When Apple began offering the latest version of OS X on flash drives back in 2011, it became clear that as far as it was concerned, optical disk drives couldn’t die off fast enough. At that time, I was talking to a friend who was an early MacBook Air adopter, and he couldn’t have been happier that his brand-new notebook lacked an ODD.
Apple’s obviously very focused on aesthetics, and it’s always looking for things to purge in order to build the slimmest, sleekest and most stylish device possible. That’s the reason that only one model still comes with an ODD, and at next refresh, that’s likely to become zero.
When aesthetics are removed from the picture, though, the need for ODDs today is still obviously minimal. For that, we have digital platforms to thank. We can now buy music, movies, games and even books digitally – sans real material, and sans the need for an optical drive.
Apple’s upcoming Mac Pro lacks an ODD
For me personally, I require an ODD for the occasions when I purchase a new music CD. I insist on lossless rips, and because no music service out there supports that (yet…), I’m forced to keep an ODD at the ready. If not for music ripping, I’d have been ODD-less long ago. Even in recent months, I’ve ripped all of my old PC games and backup discs to my PC to store on my NAS, allowing me to reduce my disc collection to almost nothing – audio CDs are all that’s left.
Sometimes, I feel a little nostalgic about old tech dying, but this is one occasion where I’m not too bothered. Of course, I still hold my music collection dear to my heart, and I couldn’t imagine tossing out my Blu-ray collection, but apart from that, I’m totally fine with buying everything digitally – or in some cases, on a thumb drive. Gotta make use of these 14 USB ports somehow, right?
What do you guys think? Should PCs still come with ODDs for the foreseeable future, or is it time to get rid of them for good? For that matter, do you still heavily rely on discs?