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Apple: Optical drives are holding back the industry, Blu-ray bad too

Posted at 31 October 2012 17:51 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

The Vice President of Apple’s global marketing, Phil Schiller has explained the reasoning behind the lack of optical drives in many new Apple computers. The tech giant from Cupertino ditched optical drives in the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro and the company will also drop them in the 5 mm thin iMacs.

According to Schiller, optical drives have had their longest life and are holding the industry back . He also said that optical disc drives have ‘inherent issues because they’re mechanical, use power and are large’. Schiller states that it’s possible to make smaller, lighter and less power consuming products.

He also added that  consumers have also stopped asking Apple for Blu-ray which the company has decided to also not support in their products. He said that it’s better for consumers to buy movies through iTunes than on Blu-ray. According to Schiller, Blu-ray comes ‘with issues unrelated to the actual quality of the movie that make it a complex and not-great technology’.

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There are 12 comments

jbkingjr
MyCE Junior Member
Posted on: 31 Oct 12 18:58
    Wow, the arrogance of Apple... makes me not want to buy ANYTHING at all from iTunes just to help prove the point that iTunes isn't the real solution...
    TSJnachos117
    MyCE Senior Member
    Posted on: 31 Oct 12 19:59
      Interesting take. On one hand, it sounds like they just want to sell you the movies, themselves, rather than have you buy them from someone else. On the other hand, I, myself have long felt that optical media is, by nature, a PITA. In fact, was not Club CD Freaks meant to help people with the PITA nature?

      That's one thing I loved about Gameboys: They used cartridges instead of CDs, so as a child, I didn't have to worry about scratches. Plus, in this day and age, solid state memory seems to make more and more sense. I do hope that BD's will be replaced by SSD cartridges, as that would simplify many things, although I'm not sure how that would affect the owners' abilities (or need) to make backups.
      geno888
      Senior Moderator, Editor and Guru
      Posted on: 31 Oct 12 22:07
        That thing about optical drives being mechanic means that they give only problems is pretty stupid: also hard disks are mechanical, so HDD are good but optical drives are not?

        As usual manufacturers use lame excuses to justify their decisions (in this case the decision of removing an optical drive from computers)
        Anthony1uk
        MyCE Senior Member
        Posted on: 31 Oct 12 23:15
          " He said that it’s better for consumers to buy movies through iTunes than on Blu-ray."

          Looking at Itunes a 2hour HD movie is 4.5-5GB. A blu-ray a 2hr movie is around 25GB. Are apple going to try and argue the quality is identical?
          olyteddy
          Senior Moderator
          Posted on: 01 Nov 12 04:25
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by Anthony1uk
            " He said that it’s better for consumers to buy movies through iTunes than on Blu-ray."

            Looking at Itunes a 2hour HD movie is 4.5-5GB. A blu-ray a 2hr movie is around 25GB. Are apple going to try and argue the quality is identical?
            On a second or third generation iPod they are...
            Zod
            MyCE Resident
            Posted on: 01 Nov 12 06:27
              The problem with online distribution is that cableco/telco's are started to fear losing revenue to internet video formats. Thus they continue to cap services to limit how much video content a person can view. (The downside of the same companys owning/operating TV and Internet services).

              On the other hand leaving out optical drives does save space. I have a small 13 inch laptop that doesn't have an optical drive. It really does help keep the laptop size down.

              On the other hand my PC has a Bluray and a DVD drive in it.....

              I think there's still room for optical, but its also ok to leave them out of small devices when you're trying to keep the size down.
              hanns
              New Member
              Posted on: 01 Nov 12 22:16
                iTunes? Seriously? When I buy a movie, I want to OWN it. Not license it. I don't want someone taking stuff away from me because they feel I don't deserve it.
                tmc8080
                MyCE Resident
                Posted on: 02 Nov 12 00:57
                  Apple must put up or shut up, I don't see them investing in a 7 billion dollar chip plant that will produce 10nm chip designs for SSD memories.. It's quite possible in the future, Apple might have to BUY SSD memories from Samsung should they corner the market... the only alternative is a collective of companies pooling their resources to pony up 5 - 7 billion dollars on a similar chip plant.

                  These long-term plans are for SSD capacities into the gigabytes-- rendering hard drive companies obsolete. Now it really is a race for HDD makers to get drives bigger than 4tb out to the people before Samsung finishes that 7 billion dollar plant and begins to make 1, 2, 3, 4 Terabyte SSD drives for the mass market. I've heard this could be competed sometime in 2014 or 2015. Let the HDD industry procrastinate another couple of years and they'll be overrun by REAL innovators.
                  ChristineBCW
                  MyCE Die Hard
                  Posted on: 02 Nov 12 14:20
                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by hanns
                    When I buy a movie, I want to OWN it. Not license it. I don't want someone taking stuff away from me because they feel I don't deserve it.
                    Well, maybe we won't "own" the rights, we're only licensees. But I want to HAVE it in my grubby li'l paws so I can enjoy MY entertainment on MY schedule in MY locations.

                    And "being constantly plugged in and tracked" is never going to be my ideal venue for 'entertainment'.

                    I don't think this notion is truly pleasing to anyone but, for now, the tracking has been either non-existent (that's what we love to believe), weak or 'safe'.

                    Well, Fantasyland for the moneymakers will be Nightmareland for most consumers. The moneymakers just have to keep clouding the issues and deflecting attention away.

                    But it's not their only hope. "Consumers have no choices. We have HDMI which has embedded DRM signals..."

                    And, "We have Region and PAL-vs-NTSC encoding - we can now prevent customers from being entertained by certain products simply because they're sitting in one place or another on the earth's surface."

                    In some ways, Apple's comments about destroying physical media helps overcome some of these limitations. But they are Number One in keeping us locked-in and tracked. And they love THAT part. I don't know why Apple would merely contract with storage-manufacturers. Why not buy up the storage-companies AND the "content of storage" companies, too - fill up HDD or SSD space with Apple-owned Disney-Sony-Warner films, movies, subscription news, etc.?!!
                    _chef_
                    MyCE Resident
                    Posted on: 03 Nov 12 14:15
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by jbkingjr
                      Wow, the arrogance of Apple... makes me not want to buy ANYTHING at all from iTunes just to help prove the point that iTunes isn't the real solution...
                      Yep, fully agree.
                      geno888
                      Senior Moderator, Editor and Guru
                      Posted on: 03 Nov 12 17:32
                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by ChristineBCW
                        Well, maybe we won't "own" the rights, we're only licensees. But I want to HAVE it in my grubby li'l paws so I can enjoy MY entertainment on MY schedule in MY locations.

                        And "being constantly plugged in and tracked" is never going to be my ideal venue for 'entertainment'.

                        I don't think this notion is truly pleasing to anyone but, for now, the tracking has been either non-existent (that's what we love to believe), weak or 'safe'.

                        Well, Fantasyland for the moneymakers will be Nightmareland for most consumers. The moneymakers just have to keep clouding the issues and deflecting attention away.

                        But it's not their only hope. "Consumers have no choices. We have HDMI which has embedded DRM signals..."

                        And, "We have Region and PAL-vs-NTSC encoding - we can now prevent customers from being entertained by certain products simply because they're sitting in one place or another on the earth's surface."

                        In some ways, Apple's comments about destroying physical media helps overcome some of these limitations. But they are Number One in keeping us locked-in and tracked. And they love THAT part. I don't know why Apple would merely contract with storage-manufacturers. Why not buy up the storage-companies AND the "content of storage" companies, too - fill up HDD or SSD space with Apple-owned Disney-Sony-Warner films, movies, subscription news, etc.?!!
                        Very well said

                        I totally agree
                        Vasy
                        MyCE Senior Member
                        Posted on: 04 Nov 12 20:44
                          "The Vice President of Apple’s global marketing, Phil Schiller" doesn't know that I have my OWN stuff on BD discs, and maybe some companies choose to save their PRIVATE information by doing backups on PANASONIC High Quality BD discs written by newest Pioneer BD Writers designed for archiving quality !

                          It's unbelievable that some guy from Apple can say such non-sense

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