the box and have the music.
    With a download, I can't redownload it for free if the original copy is lost.
    Etc.
     
  5. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

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    #5
    Most apps let you download them as many times as you want as a trial. They usually have an option for you to activate it if you already have the serial.
     
  6. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    #6
    Music CD sales have plummeted, software comes from the tubes, even Game are allowing PC game downloads. The next-gen consoles will likely allow all full games to be downloaded, at least as an option. AppleTV and alike systems will take over the video industry, and so this will have been the last disc-format war.

    Broadband speeds, which are truly pathetic in the US, are the only limit, as HDs are increasingly huge. Optical drives aren't starting to die, they're pretty much dead to me (I'll still buy the odd 360 game once in a while, but that is it).

    That is the case with iTunes Music Store, but not all online stores. I don't think iTMS will stay like this for too long either.
     
  7. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #7
    I agree, though optical media is definitely on its way out IMHO - and not before time either, I think we can do better. They're just not robust or compact enough for the average Joe. Flash will surely be the future, not that we need it in any additional form factors!
     
  8. Decrepit macrumors 65816

    Decrepit

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    #8
    How about next year?

    How about iTunes songs?

    What happens if the company goes out of business, their software doesn't.
     
  9. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    Dec 5, 2007
    #9
    That is actually a myth. Music CD sales have only gone down about 1.7% in the past five years. I would not consider that a large drop at all. A lot of people are saying that just because the music industry is complaining about illegal file sharing, but it's really not true.
     
  10. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #10
    of course they're dying out. there really is no reason to stay with an old medium. i rarely use the optical drive on my macbook or imac, but they're there still just in case i suppose. i dont quite see it dying out as fast as say the 3.5" floppies for many reasons, but they certainly won't always be needed, especially in a laptop. i can see desktops retaining them for quite some time.
     
  11. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

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    #11
    Think about it.. When was the last time you used your drive? The only time I ever use mine is for big software packages (like Office), OS reinstalls, and the occasional person who burns a disc to give me photos, files, etc. The last one can usually be accomplished more quickly using the web, a flash drive, etc.

    Even big software packages (Adobe's entire lineup) can be downloaded and activated with your license.

    Don't get me wrong, I think optical drives will still be around for a while. For the average person, though, they're really not needed that much at all.

    Edit: The one area I see optical media still being largely used is movies. I don't think digital movie downloads will become popular for at least a few years. Like others have said, there are some limiting factors like broadband speed and the current movie selection. It is getting better, though.
     
  12. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #12
    Optional, definitely. Obsolete? Not quite yet.
     
  13. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    #13
    Source? When I search, I get things like this (from Jan '08)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/04/business/media/04music.html

     
  14. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I guess I sorta worded what I was trying to say incorrectly. CD sales have only dropped about 1.7% due to illegal music sharing. Sorry for not explaining it more clearly.
     
  15. beyondthesmile macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Yep, movies are pretty much the only thing I use the optical drive for regularly. If given the option of having it or not, though, I'd prefer to have it, at least right now.
     
  16. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #16
    i like having physical seprate static copies of my data and not just on hard drives so yes, I use it quite a bit
     
  17. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #17
    I'm not so sure. When I go on holidays with people when we come back I give them a CD, or more frequently a DVD, with all the pictures I took on it. I include the Raw images as well as the JPEGs. On average we are talking 600Mb or so for a 1 week trip. Without an optical drive I'd need online storage for that and be able to upload 600Mb in a sensible amount of time. I can burn 4 DVDs in a few minutes. It'd take the best part of a day to upload that!
     
  18. ajy0903 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 5, 2008
    #18
    It is getting obsolite.
    But what about Blu-ray stuffs?
    It is new technology.
    And Blu-ray also has optical drive form, right?
     
  19. LaDirection macrumors 6502

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    Jul 14, 2006
    #19
    I don't know what planet you live on, but here on Earth 99.999% of ALL software comes on DVD's or CD's, this includes games. AppleTV is inconsequential in the film distribution market. It's not even 1% of DVD sales. It will never have the quality or special features of Blu Ray and will never be a mainstream success.

    Are optical drives becoming obsolete???? Gimme a f****** break. Is electricity??
     
  20. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #20
    No offense, but your post really doesn't make sense. Technology improves, but only if something can be improved. So far we haven't really found something to completely replace electricity.
     
  21. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #21
    really? because in the past two years, only three programs i have bought have come disc only.

    Leopard
    iLife
    and Office 08.
     
  22. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

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    Apr 10, 2007
    #22
    Time Machine? Backup hard drive? At some point, it's not up to the company to replace something you've purchased. In the 80s, if you lost your CD, you had to buy it again. Same with LPs. In fact, just about every product out there, if you lose it (or it breaks, etc.), you're out of luck. Digital downloads shouldn't be any different. Obviously, they need to give you a few days, weeks to make sure you got the file. But beyond that, there's no reason they should have to provide replacements for anyone.

    Just my opinion, of course.
     
  23. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

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    #23
    The optical drive isn't dead yet, but I can't name the last time I popped mine out except to play with the tray. Sure, I burn dual layer DVD backups of my iTunes library, but I haven't bought much in a while. Now that my friend has a new computer (MacBook) with an internet connection, I don't have to burn him DVDs anymore. So really, there isn't much need for optical media in my life at the moment. In fact, I could see CDs and DVDs be replaced by cheap mass produced flash drives.
     
  24. WWDCSNOWLEOPARD macrumors newbie

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  25. OMG 3G I-PHONE macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Omfg If The 3g I-phone Doesn't Have An Optical Drive Im Gonna Sue Appl
     

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