bit-tech.net

It's time to bin your optical drive

Posted on 8th Feb 2013 at 09:37 by Antony Leather with 132 comments

Antony Leather
I absolutely loathe the optical drive. The only times I've felt remotely attached to this historically flaky device is the first time I used one 20 years ago, when I got my first CD burner, and maybe when they finally started using SATA cables and not mile-wide IDE monstrosities.

Apart from this I've lived through the usual issues of scratched discs, drives failing for no apparent reason, the painfully slow read and write speeds, the DVD recordable disc war and the Blu-ray HD DVD war.

It's time to bin your optical drive *It's time to bin your optical drive
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Despite USB sticks having been around for at least half of this time, they failed to rid the world of the optical drive. Even more recently, as we're finally looking to the Internet for our software and movies, most PCs still come with an optical drive and most of us that build our own PCs still add one to our shopping list alongside hard disks and graphics cards.

Use music and movie streaming services


Personally, I hardly use my optical drive anymore, and this made me think about several very good reasons I should throw it in the bin. In fact, these reasons don't even involve hours of tweaking and fiddling - they all work well and are really easy to do.

I don't use an optical drive at all with my main PC, but I do have a Blu-ray/HD DVD combo drive in my HTPC. Even then, I tend to watch films on Netflix or Lovefilm, even if I have the DVD or Blu-ray in my collection - it's just easier, and Netflix is able to stream stuff at 1080p too.

It's time to bin your optical drive *It's time to bin your optical drive
Click to enlarge

As for music, there are loads of services available at the moment. For £5 a month, Spotify is my favourite. Most of us will already own CDs, but the feature I love most about Spotify is the track radio - songs similar to the one you're playing. I've found some awesome tracks since I've been using it.

Despite it having been illegal for us to do so, many people have ripped their CD collections to their hard disks anyway. In any event, for those of us in the UK, this looks set to become legal, thanks to changes in copyright law, meaning there's one less reason to own an optical drive. After you've ripped your music of course.

Steam, Origin...

Apart from the odd movie and music CD though, there is very little need to own one. Lets start with games. Let's face it - you can get pretty much any game over the Internet now, and no I'm not promoting piracy here.

It's time to bin your optical drive *It's time to bin your optical drive
Click to enlarge

Steam is now a fantastic database of games and the ability to back games up and its automatic patching has done a huge amount for PC gaming. Most big publishers dish out their content here, use their own service or have direct download links from their websites.

Download and save

In terms of other applications, nearly everything can be bought and downloaded online. Photo editing, rendering, video editing, Microsoft Office - even Windows can be downloaded.

It's time to bin your optical drive *It's time to bin your optical drive
Click to enlarge

In most situations, you're able to save the necessary files to your hard disk, ready to bring them out following a reinstall, rather than deal with scores of DVDs too.

Use Wintoflash to install Windows

As far as installing Windows goes, there's a very nifty little free application called Wintoflash that allows you to copy your DVD to a 4GB USB stick and install it from there. This has the benefit of slashing the time it takes to install Windows compared to using an optical drive. I now have a dedicated USB stick for the task, tucked away in my retail Windows 7 box, next to the DVD, which I've used just once.

It's time to bin your optical drive *It's time to bin your optical drive
Click to enlarge

If you haven't tried it yet, you'll be amazed at how much quicker the installation process is - I dread to think how much time I wasted using DVDs in the past. It's also a good way to backup your Windows DVD and key code (you could add this to a text file and bung that on the USB stick too) - if it gets scratched or you lose the keycode, you'll have alternative copies of both.

Get your motherboard drivers

It's time to bin your optical drive *It's time to bin your optical drive
Click to enlarge

One reason many of us end up using our optical drives is to install motherboard drivers to get the Internet up and running following a fresh install of Windows. I've got into the habit of downloading the drivers and software I need for new motherboards first, and storing these somewhere to get at them later, instead of using the DVD.

Can you think of any other good reasons to kill off the optical drive? Let us know in the forum.

132 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Silver51 8th February 2013, 10:52 Quote
Unless you can download music and video in its uncompressed format legally through Steam, Amazon and the like, my optical drive is staying.

Buying VBR MP3s which haven't even been normalized is something of a fools errand, especially if you want to get the best out of your speaker or headphone setup.
derviansoul 8th February 2013, 10:52 Quote
Yeah i was all for killing the optical drive, until i started reading EULAS and the other agreements about the stuff i bought online, and i realised that i was paying the same for the stuff i had when i bought the optical cds, and the agreements stated in a lot websites, that i didn't own them, that just pissed me off.
The other thing the removal of opticals is creating is the fact that we users buy games/dvds/music and we cant re-sell them anymore for cash.

I think with steam we can sell used games (but its just not the same).

I am subscriber to spotify also, but in the days when i used to buy a cd, i used to cherish that cd, check the lyrics, the artwork in the cds, etc. with spotify not all, music just became a commodity and got myself paying less attention to the music i was listening. Now i just use spotify to discover music, but i go (used to go) to hmv to get a cd and rip a copy with the best quality.

I am all for removing the optical drives, but i am not for a future were we pay the same for the products but we dont own them.
bagman 8th February 2013, 10:55 Quote
No, I still watch the odd film and all my cds would be useless without it (I do have spotify but they don't have def leppard, pink floyd and Led Zepplin). I also still have loads of old games on disc. But I am getting to a point were a external optical drive is easily enough for me. I just find it convenient having a optical drive.
suragh 8th February 2013, 10:56 Quote
I don't think I will ever get rid of my optical drive anytime soon. I use it too much to remove it.
TheCherub 8th February 2013, 10:59 Quote
Whilst ripping music to a hard drive is quite handy, the idea that I would then throw out my ODD does rather hinge on the idea that I would be stopping buying CDs at this point, which is really not going to happen any time soon.
Ayrto 8th February 2013, 11:03 Quote
The end of physical media would be terrible .

For starters, next gen games are likely to be Blu-ray only and the drives are rumoured to be quad layer capable, in order to be 4k compatible i.e. BDXL128GB , gonna DL that on Steam or Netflix?

Second, the quality of 1080p streamed movies is nowhere near as good as high bitrate 1080p blu-ray . Quite why anyone would buy hi-end AV equipment only to watch streamed movies is beyond me. The hi compression does the higher res no favours at all.

Of course, USB or some new tech would be better, but the price of 50GB -100GB of standalone content on USB isn't going to be practical any time soon .
Shangri-La 8th February 2013, 11:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
Unless you can download music and video in its uncompressed format legally through Steam, Amazon and the like, my optical drive is staying.

Buying VBR MP3s which haven't even been normalized is something of a fools errand, especially if you want to get the best out of your speaker or headphone setup.

^This.
NigelT 8th February 2013, 11:09 Quote
I don't know why but I always prefer to have a physical backup of any media I purchase. I've had as few occasions when I've had internet connection issues and it would annoy me not to be able watch or install something.
spazmochad 8th February 2013, 11:09 Quote
I think the comments here nail it pretty hard as to why optical media should stay
justicefornone 8th February 2013, 11:12 Quote
The reason my optical drive stays is thus. I shall even use a current example!

SimCity: Limited Edition from Origin - £44.99
SimCity: Limited Edition from Amazon on disc, saving me hours of getting annoyed at slow interwebs - £34.99

Now factor in that the Special Editions of things usually cost the same money as the downloadable once but rather having bloody digital art-books have actual real can-sniff-those-lovely-pages pages!

You can stay cheap little black rectangle, forever and ever!
Xir 8th February 2013, 11:17 Quote
Quote:
and Netflix is able to stream stuff at 1080p too
Are you sure what you'r getting is 1080p in full quality? I blow mine up onto a 3m screen, compression IS an issue ;)

Also, most "unlimited" broadband offers are capped, how many movies can you watch a month before you hit this limit?

I have a fairly standard internetconnection (6000 DSL), and I have trouble getting 480p (which is considered "HD" by streaming companies) :(
480P streams tend to stutter (Youtube, Lovefilm, Maxdome)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Second, the quality of 1080p streamed movies is nowhere near as good as high bitrate 1080p blu-ray

The average datarate of a Bluray in the mail (Lovefilm, as mentioned) isn't to be underrated. :D
Teknokid 8th February 2013, 11:24 Quote
What I hate more than anything is laptop drives in laptops! Why oh why are they still in there?! Trying to find a decent 15" laptop that isn't over bulked by the Optical drive is so hard - so far I only think apple have properly achieved it with the retina 15....
[USRF]Obiwan 8th February 2013, 11:24 Quote
A few months ago I installed Windows 8 from an USB3.0 16gb stick on a fresh system build on a Samsung SDD. It took less then two minutes from first powerup to install and got to desktop and browse the internet for some newer drivers.

I think that says it all.
Draksis 8th February 2013, 11:27 Quote
I have a huge pile of old games and movies on disc, and there is no way (if they are even available in the first place) to buy the same thing again just cause I wanna junk a very cheap piece of hardware.
Pliqu3011 8th February 2013, 11:30 Quote
My pc doesn't even have an optical drive. Never really missed it.
mi1ez 8th February 2013, 11:32 Quote
If all the music you enjoy is available on spotify and itunes, good for you. I'm still backing up my Brainfreeze, Product Placement and Rare Equations CDs though!
Spreadie 8th February 2013, 11:37 Quote
We might be willing to make the move, but the infrastructure isn't quite there yet.

When broadband caps are finally abolished I may consider it. Otherwise, there will be times where I'll have to wait until midnight to do a Steam install for fear of being hit with excess bandwidth charges - not exactly the immediacy you'd expect in the digital age, when I load a game off a disc in a few minutes. I'd hate to think how much worse it would be if I fancied downloading a BluRay quality movie.

In other words, it's nowhere near time to give up on the optical drive.
NigelT 8th February 2013, 11:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
A few months ago I installed Windows 8 from an USB3.0 16gb stick on a fresh system build on a Samsung SDD. It took less then two minutes from first powerup to install and got to desktop and browse the internet for some newer drivers.

I think that says it all.

How long did it take to prepare the usb stick as well though? I'd be happier to just put the disc in.

My win8 installation onto a fresh ssd from a bluray drive took well under 10 mins. The longest bit was waiting for it to apply the settings and you get the screen that constantly changes colour and I don't think that is affected by how you've installed.
Bloody_Pete 8th February 2013, 11:48 Quote
I haven't used my ODD since July last year (more can't but thats another tale) and I haven't missed it for a second. We're on 100Mbps internet, so 20GB is less than an hour away. And this is the future, faster, more stable internet connections. So why would I bother paying for the bus into town to by a game or movie (movies are the worst), when Steam will give me the game in less time and buying a movie is hugely costly when compared to Lovefilm/Netflix. I really hated using ODD's and I wont regret never using one again!
Shirty 8th February 2013, 11:49 Quote
I have an optical drive in my PC. But it's not plugged in to anything :p
Jezzafool 8th February 2013, 11:52 Quote
I don't use an optical drive in my PC, I have a USB one just in case.
Also optical drives are so noisy.........
Ayrto 8th February 2013, 11:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draksis
I have a huge pile of old games and movies on disc, and there is no way (if they are even available in the first place) to buy the same thing again just cause I wanna junk a very cheap piece of hardware.

Same here.

Also, games are already coming in at 20-25GB , even the patch/dlc for BF3 was bigger than entire AAA games were just a few years back. They're only likely to get larger with next gen console games come across to PC . Another aspect to this is, if games are in the region of 50-100GB, dl'ing won't be an option for many , studios may view this as a bonus, an in-built deterrent on the practical level. On my current connection the idea of dl'ing 100GB is absurd.
Azariel 8th February 2013, 11:56 Quote
In my current (work in progress) build I will not include an internal optical drive. However, I did buy an external one to be used on a variety of machines throughout the house for the random occasion I actually need one.

But for some things owning CD's/dvd's is just very convenient. Things like Windows etc can of course be downloaded but you'll be stuck waiting for em if the line or download site isn't fast enough(which can be rather annoying) and when you actually have no other machine available to download it your still screwed.

My last run-in with my optical drive came when I bought an Ultrabook for my girlfriend and got presented with the opportunity to get a cheap Office package (on DVD). I came home, wanted to quickly configure the machine, get Office installed just before dinner only to realize I completely forgot to get the external optical drive. So my options were either to start downloading or get an external optical drive.

I went for the latter as I knew that driving back to the store would still beat my crappy internet connection...
walle 8th February 2013, 12:13 Quote
I prefer physical media myself so my optical drive isn't going away anytime soon, not to suggest USB sticks couldn't be beneficial, I use them quiet often, they are a complement to physical media not a replacement. And as always, physical media has value, stored data more of a perceived value.
Mankz 8th February 2013, 12:19 Quote
My optical drive is in my tuck box...

I will rip off the side panel and hook everything up when I desperately need an ODD, otherwise, its not in my system, and hasn't been for the last 6 months.
Mighty Yoshimi 8th February 2013, 12:26 Quote
It's still very useful imho. What about people with no connection to the Internet. What about those who can only get speeds of 2mb/s and wish to install something like BF3 at 14gb iirc.
Griffter 8th February 2013, 12:26 Quote
i dont use my drive also so much, but dont hate it or want to get rid of it. the best feeling is finding a wack load of my old dvd's and going through them seeing whats on them. all of a sudden i then find a movie i never wanted to watch again, and watch again or something of that sort.

i still love my drive.

and like i said in Gareth's article on if we need a dvd drive:

"but without a drive, your pc looks like it has no face!"
SlowMotionSuicide 8th February 2013, 12:26 Quote
Kudos for introducing the Wintoflash, I've been wondering many times now how can I get a Windows installation on a thumbdrive. Didn't even thought there might be a program for it.

Also, as much as I'd like to see the optical media gone, we really can't afford to do without yet. As it is, content owning companies and corporations are already bending us over however they please, and there's still stuff I want to actually own, not just "license for limited use".
ZeDestructor 8th February 2013, 12:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
Unless you can download music and video in its uncompressed format legally through Steam, Amazon and the like, my optical drive is staying.

Buying VBR MP3s which haven't even been normalized is something of a fools errand, especially if you want to get the best out of your speaker or headphone setup.

Hear, hear. Things are beginning to change ever so slightly though, with sites like Bandcamp handing out nice, friendly FLACs for download. If the same could be applied for video and the concept of streaming tossed out of the window entirely: I want a local high-quality copy of my video files damnit! I mean, serious pirates have a choice of getting their movies in everything from highly-compressed 480p H.264 all the way to straight, untouched, decrypted blu-ray dumps. Why the big guys don't give this sort of service is beyond me....
Quote:
Originally Posted by derviansoul
Yeah i was all for killing the optical drive, until i started reading EULAS and the other agreements about the stuff i bought online, and i realised that i was paying the same for the stuff i had when i bought the optical cds, and the agreements stated in a lot websites, that i didn't own them, that just pissed me off.
The other thing the removal of opticals is creating is the fact that we users buy games/dvds/music and we cant re-sell them anymore for cash.

I think with steam we can sell used games (but its just not the same).

I am subscriber to spotify also, but in the days when i used to buy a cd, i used to cherish that cd, check the lyrics, the artwork in the cds, etc. with spotify not all, music just became a commodity and got myself paying less attention to the music i was listening. Now i just use spotify to discover music, but i go (used to go) to hmv to get a cd and rip a copy with the best quality.

I am all for removing the optical drives, but i am not for a future were we pay the same for the products but we dont own them.

Technically your CDs and DVDs have the same EULA (for any form of software at any rate).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
The end of physical media would be terrible .

For starters, next gen games are likely to be Blu-ray only and the drives are rumoured to be quad layer capable, in order to be 4k compatible i.e. BDXL128GB , gonna DL that on Steam or Netflix?

Second, the quality of 1080p streamed movies is nowhere near as good as high bitrate 1080p blu-ray . Quite why anyone would buy hi-end AV equipment only to watch streamed movies is beyond me. The hi compression does the higher res no favours at all.

Of course, USB or some new tech would be better, but the price of 50GB -100GB of standalone content on USB isn't going to be practical any time soon .

I routinely see 64GB MicroSDXC cards go for around 50AUD. normal USB flash should be able to get even cheaper in the next few years. Especially for read-only media.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NigelT
I don't know why but I always prefer to have a physical backup of any media I purchase. I've had as few occasions when I've had internet connection issues and it would annoy me not to be able watch or install something.

My various harddrives have lasted longer than my CDs. Barring failures of course, but that's why you have backups.
Quote:
Originally Posted by justicefornone
The reason my optical drive stays is thus. I shall even use a current example!

SimCity: Limited Edition from Origin - £44.99
SimCity: Limited Edition from Amazon on disc, saving me hours of getting annoyed at slow interwebs - £34.99

Now factor in that the Special Editions of things usually cost the same money as the downloadable once but rather having bloody digital art-books have actual real can-sniff-those-lovely-pages pages!

You can stay cheap little black rectangle, forever and ever!

Prices can be slashed: Steam sales are a good example. GreenManGaming is another. As more online companies/stores pop up, price wars will start heating up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknokid
What I hate more than anything is laptop drives in laptops! Why oh why are they still in there?! Trying to find a decent 15" laptop that isn't over bulked by the Optical drive is so hard - so far I only think apple have properly achieved it with the retina 15....

I agree. In the space of a single optical drive, you can easily fit two 2.5" laptop harddrives/SSDs....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
We might be willing to make the move, but the infrastructure isn't quite there yet.

When broadband caps are finally abolished I may consider it. Otherwise, there will be times where I'll have to wait until midnight to do a Steam install for fear of being hit with excess bandwidth charges - not exactly the immediacy you'd expect in the digital age, when I load a game off a disc in a few minutes. I'd hate to think how much worse it would be if I fancied downloading a BluRay quality movie.

In other words, it's nowhere near time to give up on the optical drive.

I think that we need this sort of push to cause consumer backlash and force ISP cartels (yes, I consider them as such!) to get a move on and upgrade infrastructure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NigelT
How long did it take to prepare the usb stick as well though? I'd be happier to just put the disc in.

With UEFI boards and install media, its as simple as just extracting the contents of an archive (7zip/iso/zip/rar/...) to a thumbdrive and rebooting. In fact, you can even do some weird hackery with your intall media involving mixing bootloaders, bootimages and data dumps if you know how to...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Same here.

Also, games are already coming in at 20-25GB , even the patch/dlc for BF3 was bigger than entire AAA games were just a few years back. They're only likely to get larger with next gen console games come across to PC . Another aspect to this is, if games are in the region of 50-100GB, dl'ing won't be an option for many , studios may view this as a bonus, an in-built deterrent on the practical level. On my current connection the idea of dl'ing 100GB is absurd.

A 2Mbit connection should allow around 600GiB of transfer per month. With an 8Mbit connection, that's 2.4TiB of data. On my current 15Mbit connection, that's 4.5TiB of data. I don't dl anywhere near that in a month...
theshadow2001 8th February 2013, 12:46 Quote
It;s already been said, but the optical drive brings higher quality everything. Even if you only use it to make a high quality rip. I have not been impressed with what Netflix has called "HD" by any means. Downloadable games that aren't on sale are usually a rip off compared to the boxed counter parts. I definitely use my optical drive less, but its not going anywhere at the moment.
ZeDestructor 8th February 2013, 12:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
It;s already been said, but the optical drive brings higher quality everything. Even if you only use it to make a high quality rip. I have not been impressed with what Netflix has called "HD" by any means. Downloadable games that aren't on sale are usually a rip off compared to the boxed counter parts. I definitely use my optical drive less, but its not going anywhere at the moment.

Hah, I just noticed I have the Diablo 3 Collector's edition (it's hiding behind one of my monitors). You can pry my artbook out of my cold, dead hands.

EDIT: I didn't even bother removing the disc from it's case though: I'd preloaded the game already and just inserted my key.
Landy_Ed 8th February 2013, 13:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty Yoshimi
It's still very useful imho. What about people with no connection to the Internet. What about those who can only get speeds of 2mb/s and wish to install something like BF3 at 14gb iirc.

I'll speak for them as I am one. the optical drive stays.
Ayrto 8th February 2013, 13:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
Hear, hear. Things are beginning to change ever so slightly though, with sites like Bandcamp handing out nice, friendly FLACs for download. If the same could be applied for video and the concept of streaming tossed out of the window entirely: I want a local high-quality copy of my video files damnit! I mean, serious pirates have a choice of getting their movies in everything from highly-compressed 480p H.264 all the way to straight, untouched, decrypted blu-ray dumps. Why the big guys don't give this sort of service is beyond me....



Technically your CDs and DVDs have the same EULA (for any form of software at any rate).
Totally agree on making FLAC versions readily available and even higher bit depth/ sampling versions too if people want them . Sometimes it's as though the industry just prefers to whine about piracy than offer a Steam equivalent . I mean, why should the consumer be forced to suffer a downgrade from CD quality?

Agree on Blu -ray too, it should be possible to buy DL versions with much higher bitrate. 4k will be a nightmare if it's only available via streaming (no physical), it'll probably look no better than good upscaled 1080p blu -ray does now by the time they've compressed the hell out of it.

As for storage, no one is wedded to disc , it'd be good to change to something that requires no [fault prone] moving parts, obviously. But it's the same debate over HDD vs SSD isn't it , it's getting closer but it's still not practical to go solely SSD.

Tbh, if anything it's likely optical drives could make a come back in the short term , when next gen hits. As games are likely to be up to 50GB and all on blu -ray. Sony will fit a quad layer (BDXL) capable drive for 4k and MS is likely to have a blu-ray drive as standard , possibly that will be BDXL too?
Apocalypso 8th February 2013, 13:30 Quote
No, I'm sorry but until I can get every single piece of music in a lossless format my optical drive is staying put. Fair enough it may not stay in my PC but we're not ready to ditch them just yet.
jrs77 8th February 2013, 13:33 Quote
External BluRay/RW...

I've not had an internal ODD for several years now, but use an external one shared between all my machines, as an ODD is still needed due to alot of HQ/HD-content not being available as download like many others pointed out allready.

Maybe sometime down the road we'll see movies and music being released on flash-sticks or SD-cards, but until then the CD/DVD/BluRay is here to stay.
deathtaker27 8th February 2013, 13:35 Quote
bought a usb one for all my builds, shared between 3 pcs currently and only gets used to watch movies and install old software/games
derviansoul 8th February 2013, 13:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor

Technically your CDs and DVDs have the same EULA (for any form of software at any rate).
Not necessarily, you can buy a music cd, a dvd or game in a optical disc, and sell it, used wherever you like, if you download it,
you are subject to steam weird rules to sell a game, like only being able to sell the game to your friends, only a few games are supported, you cant re-sell used games, so technically you dont own these games, you just paying to the right of using them.

https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=6748-ETSG-5417

If you buy digital music or ebooks the same crap applies.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/105437-riaa-claims-you-do-not-own-your-itunes-music-purchases

You cannot re-sell none of these.

Then its the quality factor in music and videos, i used netflix for a couple of months, and the selection was just rubbish, i used lovefilm streaming service while the selection was better, their quality is just appalling in most movies, so i gave up, and i just purchase dvd/blu-rays when i want a movie or i just rent it online.

While i cant deny that if the likes of itunes, steam, allowed to re-sell these, and they provided the same benefits as the optical ones would be excellent. at this moment it just doesn't happen.
phuzz 8th February 2013, 13:36 Quote
Fortunately, I can't hear the difference between an mp3 and a cd*, and my don't notice the difference between Blu-ray and a DVD rip, so quality isn't an issue for me.
Although I do still buy CDs sometimes, which then get ripped, and occasionally needing drivers for obscure devices my ODD almost never gets used.
Mind you, I'm still using the same DVDR/CDRW combo drive from a build about 5 years ago, when that packs in I doubt I'll replace it.


There's an official Microsoft USB tool for Windows Vista and up:
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool

*(probably due to too much listening to live music, stood next to the speakers)
Doglobster 8th February 2013, 13:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
...

Second, the quality of 1080p streamed movies is nowhere near as good as high bitrate 1080p blu-ray . Quite why anyone would buy hi-end AV equipment only to watch streamed movies is beyond me. The hi compression does the higher res no favours at all.

This.
derviansoul 8th February 2013, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor


Technically your CDs and DVDs have the same EULA (for any form of software at any rate).

Not necessarily, you can buy a music cd, a dvd or game in a optical disc, and sell it, used wherever you like, if you download it,
you are subject to steam weird rules to sell a game, like only being able to sell the game to your friends, only a few games are supported, you cant re-sell used games, so technically you dont own these games, you just paying to the right of using them.

https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=6748-ETSG-5417

If you buy digital music or ebooks the same crap applies.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/105437-riaa-claims-you-do-not-own-your-itunes-music-purchases

You cannot re-sell none of these.

Then its the quality factor in music and videos, i used netflix for a couple of months, and the selection was just rubbish, i used lovefilm streaming service while the selection was better, their quality is just appalling in most movies, so i gave up, and i just purchase dvd/blu-rays when i want a movie or i just rent it online.

While i cant deny that if the likes of itunes, steam, allowed to re-sell these, and they provided the same benefits as the optical ones would be excellent. at this moment it just doesn't happen.

EDIT: SORRY I DUPLICATED THE POST BY MISTAKE, PLEASE REMOVE THIS POST
rollo 8th February 2013, 14:06 Quote
My windows 7 64bit install is on a usb stick has been for some time. takes all of 5-10mins to reinstall.

I still need a DVD rewriter so can not really get rid of it yet. if online storage ever got cheap enough to offer me the space i require and the security i need then id look into it more.

My gaming pc does not have a optical drive though. My x79 system does though due to needing it for work stuff.

There is unlimited providers out there without caps. ( Bethere in the Uk is one such provider, I must download 100gb + a month from our company FTP and have never had any issues) add one what i download from steam and places then i must be quiet high usage user.

Never even had a letter saying your using too much ect.

1080p Blu-ray is 20mb/sec bit rate minimum in most cases. 3d blue ray is more like 30-35mb/sec.

No internet connection in the uk is ready for that sort of bandwidth requirement. It will take 5-10 years before we are at the point where most of the uk can stream Blu-ray quality titles to there tvs/pcs/tablets ect.

Japan and sweden are already at the point where they can stream at this level but no other country is even close to that level of infastructure.
ShinyAli 8th February 2013, 14:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
A few months ago I installed Windows 8 from an USB3.0 16gb stick on a fresh system build on a Samsung SDD. It took less then two minutes from first powerup to install and got to desktop and browse the internet for some newer drivers.
I think that says it all.

Nope, it says nothing apart from the fact that you did that, there are many reasons to keep optical drives and hard media and many reasons not to have to rely solely on downloadable content from websites as the only way to buy something.

I have data CD's I made ten years ago that still work fine and can still make copies from them, I would never trust USB storage or a HDD as the only data backup (and certainly not the cloud!) and I have never had a HDD last that long and as for SSD's who knows how long they will last?

In the future people might finally realize that when all the main game makers only sell their games through the monopoly that steam has become and require a one time only activation that has killed the used game market that not having the option to buy a hard media version is a huge loss, when steam have the game d/load monopoly there will be no opportunity for any price competition, buy from steam at their prices or sod off if you don't like it >:(
Dudey109 8th February 2013, 14:21 Quote
I dont use optical drives anymore. Ive told people to stop buying me DVDs etc as presents and have my installers on USB sticks. I dont buy/use CDs (Talk about out dated tech)
I do have a USB dvd drive incase but i dont own a blueray or anything else silly like that
walle 8th February 2013, 14:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudey109
I dont buy/use CDs (Talk about out dated tech)
Apart from using CDs I still use and buy vinyl records, old tech yes, yet sound quality is sooo much better, a nice fat & warm sound. ;)
sniperdude 8th February 2013, 14:44 Quote
I was going to get a caddy for mine and remove it I have used it once in 2 years i think...

I also won a bluray drive I have never used
iajo 8th February 2013, 14:49 Quote
Skyrim on steam £45

Skyrim on disc from amazon £16

Cheaper to buy from amazon with a £12 optical drive and have £17 left over.

OU course uses optical discs, cd collection contains many thisngs not availible to download or stream.

Blue ray vs downloads is no contest for quality.
Si_the-dude 8th February 2013, 14:58 Quote
Interesting article thanks.

I just finished upgrading my rig and moving into a new case with a couple of other changes and decided not to put an OD in. It's been really weird though and while I haven't needed one yet I'm going to end up caving in and picking up a BD drive at some point.
tyepye 8th February 2013, 15:06 Quote
When I updated my build recently I left out the optical disc drive. It now sits in my tech draw waiting.

I did buy a USB DVD drive but sold that recently after getting a USB BluRay drive for cheap which I use on my Revo 3700 MPC. So if I am in desperate need to install something via disc I will use that. I can only see this happening if I get a PC game as a present which is a disc copy rather than a download.

So I don't think it's time to bin the optical drive yet, but there isn't a need for a permanent optical drive installed in your PC 24/7.....just keep it a draw, on stand by, just in case :)
Yslen 8th February 2013, 15:08 Quote
It's a lot faster for me to buy a game on Amazon and have it delivered than it is to download it.

Also, CDs are still the best way to buy music.
Combatus 8th February 2013, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NigelT
How long did it take to prepare the usb stick as well though? I'd be happier to just put the disc in.

My win8 installation onto a fresh ssd from a bluray drive took well under 10 mins. The longest bit was waiting for it to apply the settings and you get the screen that constantly changes colour and I don't think that is affected by how you've installed.

Preparing the stick using Wintoflash takes about 5 minutes, with about 10 seconds of that being manual work, the rest automatic. Once it's done it's done, so if you keep the USB stick for reinstalls, you'll be saving quite a bit of time over the life of the OS, especially if you reinstall a couple of times a year like I do to clear out the crap.
Guinevere 8th February 2013, 15:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
Unless you can download music and video in its uncompressed format legally through Steam, Amazon and the like, my optical drive is staying.

Show me where you can buy uncompressed video on optical discs?

But okay okay, you're right. BluRay > Legal HD Download. It's still compressed though!

Pedantic mode ends.
saxovtsmike 8th February 2013, 15:40 Quote
Since i´ve got one external slimline DVD-Burner via usb, I really do not need any Optical drives on my PC´s. It´s in use about 4 times a year.
Second to that I´ve a normal dvd burner in my WHS Server which can be used via the network.
XXAOSICXX 8th February 2013, 15:49 Quote
"As far as installing Windows goes, there's a very nifty little free application called Wintoflash that allows you to copy your DVD to a 4GB USB stick and install it from there"

You're going to struggle to do that if you've just binned your optical drive.

*facepalm*
Xir 8th February 2013, 15:57 Quote
Interesting that we live in a world where tech-enthusiasts feast their eyes on ultrahigh resolution 10" devices, yet are happy to stream a heavily compressed movie to their Full HD monitor/TV :D
Farfalho 8th February 2013, 16:00 Quote
I only use to free space on my hdd. I had to a year ago since I couldn't afford a 2TB hdd so I went with 2 cakes of 50 DVD's to do so and some of my friends ask me to burn some tv shows so they can watch on the TV. The only thing I'll be doing to the optical drive is to buy an external case with eSata (since I don't have a motherboard with USB3) to only plug in the drive when needed
damien c 8th February 2013, 16:17 Quote
I would bin my DVD Drive but my motherboard doesn't seem to like booting from USB Pen Drives or USB DVD Drives.

Once it boot's and Windows install's I have to move it to another USB port.

My motherboard driver disc also won't install all the drivers from the disc when using USB.

I now have my old internal DVD Drive with a long power lead and long single sata lead sat in a box, and if I need to use it I just plug it in.

Not quite there yet for fully getting rid of it but getting close.
Silver51 8th February 2013, 16:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
Unless you can download music and video in its uncompressed format legally through Steam, Amazon and the like, my optical drive is staying.


Show me where you can buy uncompressed video on optical discs?

But okay okay, you're right. BluRay > Legal HD Download. It's still compressed though!

Pedantic mode ends.

Hah, kinda figured somebody might point that on out while I was typing it. :p

Unfortunately kidnapping John Williams and the London Philharmonic Orchestra has logistical complications.
tigertop1 8th February 2013, 16:32 Quote
I am sure this idea of dropping the Optical Disc drive was made with a very large tongue in both cheeks

It certainly provoked a lot of reaction which may have been the aim

Let your blood pressures drop to normal--the disc drive is a long way from disappearing for many good reasons outlined in above posts

Oh, I just noticed that gramophone records are making a comeback-maybe when we all get tired of download compression sucking the best out of our listening and viewing experiences we might look more kindly on the tried and tested disc drive.
Edwards 8th February 2013, 16:41 Quote
But how would i burn awesome CDs for my car?
Speed 8th February 2013, 16:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwards
But how would i burn awesome CDs for my car?

Instead get a better car radio with a USB port and have all your music on one stick?
r3loaded 8th February 2013, 16:57 Quote
I've not used an optical drive in the last five years at all.

Though I do agree with the points made - audio CDs cannot be displaced until the online stores start selling in FLAC. Charging the same for an album as the CD while giving an inferior quality encode is just a rip-off.
Edwards 8th February 2013, 17:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed
Instead get a better car radio with a USB port and have all your music on one stick?

Effort, my car's radio is a big build in jobbie I'd rather not mess with. It does come with a 3.5mm port for my phone/mp3 player, but that's beside the point I was making.
ZeDestructor 8th February 2013, 17:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
Tbh, if anything it's likely optical drives could make a come back in the short term , when next gen hits. As games are likely to be up to 50GB and all on blu -ray. Sony will fit a quad layer (BDXL) capable drive for 4k and MS is likely to have a blu-ray drive as standard , possibly that will be BDXL too?

That and games really. Everyone has abandoned cartridges, except Nintendo in the DS. I suspect 4k might do a straight leap to web distribution though as people end up ignoring the quad-layer format.
Quote:
Originally Posted by derviansoul
Not necessarily, you can buy a music cd, a dvd or game in a optical disc, and sell it, used wherever you like, if you download it,
you are subject to steam weird rules to sell a game, like only being able to sell the game to your friends, only a few games are supported, you cant re-sell used games, so technically you dont own these games, you just paying to the right of using them.

https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=6748-ETSG-5417

If you buy digital music or ebooks the same crap applies.

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/105437-riaa-claims-you-do-not-own-your-itunes-music-purchases

Agreed, but thats not likely to change any time soon: its simply too easy to make copies if they allowed that for music and videos. Mind you, its easy enough to strip the DRM off (if present) in the first place...

Alternately, you end up with very closed ecosystems like Steam and various other content stores. Trading games is getting there though: GreenManGaming has such a system in place. I suspect Valve will pay attention and add that to Steam in response. I suspect other companies will start paying attention, but most software won't be tradeable. Strictly speaking, neither are most games according to most EULAs (iirc), although nobody has challenged them so far (to my knowledge).

This is not however practical for a certain group of people who use different media players of their choice, and nobody will buy into proprietary formats these days anyways.
Quote:
Originally Posted by walle
Apart from using CDs I still use and buy vinyl records, old tech yes, yet sound quality is sooo much better, a nice fat & warm sound. ;)

That's not at all related to vinyl vs * on a medium basis. The difference in quality is purely due to the different (less volume-boosted) mastering used for vinyl simply because vinyl can't go as loud as as CD or any other digital format. Read up on the loudness wars for more info. In terms of resolution, a 44.1kHz signal at 16bits (Red Book/standard CD quality) is more than enough to cover essentially all of human hearing. And there's science to back that claim too. Studios use a better resolution (192kHz at 24, if not 32 or even 48bit depth) in order to cleanly mix large numbers of tracks without distortion. They then downsample to the right rate for the target medium (vinyl/CD/SACD/FLAC/MP3).
south side sammy 8th February 2013, 17:24 Quote
who in the hell wants to be tied to the net for anything. you're doing a big injustice by even writing this. I pay for games I don't own or can't play without a net connection anymore. why? before you know it you won't be able to play them because somebody deems them too old or not enough people play them anymore so we're not going to support it anymore.
who want's all your personal stuff stored on a server somewhere instead of on your own hard drive?
YOU GOTTA BE OFF YOUR NUT!
cjb119 8th February 2013, 17:30 Quote
Having actually used my optical drive more in the last few months than the previous 5 years this is interesting.

I've used it because at last the online music services are decent, and I've started using Google Play and its 20k free storage, and I've actually bought some albums digitally. Whereas in the past these were always over priced given the obvious, and unmentioned, reduction in potential sound quality.

But my CD hifi that I use for alarm can't play them, so burning to CD is the easiest to achieve.
I have got a squeezebox attached but getting that working at the same time as the hifi is doable, but not quite as easy as saying CD, vol 8, on 6:20 off 7:10!

Also netflix might be 1080p but its bitrate is no where near blu-ray, and on any TV the differences should be obvious!!
walle 8th February 2013, 17:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
snip
I will maintan that the sound from a vinyl is both fatter and warmer, it just sounds better than a CD, CD sounds harsh and sharp in comparison...and there is more to sound quality than just details.
law99 8th February 2013, 17:57 Quote
Every now and then someone tries to tell me that I should throw away my optical drive and then peddles me some ****.

I'm going to coin these people "**** pioneers"

I didn't spend lots of money on a decent sound system to have poor quality rammed into my receiver and make the whole point in shelling out redundant. If you can live in a world of **** quality, fine. Don't try and pass it off on me or you will be flat out received with profanities.
law99 8th February 2013, 17:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by walle
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
snip
I will maintan that the sound from a vinyl is both fatter and warmer, it just sounds better than a CD, CD sounds harsh and sharp in comparison...and there is more to sound quality than just details.

You have obviously not realised that is just a cheap way of experiencing that warmth. There are valve amps for that.
mdshann 8th February 2013, 18:05 Quote
This is just stupid. Ever heard of metered internet? Or, on the other hand, do you want to pay $5 to $10 more for a game because they had to include a thumb drive instead of a $.01 disc?
Speed 8th February 2013, 18:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwards
Effort, my car's radio is a big build in jobbie I'd rather not mess with. It does come with a 3.5mm port for my phone/mp3 player, but that's beside the point I was making.

Which was? :? Burning CDs which can't hold many songs, is more effort and cost than plugging in a iPod or USB stick if your system supports that and having your whole music collection available. Want a mix tape, create a new playlist.

I find it quite amusing all these comments about sound quality when in a blind sound comparison test, I'd wager 95% of people couldn't tell the difference between vinyl/cd and mp3. It happens every time a new technology comes along, one day it will be people saying that people don't want to switch from mp3 because the new technology doesn't sound as good. People hate change, it really is that simple.
walle 8th February 2013, 18:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by law99
You have obviously not realised that is just a cheap way of experiencing that warmth. There are valve amps for that.
I wouldn't call Vinyl cheap, at least not if you take into account the cost of a quality turntable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed
I find it quite amusing all these comments about sound quality when in a blind sound comparison test, I'd wager 95% of people couldn't tell the difference between vinyl/cd and mp3. It happens every time a new technology comes along, one day it will be people saying that people don't want to switch from mp3 because the new technology doesn't sound as good. People hate change, it really is that simple.
There are those who are able to tell the difference and then there are those that aren't. Those that aren't often find topics like these amusing.
theshadow2001 8th February 2013, 18:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed

I find it quite amusing all these comments about sound quality when in a blind sound comparison test, I'd wager 95% of people couldn't tell the difference between vinyl/cd and mp3. It happens every time a new technology comes along, one day it will be people saying that people don't want to switch from mp3 because the new technology doesn't sound as good. People hate change, it really is that simple.

Vinyl would have a certain amount of noise on it. CD / mp3 is probably more difficult to determine a difference. Audio can be quite subjective and I'm happy to listen to stuff on youtube that has been compressed. There is also a huge amount of bollocksology when it comes to audio. I think visual stuff is much easier to see how much it has been compressed or if the quality is poor.
WhiteKnight226 8th February 2013, 18:50 Quote
I find this to be a very narrow view. I will never get rid of my drive. What about all the people who have slow internet? You can install a game faster than taking 24+ hours to download 12GB at 100KB/s. I like owning a physical copy of the game, which includes the CDs. And everything you talked about how you go out of your way to avoid using a CD (downloaded drivers and such in advance and transferring everything, including Windows, to a flash drive) sounds like it would take longer than popping in a CD.
cjb119 8th February 2013, 18:52 Quote
I would agree that vinyl sounds 'different', but I would disagree that it can ever be close to what the producer intended, where as a CD can.

Now that's either bad or good depending on your PoV

It doesn't help that some CD's are produced immensely badly with such a compressed range just so they sound better over a shopping centre tannoy :( :-O

You can say you like the sound of vinyl, but to say its better than CD is just ignoring the technical differences and ignoring the physics.
jrs77 8th February 2013, 18:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
Vinyl would have a certain amount of noise on it. CD / mp3 is probably more difficult to determine a difference. Audio can be quite subjective and I'm happy to listen to stuff on youtube that has been compressed. There is also a huge amount of bollocksology when it comes to audio. I think visual stuff is much easier to see how much it has been compressed or if the quality is poor.

Get a pair of decent speakers, get a decent amp, get a decent CD-player.

And now tell us again how good those MP3-files sound compared to an original CD.

---

Yes I'm ripping my CDs into MP3s (320kb FBR) aswell, as this format allows me to carry my hole music-library on a 64GB USB-Stick, but the quality of these is nothing compared to the original CD. If it would be possible I would carry my FLAC-files around, but they're way bigger unfortunately.
theshadow2001 8th February 2013, 19:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Get a pair of decent speakers, get a decent amp, get a decent CD-player.

And now tell us again how good those MP3-files sound compared to an original CD.

---

Yes I'm ripping my CDs into MP3s (320kb FBR) aswell, as this format allows me to carry my hole music-library on a 64GB USB-Stick, but the quality of these is nothing compared to the original CD. If it would be possible I would carry my FLAC-files around, but they're way bigger unfortunately.

I have a pair of fostex near field studio monitors, is that good enough?
das_mod 8th February 2013, 19:04 Quote
Unless there's a way to convert all my PC game collection to digital versions, i wont be ditching my optical drive any time soon.
Much less so for upcoming titles such as Bioshock, which STILL required a drive to be installed from (with the 3 discs and all)
theshadow2001 8th February 2013, 19:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by das_mod
Unless there's a way to convert all my PC game collection to digital versions, i wont be ditching my optical drive any time soon.

ISOs?
runadumb 8th February 2013, 19:35 Quote
Binned mine 3 years ago. I still miss it for ripping CD's and I use my PS3 for blu-rays weekly.

If I didn't have a PS3 I would buy an optical drive for my HTPC so I guess I'm not fully ready to bin it yet.
LordPyrinc 8th February 2013, 19:36 Quote
I have both Netflix and HuluPlus accounts and while my internet is supposed to be unlimited, my bandwidth does get throttled for the rest of the month once I reach a certain threshold. At that point, I might as well give up streaming a movie at any reasonable quality. So in order to be able to watch more movies/shows, I set the quality at lower settings to get more views without reaching my cap. I live in a very rural area so access to uncapped/unthrottled Cable Provider/Fiber Optic internet is not an option. Besides, if I want to really want to watch a movie in High-Def, I buy the Blu-Ray Disc and play it on my TV, not on my PC.

I also enjoy playing older games that require a disc in the drive to play. Most probably have CD cracks available somewhere on the net, but I have enough junk on my computer as is without having to download more files from the hard media to play it.
DriftCarl 8th February 2013, 19:39 Quote
You have a point with this article. I thought about my optical drive and what I use it for, and I cant think of anything in recent memory except install windows. I never knew about that tool so I will give it a go when my new SSD arrives, and also give it a go at work.
One other thing though, I never buy a new optical drive when I get a new PC, I just reuse my old one since there is nothing wrong with it and you cant really get many designs of optical drives. I think I am on my 4th PC now with the same drive, Although when I get a mobo without an IDE connection, I might have trouble reusing it.
GeorgeStorm 8th February 2013, 19:39 Quote
Got a BR drive at Christmas, having only used an external DVD drive for a year or two.

Didn't use it much, but when I did want to (install games I had on DVD, rip a CD etc) using the external was painful, and I'm very pleased I chose to get a drive (it being BR is a bonus :) )
jrs77 8th February 2013, 20:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theshadow2001
I have a pair of fostex near field studio monitors, is that good enough?

These are still cheap. I'm talking large 3way stereo speakers along the lines of a pair of Visaton Classic 200 or Dynaudio Excite X36. You know, speakers that are made for listening to music primarily in your big livingroom.
theshadow2001 8th February 2013, 20:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
These are still cheap. I'm talking large 3way stereo speakers along the lines of a pair of Visaton Classic 200 or Dynaudio Excite X36. You know, speakers that are made for listening to music primarily in your big livingroom.

Right so I need to spend 2 grand on a set of speakers in order to be able to pick up on the discrepancies caused by audio compression.
ShinyAli 8th February 2013, 21:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
One other thing though, I never buy a new optical drive when I get a new PC, I just reuse my old one since there is nothing wrong with it and you cant really get many designs of optical drives. I think I am on my 4th PC now with the same drive, Although when I get a mobo without an IDE connection, I might have trouble reusing it.

Easy, get a IDE to sata converter or you could even splash out on a new cutting edge sata CD/DVD drive like I did a few years ago and that's been in my last two builds and I have no intention of ditching it ;)

http://images.highspeedbackbone.net/itemdetails/ULT40322/ULT40322-out01-sp.jpg
Panomama 8th February 2013, 21:46 Quote
I built a new computer last month and didn't even bother to buy an optical drive and so it doesn't have one.
USB thumb drives can do everything nowadays.
Boscoe 8th February 2013, 22:28 Quote
i haven't had one for all the five years I've been building comps, they are useless I hate CDs.
xaser04 8th February 2013, 23:47 Quote
My Optical drive is going nowhere anytime soon.

I still buy the majority of my music on CD as quite frankly I enjoy having something physical in return for my money.

In the back of my mind I don't like the idea of having all of my music/media tied into a service that could possibly disappear or prevent me from accessing the very media I paid for (however unlikely).

I can see the benefits to buying digitally but for all of the albums I have purchased recently (bar one) it was cheaper (or at least the same price) to get the CD. If I want to play it in my car I just rip it in lossless and stick it on a USB stick pen.
xinaes 9th February 2013, 00:28 Quote
I think it's safe to say optical disks today are pretty equivalent to floppy disks about the time Apple stopped bothering to include them in their machines. They've done the same with optical disks now in case you missed it; quickly scanning the thread I was a bit surprised to find no mention of the new DVD-less iMacs.

Of course, Apple are motivated here by their vested interest in getting people to consume as much as possible in their own online channels, but still... it's sending a message to the mainstream that those scratched clunky noisy disk things are a thing of the past.

I don't have a CD player, but I still buy CDs for immediate ripping from time to time (especially if it's directly from artists at gigs; it's nice to have both a physical memento and the feeling your money went straight into their pocket). To varying degrees most of us will at least continue to have something around that they can rip the odd disk with for a while, but the use is definitely fading.
TheDodoKiller 9th February 2013, 01:10 Quote
I like my DVD Drive. It gives me something to play with whilst waiting for games to download from steam.

I like having a button to press.
CrazyJoe 9th February 2013, 05:41 Quote
Why would I bin it? It works just fine and comes in handy from time to time.
ZeDestructor 9th February 2013, 05:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by walle
I will maintan that the sound from a vinyl is both fatter and warmer, it just sounds better than a CD, CD sounds harsh and sharp in comparison...and there is more to sound quality than just details.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed
Which was? :? Burning CDs which can't hold many songs, is more effort and cost than plugging in a iPod or USB stick if your system supports that and having your whole music collection available. Want a mix tape, create a new playlist.

I find it quite amusing all these comments about sound quality when in a blind sound comparison test, I'd wager 95% of people couldn't tell the difference between vinyl/cd and mp3. It happens every time a new technology comes along, one day it will be people saying that people don't want to switch from mp3 because the new technology doesn't sound as good. People hate change, it really is that simple.

I'll just drop this technical analysis on why CD Audio is more than enough for essentially everyone in: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

So no, your vinyl as a medium is nothing impressive: they just made the original vinyl master copy have a nicer sound than your CD. This is simply because the average idiot with a CD has a terrible audio setup (with bass boost at max) and they have to account for that when mastering for CDs, and now MP3s.

This is much the same reason for why SACDs sound better than CDs even when downsampled to CD quality (there was a blind test conducted by engineers a while ago with several hundred people and the randomly inserted 44.1kHz/16bit sections into an 88.2kHz/24bit song, the results were a 49% success rate, i.e, statistically no better than blind guesswork).

In fact, one could argue that Vinyl has worse sound quality from being damaged by the playback device over time compared to digital media.

This goes back to my original point: Give us well-mastered tracks ffs! Or a choice at the very least: not everyone has a shitty laptop speaker setup!
Bogomip 9th February 2013, 09:54 Quote
I dont use it much but for blu-rays and the old dvds I have it is great.

Not having one just cuts your opportunity to buy films cheap from the supermarket, to borrow DVDs or music from your friends, play old games without having to buy them again or install windows without having to buy something extra. Most of what you suggested requires some tech competence too but I will assume you are directly targeting bit users :)

I really dont understand your hatred - they aren't great, but its doing you no harm just having it sit in your computer until you need it.
yodasarmpit 9th February 2013, 12:24 Quote
I have an external drive, only used it once when installing Windows.
Tibsie 9th February 2013, 13:04 Quote
NO. I totally disagree for two points.

1) Not everyone has what I would consider to be a decent internet connection. Mine can only get 2 or 3 Mbps on a good day and it drops out completely for a minute or two a couple of times a week. Not to mention the dropouts caused by high winds on a regular basis. When will we get BT Infinity? No idea, "Eventually" says BT.

2) The quality of streamed or downloaded 1080p movies is terrible compared to BluRays simply due to the poor compression. A 50GB BluRay vs a 2 or 3 GB download. No comparison at all. You probably don't notice the difference on a small laptop screen but it slaps you in the face on anything larger than 30" or so. Cartoons are fine because they are easily compressible but action films are a big problem.

Downloads also take up a vast amount of bandwidth and hard drive space. I would rather have BluRays on a £20 shelf from IKEA than downloads on a £50-70 hard drive.

I also have the option of selling my collection or letting a friend borrow something. Try doing that for something you've bought from iTunes.

However. I do agree with you about downloading music and games. All of mine are now downloads. They don't take up much room and there is no difference in quality.
PingCrosby 9th February 2013, 20:06 Quote
Nah, not yet
IvanIvanovich 9th February 2013, 20:07 Quote
I haven't had optical drives in my primary machines for at least 6 years. I still have one in my server, for ripping and the occasional burn for some legacy machine os that I can't install from usb... but I just got rid of that last machine that is not usb bootable so that won't even be needed anymore.
Optical has pretty much been dead for me for quite a long time.
A system I thought of is have kiosks in shops for software, and uncompressed movies and music. Use the kiosk to select what you want, pay, plug in your usb stick and it will copy it on. Or, even if that is too frightenign for publishers, just have it like a vending machine that sptits out a read only usb flash rom stick with whatever content on it. DIE optical DIE!
r3loaded 9th February 2013, 23:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
I'll just drop this technical analysis on why CD Audio is more than enough for essentially everyone in: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
Thanks for the link btw, it'll be much easier for me to throw that at people rather than try to explain Nyquist's Sampling Theorem by myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeDestructor
This goes back to my original point: Give us well-mastered tracks ffs! Or a choice at the very least: not everyone has a shitty laptop speaker setup!
I think Apple has been trying to work on this with their "Mastered for iTunes" program - encouraging recording engineers to not brickwall every single record they go through.
Gradius 10th February 2013, 04:07 Quote
The so called "next gen" consoles running @ 4K it will be just UPSCALING, just like they did with PS3 (all games are 720p MAX), then the GPU on console just perform UPSCALING. Believe me, the same crap will happen with PS4. The games will be 1080p, then it will UPSCALING to *fake* 4K ! Don't be fooled, because running real 4K now is costly and no way a mere $399 console will do that!
Gradius 10th February 2013, 04:08 Quote
As for ripping CDs... FLAC forever! mp3 is dead since 2000's to me.
LightningPete 10th February 2013, 04:36 Quote
CD/DVD/Blu-Ray discs can store quite a lot of Data and still cost the cheapest per GB generally, especially DVD's. Hence why most games still sell in the shop. However USB sticks once having the cheaper per GB may well take their place. Unless we all get 100mb lines in our houses and the standardised infanstructure in all our economies then the optical media will still have some use for now.
dolphie 10th February 2013, 05:57 Quote
Next you'll be telling me to get rid of my floppies!
OWNED66 10th February 2013, 07:27 Quote
i still need my dvd drive
sometimes i burn movies on dvds for my friends
or burn a windows 7 on a dvd
and sometimes ubuntu on a cd
OWNED66 10th February 2013, 07:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
As for ripping CDs... FLAC forever! mp3 is dead since 2000's to me.

FLAC FOR EVER !!!!
im getting lossless audio from my vinyls , you ?
OWNED66 10th February 2013, 07:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
The so called "next gen" consoles running @ 4K it will be just UPSCALING, just like they did with PS3 (all games are 720p MAX), then the GPU on console just perform UPSCALING. Believe me, the same crap will happen with PS4. The games will be 1080p, then it will UPSCALING to *fake* 4K ! Don't be fooled, because running real 4K now is costly and no way a mere $399 console will do that!

ur wrong on this one
the ps3 never upscales it plays games either on 720p or lower
only the xbox360 upscales since it uses coaxial
Jipa 10th February 2013, 12:21 Quote
Haven't had an optical drive on my main computer for five(?) years. I just HATE the noise those things make.
do_it_anyway 10th February 2013, 12:58 Quote
OK, so its improving, but there are still a HUGE number of car stereo's and home stereos that don't have USB or streaming capabilities.
I have a CD writer so that I can make CD's of the music I've bought.

And how did you make your bootable USB from your windows DVD? Did you just wave the DVD near the USB stick and it copied across? Or did you use the loathsome optical drive to copy the files?

I can see external; hide it in a drawer until its needed; opticals being useful, but getting rid of them entirely? For the sake of £12? Thats just crazy talk.
Harlequin 10th February 2013, 13:04 Quote
got a bur ray / burner combo drive - i watch blu ray on my pc
hoochy 10th February 2013, 13:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
And how did you make your bootable USB from your windows DVD? Did you just wave the DVD near the USB stick and it copied across? Or did you use the loathsome optical drive to copy the files?

I have managed without a optical drive since I built my computer back in July last year, but I must admit that the above point rang true! I had to use my laptop with a optical drive to create the bootable CD. I did worry that I would hit some issues with installing hardware that required setup CDs for drivers but these days the drivers are out of date before you know it and manufacturers have the latest drivers available on their website.
blackworx 10th February 2013, 14:55 Quote
This opinion piece is pure bobbins. As with any hardware, optical drives are only flaky if you buy a crap one, they still have a purpose for many people, they provide flexibility for those of us who spend a good proportion of our time fixing other people's off-the-shelf PCs and even decent optical drives are cheap as chips. I rest my case.

Also Silver51's comment x 9000.
blackworx 10th February 2013, 14:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipa
Haven't had an optical drive on my main computer for five(?) years. I just HATE the noise those things make.

I get around this problem by not using mine 99.9% of the time.
theshadow2001 10th February 2013, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
I can see external; hide it in a drawer until its needed; opticals being useful, but getting rid of them entirely? For the sake of £12? Thats just crazy talk.

A few people have mentioned externals, and this is probably the way to go. I made an external out of my laptop dvd drive. With a 5 or 6 euro kit from ebay, it works fine. You could probably do something similar with a 5.25 inch drive and keep it some where until you need. I'm almost certain that opticals will eventually disappear but not quite yet.
TomSG 10th February 2013, 19:20 Quote
With FTTC at 80/20. I have no reason for an optical drive anymore.

I can download at 9.2MB/sec and upload at 2.5MB/sec all day long.

A 10GB game takes around 12 minutes.

BT have scrapped all traffic management, limits and shaping.

Sky don't do it either.
PingCrosby 10th February 2013, 20:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphie
Next you'll be telling me to get rid of my floppies!

Floppies? Omg, I'm gonna have to upgrade
Guinevere 10th February 2013, 21:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
Unfortunately kidnapping John Williams and the London Philharmonic Orchestra has logistical complications.

Tell me about it! I'm not going to make that mistake again in a hurry.
dolphie 11th February 2013, 00:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PingCrosby
Floppies? Omg, I'm gonna have to upgrade

You should! They are the future of electrical computation machines everywhere.
ZeDestructor 11th February 2013, 09:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Thanks for the link btw, it'll be much easier for me to throw that at people rather than try to explain Nyquist's Sampling Theorem by myself.


I think Apple has been trying to work on this with their "Mastered for iTunes" program - encouraging recording engineers to not brickwall every single record they go through.

You're welcome. With any luck, the efforts Apple makes will mean better masters all around...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
The so called "next gen" consoles running @ 4K it will be just UPSCALING, just like they did with PS3 (all games are 720p MAX), then the GPU on console just perform UPSCALING. Believe me, the same crap will happen with PS4. The games will be 1080p, then it will UPSCALING to *fake* 4K ! Don't be fooled, because running real 4K now is costly and no way a mere $399 console will do that!

Playing 4K is easy, rendering high-quality 3D at 4K is the hard bit, but doable on a modern triple-quad-SLI/Crossfire setup.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OWNED66
ur wrong on this one
the ps3 never upscales it plays games either on 720p or lower
only the xbox360 upscales since it uses coaxial

The PS3 and XBox360 render at lower resolutions (480p/SD, 720p) then upscale to a 1080p signal that gets sent to your TV via HDMI. You should read up on the definition of upscaling. And the XBox360 has never used coaxial. Composite, component and HDMI only.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightningPete
CD/DVD/Blu-Ray discs can store quite a lot of Data and still cost the cheapest per GB generally, especially DVD's. Hence why most games still sell in the shop. However USB sticks once having the cheaper per GB may well take their place. Unless we all get 100mb lines in our houses and the standardised infanstructure in all our economies then the optical media will still have some use for now.

I will concede that: optical media is cheap to mass produce compared to flashing thousands of flash modules.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OWNED66
i still need my dvd drive
sometimes i burn movies on dvds for my friends
or burn a windows 7 on a dvd
and sometimes ubuntu on a cd

All of which is easily doable using a USB drive and/or external harddrive and/or a LAN.

If you use the WAIK (Windows Automated Install kit) and some PXE magic, you can even install windows over a LAN from a remote machine. It's how large enterprises do it. The same can be done for Linux.
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
OK, so its improving, but there are still a HUGE number of car stereo's and home stereos that don't have USB or streaming capabilities.
I have a CD writer so that I can make CD's of the music I've bought.

And how did you make your bootable USB from your windows DVD? Did you just wave the DVD near the USB stick and it copied across? Or did you use the loathsome optical drive to copy the files?

I can see external; hide it in a drawer until its needed; opticals being useful, but getting rid of them entirely? For the sake of £12? Thats just crazy talk.

When I get a car, I'll be replacing the standard head-unit with a touchscreen connected to an HTPC mounted somewhere in the trunk. Will probably run android or something similar. From there audio goes into an amp etc. This is of course more involved than most people care to do, but more and more cars come with a 3.5mm aux input, which means its getting easier and easier to just drop in your phone.

All Microsoft ISOs are available legally via the MS online store and MSDN. And then there's torrents with the updates slipstreamed in and whatnot. Fact is, MS has to provide the ISOs in order for people to be able to use the WAIK.

I personally haven't used an optical drive since I copies over my last few CDs...
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackworx
This opinion piece is pure bobbins. As with any hardware, optical drives are only flaky if you buy a crap one, they still have a purpose for many people, they provide flexibility for those of us who spend a good proportion of our time fixing other people's off-the-shelf PCs and even decent optical drives are cheap as chips. I rest my case.

Also Silver51's comment x 9000.

The drives themselves are fine. The discs on the other hand....
jazzzyj 11th February 2013, 13:30 Quote
Shame there are still a load of games out there that check for a physical disc then really.
Also, how else am I going to get my christmas present CD's onto my machine?
-J
goldstar0011 11th February 2013, 13:51 Quote
I still backup important files, programs etc on DVD's and put away in storage
But I don't use drives that much, mostly for OS install on older machines (no usb boot) or if using XP install etc

I use IDE still as that port is becoming redundant when I use all SATA for HDD's
CampGareth 11th February 2013, 18:34 Quote
The only time I've had to use an optical drive recently was a couple of months back when a friend needed to install windows onto a machine that didn't support booting from USB devices (it was ancient). Before that the drive had been sitting in a box for what must've been 2-3 years, unused, unloved. Long live Steam and such.
Jipa 11th February 2013, 20:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackworx
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipa
Haven't had an optical drive on my main computer for five(?) years. I just HATE the noise those things make.

I get around this problem by not using mine 99.9% of the time.

Meh the drives DO randomly ramp up every now and then, which also used to make the entire "my computer" freeze for a while.

That sucked.
LordPyrinc 12th February 2013, 05:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomSG
With FTTC at 80/20. I have no reason for an optical drive anymore.

I can download at 9.2MB/sec and upload at 2.5MB/sec all day long.

A 10GB game takes around 12 minutes.

BT have scrapped all traffic management, limits and shaping.

Sky don't do it either.

Great for you!!! Too bad many of us don't have that kind of bandwidth or lack of throttling. If I had that sort of throughput, I would still have a Blu-Ray/DVD burner drive to burn discs for my unfortunate friends that didn't have the ability to do huge downloads without hitting a monthly cap before being throttled to turtle speed. After downloading 15 GB or so of games on Steam during Christmas, I hit the throttle cap. It took about 2 and half days to download another 8 GB game. More or less, I paused it when I wanted to do web browsing, albeit at a much lower speed than normal. The US is far behind when it comes to providing realistic bandwidth. Most wireless providers claim to have an "Unlimited" plan, but only a small handfull don't have the monthly caps that cripple the connection speed.
Coltch 12th February 2013, 08:58 Quote
The Optical drive in my PC is going nowhere, I primarily use it for ripping CD's or playing Films (some of Netflix's HD content is awful - not even DVD quality).

I also use it for creating CD's for the car as that is only a single slot system with no line out (not changing it for one of those horrible blinged up POS that you see in the likes of Halfords).

The Optical drive stays along with the floppy drive in my system :)
dolphie 13th February 2013, 04:56 Quote
I still use mine about once per year. Last year I used it twice, once to install Arma2/Operation Arrowhead which I bought a few years ago on disks because I heard that the steam version made modding tricky. And I also used the Windows 7 repair disk I think as well.

But I also have some films on DVD too so I wont be ditching it any time soon. And if it was to die, I would probably get another one which does bluray/hd-dvd like the one in my htpc. I rather have it and rarely need it, than need it and not have one. But 99% of the time I copy stuff back and forth using USB pens or my external hard disk in a caddy (its in a nice USB 3 caddy so its really fast).
devdevil85 13th February 2013, 15:37 Quote
No optical drive for me in my next build. I agree with everything said in the article. It's another $17 I could put somewhere else tbh. I have my laptop if I need an optical drive.
Horizon 13th February 2013, 20:16 Quote
warning: rant

I'm currently living (going for about a month now) on the sad face end of the no physical media spectrum therefore 'no optical disk'. There's a pitfall and it's particularly nasty. To live without physical media requires that you have a constant internet connection, unfortunately my CC renewed renewed recently causing some of my automatic bill payments to disrupted rather than giving my a courtesy call informing me that my CC info is out-of-date Company A (Comcast) just waited until the account was deliquent and the abruptly DC'd service, this caught me off-guard because I subscribed to their paperless service yet they don't even email the monthly statements, while Company B thru N called me for the updated info and Company O thru Z automatically switched over. This pissed me off to no end which is a whole other story and decided to go with the next provider (AT&T, bad idea btw). While AT&T is taking their sweet, sweet time I'm sitting here without internet. It was fine and dandy for th first week or so THEN the stored credentials started expiring first to expire was Origin,then Steam, then my music and video, the stuff that I didn't use on a regular basis I was locked out from the get go.

If I had the physical media this situation would be so aggravating I'd simply pop in a disc and do whatever I want from that point onwards. Because of this I won't be ditching physical media anytime soon.
atilla101uk 13th February 2013, 22:01 Quote
I think people might be missing a point here whilst I realise that living without an optical drive would not necessarily bring me to point of utopia. I believe it would be easier than most people think and give my htpc come gaming rig a less cluttered look and wouldn't have to be so bulky, but, and this is an enormous but, I think it would be dangerous to have everyone convert to this. Imagine if you will HMV a regular sight on a busy high street would eventually go bust if more and more people went digital imagine that, a national giant going bankrupt, wait hang on a second, get the drift. Very dangerous thing has anyone even been down their local high street lately, scarey. I understand people's point of view but spare a thought for the little people behind the till. Oh and the techs, the people developing software etc etc the list goes on.
VaLkyR-Assassin 13th February 2013, 23:09 Quote
I still have plenty of reasons to have an optical drive. I till play plenty of games that need installing via disc - not everything is cheaper via Steam. I never use the original disc for a car CD player either, as I keep discs in the car, so it's handy for copying them. I also have made backups of home videos for friends, which again requires recoding onto discs for playing in DVD players. Dics are handy cheap ways of backing up photos too, portable storage isn't as cheap as a pack of discs and is certainly no safer either. Alot of software you get still comes via optical format too, especially so concerning driver discs and software packages included in things like printers and cameras. I shouldn't be forced to download things like that, I expect it to be there in the box. I would find it impossible to live without an optical drive basically and can't see a day when it wouldn't be useful for something.
G0UDG 14th February 2013, 12:41 Quote
Im keeping my optical drive I hate video or audio thats been commpressed far to much as in streaming video and audio physical media is much better
Xir 15th February 2013, 15:52 Quote
On similar nota, I discovered the "Stealthed Tray" of my computer I had completely forgotten about for the last five years.
It houses a Floppy drive
Quote:
Originally Posted by xinaes
especially if it's directly from artists at gigs; it's nice to have both a physical memento and the feeling your money went straight into their pocket
That's why I generally buy a T-Shirt at concerts :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordPyrinc
...only a small handfull don't have the monthly caps that cripple the connection speed.
Very common here in Germany too. ;)
MadBandit 15th February 2013, 16:53 Quote
Why even bother with 3rd party software for converting your windows disc / iso to USB... Microsoft offers their own tool to do it all in a handful of quick clicks.
http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool

just sayin'
idontwannaknow 2nd March 2013, 03:54 Quote
@MadBandit

The windows utility cannot read from a windows disk. The other one can. No iso required

just sayin'
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