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Wanted: Optical drive recommendations

Discussion in 'Digital Audio Hardware' started by Cliff Face, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. Cliff Face

    Cliff Face New Member

    I hope this is the best board for this question.

    The optical drive that came standard in my iMac seems to chew/make grinding noises these days much more than it rips quality data. So I'm seeking recommendations for a replacement.

    I think my iMac only has USB 2.0. What would be the best external optical drive to keep on my desk for the sole purpose of ripping my CD collection? Preferably something designed to handle worn and/or older CDs quite well. What do you have? How well does it do?

  2. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    I use the Pioneer BDR-XD05 (Amazon.com). It's a self-powered Blu-Ray/DVD/CD drive. It reads CDs at up to 24x, and reads DVDs and Blu-Rays fast enough (I don't use it often for that, but I do rip some Blu-Rays I buy).
    Cliff Face likes this.
  3. Cliff Face

    Cliff Face New Member

    Thanks so much. I was hoping you'd reply. That's exactly the information I wanted. :)
  4. Cliff Face

    Cliff Face New Member

    My CD collection includes some discs I've owned since the 80's. All are meticulously maintained and in like new condition. From time to time the optical drive in my iMac would choke on them for no apparent reason. I set aside one of these for my first test.

    Today I received my new BDR-XD05B unit purchase from Amazon using Kirk's link.

    Nutshell: The test CD imported perfectly on the first try. Thanks, Kirk.

    The unit is a top-loader which is nice. I don't much care for the thought of a CD's surface being rubbed as it gets sucked into the iMac's built-in optical drive.

    A minor surprise was that the USB cable takes up two spots, apparently for power needs. No biggie.

    The software disc that comes with the unit is for Windows only.

    I attached the unit to my iMac running OS X 10.11.3 El Capitan. It immediately powered up with a blue light. I put in my test CD and it appeared on my desktop as "Neck and Neck." iTunes prompted for the rip. Everything worked perfectly and I'm now listening to the new music in my library.

    Apparently this unit does other stuff, but I have no comment on that. Perhaps someday I'll have a need and explore further.

    Thanks for the recommendation, Kirk!
  5. kirk

    kirk Administrator Staff Member

    You don't need to plug both of the USB plugs in; if you have a Mac with USB 3, then you just need the one. The double plug thing allows some computers - perhaps only Windows computers - to get double data throughput with USB 2. I just plug the one at the end, not the short cable that branches off it.

    Yes, it's a top-loader, which I, too, find much better. It's on my desk, so a slot loader would mean I'd have to contort slightly to get the disc in. I had a slot-loader in the past, and it was annoying. And my previous drive had a tray that came out, and that got in the way. I think this is the most economical in terms of space (and it's pretty small too).

    I'm glad it's working out for you. I bought it because a friend who had ripped a massive DVD collection recommended it.
    Cliff Face likes this.

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