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Topic: Question: MacBook Pro external optical drive problems & possible replacements (Read 270 times) previous topic - next topic
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Question: MacBook Pro external optical drive problems & possible replacements

Hi,
I have a MacBook Pro (late 2015, so USB 3.0 ports but no internal CD drive). I realise this is already an unpopular opinion on any forum devoted to audio technology.

When I purchased this computer 4-5 years ago I also purchased an Apple USB SuperDrive, which at the time cost around $70 (most likely still does). I have had endless problems with this drive in the last year or two. These mostly fall into the following categories:

- CDs cannot be read, and will eject after a few seconds when inserted or while XLD is detecting pregap
- when ripping a CD via XLD, test/copy mismatches caused by atom/edge jitter errors, when there are no actual damaged sectors on the CD
- when ripping a CD, the CD ejects mid-rip (and may also eject automatically when attempting to perform other actions such as playing back specific tracks in VLC or copying them from the CD via the Finder, etc)

Whenever I've searched online for information on how to solve these issues, the only reliable data sources indicate that the CD should be tried in another drive. Obviously I do not have another drive (our household has been desktop-free since I was a child, and my previous MacBooks with internal optical drives all eventually failed due to hard disk/motherboard faults) or any means of gaining access to one without purchasing one.

(I will grant, however, that Google search results are at this point in history almost completely unusable, and thus solutions to these issues may exist that I haven't been able to locate. If so, please do let me know.)

At this point, in any case, this happens often enough that I am ready to upgrade. What is currently the best available Mac-compatible external (USB 2.0/3.0) CD/DVD drive specifically for dealing with scratched, damaged or otherwise difficult-to-read CDs? I don't have a great deal of money, but I'd be willing to spend a reasonable amount given that even a $200 drive is significantly cheaper than replacing dozens of old, often out-of-print CDs via eBay/Discogs (where the replacements may themselves be damaged) at $20-$50 each.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Re: Question: MacBook Pro external optical drive problems & possible replacements

Reply #1
Quote from: dheiurhgoiej
Hi,
I have a MacBook Pro (late 2015, so USB 3.0 ports but no internal CD drive). I realise this is already an unpopular opinion on any forum devoted to audio technology.
Not at all! I only recently signed up to this forum but it was a breath of fresh air to see people who are able to discuss this subject objectively without the 'audiophoolery' bias of many internet forums. I use a Macbook Pro with SSD as my digital source and find it superior to any physical CD player I've ever owned (and I've owned some ridiculously expensive players in my time. But as they say, you live and learn!)

Quote from: dheiurhgoiej
What is currently the best available Mac-compatible external (USB 2.0/3.0) CD/DVD drive specifically for dealing with scratched, damaged or otherwise difficult-to-read CDs?

I don't think there is anything dedicated to this purpose but there doesn't really need to be. I recently bought a cheap and cheerful Asus external drive which has been an absolute champ; and it's very portable. For home use I have an old IDE Pioneer DVD drive from an old PC attached with an IDE / SATA adaptor (with power supply). These adaptors are available on amazon for small money.
The Apple superdrive is not particularly any worse at ripping than any other drive but they do tend to fail fairly quickly.