Could someone explain the logic behind CD-burning in Finder?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Evangelion, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    I had a folder that had about 500MB of JPEGs in it. I was told to burn those pics to a CD. I plopped in a blank CD-R, and it was recognized and it appeared in Finder. The icon for the CD even had a small "burn" icon next to it in Finder. OS X being the easy to use OS, I thought that the operation is 100% intuitive and drag-and-drop. So I grabbed the images, and dragged them to the blank CD and hit "burn". And everything seemed to work. But notice the word "seemed". As it turned out, it did not burn the images, it burned shortcuts to those images.

    Now, could someone explain the logic behind that? Why on Earth would anyone want to burn _shortcuts_ on CD, as opposed to burning the actual content? Did someone at Apple really think that burning shortcuts is what people want to do? Why would anyone want to do that?

    Now, I managed to go around this "feature" by adding the "burn" button to Finder and using that instead.
  2. decksnap macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    what OS version are you using? It should work exactly as you did it. It puts aliases on the unburned disk, but it burns the real files.
  3. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Always like that for me too, though I don't burn too many CD's myself.
  4. Evangelion thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    I'm on 10.5. Well, to be honest I didn't burn it all the way through, I glanced at the contents, and it was full of shortcuts, and I cancelled it at that point, thinking that it's burning the wrong files. So it probably is that had I let it burn all the way through, it would have burned the actual files.

    Even though it seems to work properly, the actual procedure is quite confusing, since it seems like it's burning shortcuts...
  5. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    I found this a tad counter-intuitive also. :)

    The previous behaviour, (early 10.4 or 10.3), was not to indicate they are shortcuts and when they started appearing as shortcuts it did seem "wrong" at the time.

    I can only imagine that you and I are in the minority and that the previous method was confusing the majority of users.

    If anyone from Apple is listening though... ;)

    I have found that since the change, there are always numerous orphaned "burn folders" littered all over our lab machines by the students who apparently don't "get" this change either. Previously this was not the case, so perhaps this isn't as intuitive a change as the Apple engineers think it is.
  6. MBHockey macrumors 68040


    Oct 4, 2003
    New York
    It makes sense to me. If you are looking at the contents prior to, or during the burn you SHOULD see shortcuts -- a sort of queue of files that you know are on the list to burn (since they won't physically all there until the burn is 100% complete).
  7. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Well, it makes some sort of sense, but not intuitive sense. Once the logic is pointed out to you it makes sense in retrospect, but it's not a very smart way to do it. It is not what you see is what you get.

    Show a person who's never done a Finder burn a folder full of alias files and ask them what they think will happen when they burn that folder to disc. The only logical and intuitive conclusion to imagine is that the completed disc will only have the alias files on it that they saw in the folder before it was burned. There's no good reason to imagine that something about the files you see beforehand is going to change during the process of burning a disc! The files you see after the burn should basically be the exact same files you saw before the burn.

    A much better solution would be to add a 'burning' picture in the icon of each file pre-burn instead of the alias 'arrow' and make the files list with their actual size instead of the size of an alias.

    (I've never done a finder burn, does it show an alias file size or the actual file size?)
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Yes, the burn folder will look like it contain shortcuts. BUT the CD or DVD will contain the files. If it's only burning shortcuts and not data, the burn would have take 30 seconds. This is not windows so you can trust what the OS is doing. You need to let it burn the disk and the files will appear.
  9. nashyo macrumors 6502


    Oct 1, 2010
    I've only been using MacOS X for a short while. I'm new to Mac. You saying this...pretty much sums up my experience so far.

    You have to put a lot of thing in trust with mac. The mac doesn't give you much information. You don't don't feel in control. You have to assume it's doing the right thing.

    In all fairness, it usually does the right thing. But the lack of relevant or any information is annoying me more and more. Disc burning is just another example of this. The size of the shortcut to the file to be burnt, is not useful information.

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