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#40120 - 04/29/16 01:37 PM DVD Player v VLC
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I've got to buy an external superdrive, and according to OWC Apple's is the only one that works with DVD Player.app, so they suggest VLC.

Does anybody with experience with the two apps have an opinion on their relative preferability or, alternatively, know of a better solution than either? (I'm a very casual user, but I'd like to do the best I can...within reason.)

Suggestions on which drive to buy would also be appreciated. (I can't believe that I'm even considering Apple's; it's got more 1 star reviews than 5s and 4s combined! tongue )

Thanks.


Edited by cyn (04/30/16 03:54 AM)
Edit Reason: Topic moved from "Peripherals" to the "Audio, Video, Photography" forum.
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#40124 - 04/29/16 06:20 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
MacManiac Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Not sure where the advice that ONLY the Apple external SuperDrive got its' start, but by my experience with lots of other external DVD drives it's not valid today.

I just plugged Star Wars I, The Phantom Menace into an inexpensive USB bus-powered external optical drive and it played under DVD Player just fine on my 13" MacBook Pro Retina with El Capitan.....

Under earlier OS's that might once have been true, but I'm fairly certain that I can buy almost any reasonable quality external DVD player today and it will work.
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#40130 - 04/29/16 11:09 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: MacManiac]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for that.

Apple's USB SuperDrive's dismal review profile

Originally Posted By: Apple
3.0 Average
3 out of 5 stars
Number of stars Percentage Number of reviews
5 Stars                    31%                 114reviews
4 Stars                    10%                   38reviews
3 Stars                      6%                   22reviews
2 Stars                     11%                   41reviews
1 Star                       41%                 152reviews

doesn't induce me to be a buyer, so unless somebody's got some really negative commentary about VLC I'll gamble on your experience being universal.
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#40133 - 04/30/16 03:49 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
Apple's USB SuperDrive's dismal review profile

I note that that same drive gets 4.6 out of 5 at Staples.com, 4.8 at B&H, and 4.3 at Amazon. Meanwhile, for the sake of comparison, the Magic Mouse 2 shows a similar profile: 3.0 at Apple, 4.4 at B&H Photo Video, and 4.3 at Amazon.
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#40136 - 04/30/16 05:21 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: MacManiac]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I don't have an Apple SuperDrive, but I do have two external optical drives each from a different vendor and several years apart in age and both play nice with Apple DVD Player. However, Apple DVD Player does not recognize Blueray.
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#40138 - 04/30/16 07:07 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Quote:
Apple's USB SuperDrive's dismal review profile

I note that that same drive gets 4.6 out of 5 at Staples.com, 4.8 at B&H, and 4.3 at Amazon. Meanwhile, for the sake of comparison, the Magic Mouse 2 shows a similar profile: 3.0 at Apple, 4.4 at B&H Photo Video, and 4.3 at Amazon.

Thanks for pointing that out; it certainly muddies the waters, but I wonder what it really means?

(At least in part, the 3rd party vendor review profiles are skewed by purchasers who have reviewed the vendor, NOT the drive itself, while the reviews on Apple's website appear to be 100% directed at the drive, so that's something. [Based on cursory, not in-depth look.])

confused .
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#40139 - 04/30/16 07:15 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I don't have an Apple SuperDrive, but I do have two external optical drives each from a different vendor and several years apart in age and both play nice with Apple DVD Player. However, Apple DVD Player does not recognize Blueray.

Thanks for mentioning that; it's not apparent on Apple's website, although it is predictable.

Also, thanks for seconding MacManiac's experience.

(Blu Ray hasn't been an issue for me up to now, and it doesn't appear likely that it'll be one in the foreseeable future, so I'll pass on the functionality for the moment.)


Edited by artie505 (04/30/16 07:18 AM)
Edit Reason: More
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#40144 - 04/30/16 08:58 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
FWIW, I have an OWC Mercury Pro ‘Super-Multi’ burner (LG M-Disc mechanism, no BluRay), which works seamlessly with DVD Player. (It replaced a similar model that slowly died during its first year; unfortunately that failure became unambiguously clear only after the one year warranty period had expired. Moral: in case of abberations, however small, complain in time!)
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#40159 - 04/30/16 08:02 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Whether a particular external DVD player works with Apple's DVD app seems to be down to the USB chip in the DVD player. Data point: I removed the DVD player from my MacBook Pro to make room for a second hard drive. I bought a cheap $2 external DVD enclosure for the DVD drive from a Chinese no-name manufacturer. It does not work with Apple's DVD app (but it does work with other DVD players like VLC), even though it's an Apple mechanism.

Stick with name brand external players with good USB chips and you'll likely be fine, but be sure you can return it if it doesn't work. Cheap external drives from dodgy vendors, on the other hand, are more likely to be problematic.
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#40161 - 04/30/16 09:34 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: tacit]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for contributing to the discussion; I'll keep your point in mind.

I suppose I shouldn't buy from OWC, because they state flat out that

Originally Posted By: OWC
Apple's DVD Player application only works with an internal optical drive or the Apple's external SuperDrive. To play DVDs with this drive, we recommend the free VLC Player, which can be downloaded from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/.

and that would leave me in a pretty weak position if their drive doesn't work with DVD Player.

Has anybody got any experience with that to add to alternaut's?
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#40162 - 04/30/16 09:44 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: alternaut]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: alternaut
FWIW, I have an OWC Mercury Pro ‘Super-Multi’ burner (LG M-Disc mechanism, no BluRay), which works seamlessly with DVD Player.

Is this that drive?
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#40165 - 05/01/16 07:38 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
MacManiac Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Paradise....on the central Ore...
Quote:
DVD Player Support:
Mac OS X 10.3 (all versions) - DVD player works perfectly
Mac OS X previous to OS X 10.3 - DVD player not supported
Mac OS 9 or earlier - DVD player not supported


Quoted from the OWC page you referenced....(italics added for clarity)

If you have moved beyond OS X 10.2, you are going to be just fine.
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#40166 - 05/01/16 09:05 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
alternaut Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: artie505
Is this that drive?
No, but it’s close. Mine has an older (2014, but functionally identical) predecessor mechanism with LG Manufacturer Model Number GH24NSB0B. In addition, the (no longer available) enclosure uses different chipsets for both its FW 400 & 800 and USB 3.0 ports.
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#40174 - 05/01/16 10:37 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
As Tacit observed about some drives and DVD Player, the same is true with some drives and the ability to left-click or Control-click to eject the disc in the drive. Some non-Apple drives require that you drag the icon to the trash for it to eject and will only eject that way.
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#40175 - 05/01/16 10:54 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: artie505
I suppose I shouldn't buy from OWC, because they state flat out that

Originally Posted By: OWC
Apple's DVD Player application only works with an internal optical drive or the Apple's external SuperDrive. To play DVDs with this drive, we recommend the free VLC Player, which can be downloaded from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/.

Not only that but their M Disk only protects your data from degradation and loss for 1,000 years or more. Whatever happened to solid warranties? laugh
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#40190 - 05/02/16 09:14 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
I suppose I shouldn't buy from OWC, because they state flat out that

Originally Posted By: OWC
Apple's DVD Player application only works with an internal optical drive or the Apple's external SuperDrive. To play DVDs with this drive, we recommend the free VLC Player, which can be downloaded from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/.

My wife has this OWC external Super multi drive attached to her Mac mini running El Capitan and DVD Player works with (except Apple does not support Blu Ray) and I have this NewerTech drive/enclosure also from OWC and it too plays nice with DVD Player. DVD Player also works with my elderly TSSTcorp Superdrive in a LaCie enclosure. (Just to be sure I was not mis-speaking I just tested all three drives with DVD Player and all worked perfectly.)

Maybe it is a good thing that I missed that notice when I bought the drives from OWC. If I had seen it maybe DVD Player would not have worked with my enclosures/drives. grin
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#40213 - 05/02/16 11:48 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: MacManiac]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: MacManiac
Quote:
DVD Player Support:
Mac OS X 10.3 (all versions) - DVD player works perfectly
Mac OS X previous to OS X 10.3 - DVD player not supported
Mac OS 9 or earlier - DVD player not supported

Quoted from the OWC page you referenced....(italics added for clarity)

If you have moved beyond OS X 10.2, you are going to be just fine.

Strange that your quote and

Originally Posted By: OWC
Apple's DVD Player application only works with an internal optical drive or the Apple's external SuperDrive. To play DVDs with this drive, we recommend the free VLC Player, which can be downloaded from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/.

appear on the same page.

Maybe they're just covering their butts, but that leads to why?
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#40214 - 05/02/16 11:54 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: Ira L]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Ira L
As Tacit observed about some drives and DVD Player, the same is true with some drives and the ability to left-click or Control-click to eject the disc in the drive. Some non-Apple drives require that you drag the icon to the trash for it to eject and will only eject that way.

Thanks for mentioning that, Ira; the prospect doesn't thrill me, but it's not a deal breaker either. (Oops... I just noticed that my new deuced Mac(hina) hasn't got an "Eject" button. tongue )
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#40216 - 05/03/16 01:29 AM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
My wife has this OWC external Super multi drive attached to her Mac mini running El Capitan and DVD Player works with (except Apple does not support Blu Ray).... (Just to be sure I was not mis-speaking I just tested...with DVD Player and [it] worked perfectly.)

Maybe it is a good thing that I missed that notice when I bought the drives from OWC. If I had seen it maybe DVD Player would not have worked with my enclosures/drives. grin

Thanks for that; it really helped.

Looking more closely than before I see that the drive at which I was looking, primarily because it's USB 3, isn't bus powered, and that's a deal breaker.

Banking on your wife's experience, though, I'm going with this OWC drive which is only USB 2 - not a deal breaker - but is slot-loading, which I prefer because it takes up less room than a tray-loader and is, I hope, less likely to suffer mechanical failure. (I'll pass on the cheaper model...also a tray-loader and spring for Blu-ray read/NO write which I can imagine needing someday; I doubt that I'll ever need to write to a Blu-ray disc, so I'll pass on that capability.)
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#40262 - 05/04/16 05:18 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
My wife has this OWC external Super multi drive attached to her Mac mini running El Capitan and DVD Player works with (except Apple does not support Blu Ray)....

Luckily I haven't ordered yet, because I just remembered that the drive comes with a "Y" USB cable in case one port doesn't deliver sufficient power, and while I have got two USB ports, they're on opposite sides of my deuced Mac(hina), and although a "Y" cable can be made to connect, it's not something I want to do.

Does your wife's drive require the "Y"?

Thanks.

Edit: The drive I'm looking at is USB 2, same as your wife's drive.


Edited by artie505 (05/04/16 05:19 PM)
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#40353 - 05/07/16 05:15 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
So I called OWC tech support to see if they could tell me whether I'd need to use one or two USB ports to power the drive, and the tech to whom I spoke told me that in most instances its two, but she had absolutely no idea that the ports on MBPs are no longer adjacent to each other but are now on opposite sides of the machine and aren't suitable for use with a "Y" cable.

From what I've read, the most power a USB 3 port can deliver through a USB2 cable is 1100 mAmp at 5 volts which translates to 5.5 watts, but the according to the OWC tech the drive draws 6.3 watts, so unless joemike can confirm that the "Y" is unnecessary (Edit: or refute what I've read) this deal is dead, and I'll just give up tormenting myself and go for Apple's drive. (Jeez; they don't even post specs for the thing...pretty arrogant, don't you think?)


Edited by artie505 (05/07/16 05:26 PM)
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#40356 - 05/07/16 05:34 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
From what I've read, the most power a USB 3 port can deliver through a USB2 cable is 1100 mAmp at 5 volts which translates to 5.5 watts, but the according to the OWC tech the drive draws 6.3 watts, so unless joemike can confirm that the "Y" is unnecessary this deal is dead, and I'll just give up tormenting myself and go for Apple's drive. (Jeez; they don't even post specs for the thing...pretty arrogant, don't you think?)

All I can tell you is the drive on my wife's Mac mini works just fine when plugged into a single USB 3 port. However that is on a Mac mini and not an MBP. Laptop ports may not always provide the same power as the same port on a desktop machines.

In the past I have needed to return an item purchased from OWC. It was a no hassle deal and they credited my credit card the day the returned item reached their facility. I don't know if their return policy has changed since then, but I have always found them good people to do business with. So that is certainly an option for you to try out.
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#40357 - 05/07/16 05:55 PM Re: DVD Player v VLC [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks. smile

Apple Computers and Displays: Powering peripherals through USB is the doc on which I've relied, and it doesn't distinguish between desktop and laptop ports.

Your wife's experience contradicts every fact I can find about the drive, but in the final analysis, experience transcends conservatism/conjecture/whatever you want to call OWC's position on the drive, so what the heck; I'll gamble on the possibility of a $10 restocking fee + return shipping if my experience differs from hers.

Punch line later...
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#40417 - 05/11/16 10:45 PM OWC Slim 6X Portable USB 2.0 Blu-ray Reader [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
All I can tell you is the drive on my wife's Mac mini works just fine when plugged into a single USB 3 port. However that is on a Mac mini and not an MBP. Laptop ports may not always provide the same power as the same port on a desktop machines.

I got my new disc drive today, and although I haven't tested all of its functionality (and will not for a while, if ever...lord only knows when I'll get my hands on a bootable or Blu-ray disc) I can report that
  • It works with the power from only one USB 3 port with a USB 2 cable. (It draws only 2mA?)
  • It works with Apple's DVD Player.
  • The "Y" cable has been redesigned to connect to the USB ports on both sides of an MBP at the same time if necessary.
  • Discs can be ejected with control-click and do not have to be dragged to the trash.
Many thanks for having contributed your experience with virtually the same drive, and thanks to all who contributed their expertise and experience as well.

If there's anything I've overlooked in my report please ask.

Edit: OWC has got a nasty habit of packaging upgraded products in their predecessor's packaging, which can make resale more difficult than it should be.


Edited by artie505 (05/12/16 01:34 AM)
Edit Reason: Make title more searchable +
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#40423 - 05/12/16 09:21 AM Re: OWC Slim 6X Portable USB 2.0 Blu-ray Reader [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Glad it worked out for you and thanks for the report. cool
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