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  1. Member
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    Hello VHF ~

    I'm a newbie to most things "app," but I do have a background as an EE, so I know enough to be dangerous.

    As I have slowly added to a collection of CDs, DVDs and Blu Rays for quite a few years now, I've ended up with quite a physical "pile" of cases/medium that's become quite a space hog. In short, I'd like to find a reasonable way to either copy my collection to our Mac computer or to blank writeable medium (or both).

    As I had to remove the so-called "super drive" from our MacBook Pro -- due to discs hanging up in the drive -- I assume that we're looking at some sort of an external drive that can perform a lot of read/write/record functions. The MacBook Pro 17 we have does not have USB-C capability, so I'm also assuming that this is a seriously limiting factor.

    If anyone has any thoughts on how to best go about getting a start with this, I'd appreciate a primer or a pointer. Please note that the details about the computer we have were added when I first signed up to the VH forum.

    Thank you for your time ~ Red
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    hopefully your mac has usb 3. if so i'd buy an usb 3 external hard drive and a usb 3 blu-ray player. then use makemkv to put everything on the new h.d.
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    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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    Thanks very much for the reply, aedipuss. Unfortunately, our MacBook Pro 17 does not have the latest type of USB.

    Does the lack of this type of USB buss mean that we can't [practically] achieve our goal? If not, do you think that a new Mac is in order?
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  4. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    no. it may take longer but you should be able to do it. i'd still get an external hard drive and an external blu-ray drive. then use something like makemkv to copy the movie without the protection to the hard drive.
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    Originally Posted by RedOak View Post
    ... I'm a newbie to most things "app," but I do have a background as an EE, so I know enough to be dangerous....
    Great 1st line, one of the best I've seen on a support forum.

    +1 on makemkv. It doesn't transcode so you will definitely need more HD space but if you think that not having a USB-C port will slow you down, that's nothing compared to reencoding a pile of videos.
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  6. ... I'm a newbie to most things "app," but I do have a background as an EE, so I know enough to be dangerous....
    Great 1st line, one of the best I've seen on a support forum.
    EE being what, electrical engineer perhaps ? Is it more or less dangerous than AA ? Are there EE meetings ?

    +1 on makemkv. It doesn't transcode so you will definitely need more HD space but if you think that not having a USB-C port will slow you down, that's nothing compared to reencoding a pile of videos.
    But menus will be lost. Creating ISOs would seem like a better choice, unless menus / options are considered useless. (Next thing you know, this thread's messy debates happen all over again.)
    As for the type of USB, I don't know about recent Blu-Ray Disc players, but considering how slowly optical reading/writing technology has evolved, I'd be surprised if any current external optical device could max out the throughput of USB 2.0 (about 35MB per second), making that part of the conversation quite moot. A more serious issue is that generally speaking external optical drives are much slower than their internal counterparts. If the computer has a secondary HDD slot (some have one that's hidden although I wouldn't count on it on an Apple computer), it may be possible to plug an internal drive directly in SATA. Failing that, another possibility would be to use an old desktop computer for that task. (If there are that many discs, it would be possible to put 2 or 3 drives, for instance one BRD drive and two DVD drives, so as to extract several discs simultaneously.)
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    ... I'm a newbie to most things "app," but I do have a background as an EE, so I know enough to be dangerous....
    Great 1st line, one of the best I've seen on a support forum.
    EE being what, electrical engineer perhaps ? Is it more or less dangerous than AA ? Are there EE meetings ?
    Very good question. Perhaps there should be EE meetings...

    I can hear myself now, "I'm Red -- and I'm an EE."

    Response: "Hello, Red!"

    Me: "I know quite a bit about transmission line theory, but I don't know s**t about copying my movie collection..."


    Perhaps the question(s) -- for the VH forum board -- should be, if you had a dinosaur Mac, that does not have USB-C capability, which drives would you invest in?

    If you had a newer Mac, one with USB-C capability, would you choose different drives?

    Thanks again for your time...
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    Well, it's been a couple of days and I seem to be falling down the list now...

    Will anyone please recommend the correct forum board for me to go to?

    Thanks again for your time...
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    There is no longer such a thing as an internal optical drive on a Mac. Hasn't been for a while.

    Best bet is to get couple of things:
    1. External usb 2.0/3.0 (using usb A plug) optical drive (bd or dvd depending on your preference, budget)
    2. (Right now) a thunderbolt 2 or 3 (depending on which one your current Mac supports) adapter to usb 2/3 A jack.
    3. (Later) a usb-c/thunderbolt 3 or4 (depending on which one your future Mac supports) hub to a variety of output options (tbolt, dp/hdmi, usb-c, usb 2/3 A).

    For optical on a Mac, can't really do any better than that.


    Scott
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    There is no longer such a thing as an internal optical drive on a Mac. Hasn't been for a while.

    Best bet is to get couple of things:
    1. External usb 2.0/3.0 (using usb A plug) optical drive (bd or dvd depending on your preference, budget)
    2. (Right now) a thunderbolt 2 or 3 (depending on which one your current Mac supports) adapter to usb 2/3 A jack.
    3. (Later) a usb-c/thunderbolt 3 or4 (depending on which one your future Mac supports) hub to a variety of output options (tbolt, dp/hdmi, usb-c, usb 2/3 A).

    For optical on a Mac, can't really do any better than that.


    Scott
    Thank you, Scott ~

    Is recommendation No. 1 an external optical drive that plugs into the old-style USB 2.0 port(s) on our MacBook Pro 17 (MBP 17)? I'd also appreciate it if you would explain what you mean by "bd." Please feel free to recommend a good drive for this purpose. Although we don't need solid gold hardware, we will invest in decent quality equipment.

    Is recommendation No. 2 (the "right now" suggestion) an adapter that allows us to utilize our (1) existing Thunderbolt (TB) port -- not Thunderbolt 2 -- with the new USB C technology? I read up on the spec's we got with our early-2011 MBP 17 -- and it clearly states that we have the first generation Thunderbolt port, which can transfer up to 10 GB/sec. If I'm dreaming here, which I assume is the case, will adding this adapter get us some sort of a gain? We have (3) USB 2.0 ports on our MBP 17 -- which, according to my research, can transfer at 480 MB/sec -- so I'm hopeful that the first generation TB port might be somewhat helpful ... until we can purchase a newer MBP laptop.

    Is recommendation No. 3, which you've suggested for a newer MBP laptop, a hardware device that adapts a Thunderbolt 3 (TB3) port to multiple port types? Please bear in mind that, other than the (3) USB 2.0 ports on that our MBP 17 came with, we haven't used any of the other ports or jacks on our laptop.

    Thanks very much for taking the time to teach some old dogs a few new tricks.
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  11. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    (Lost 1st post, will try again...)

    #1 - yes usb 2.0 port. BD = Blu-ray Disc, that's the official designation. e.g. BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE/RW. Just like DVD-ROM, DVD-R, etc. Don't usually recommend as it changes too often, but I've like LG stuff (& Pioneer if you can still get it).

    #2 - my mistake: TB1 and TB2 both support only PCIe and (mini)DP, natively. So you'd have to use an active converter box instead (= more electronics, more drivers, more $$). If you have an available usb2.0 port still on your mac, just use that with no adapter.

    #3 - you might THINK you won't need it, but soon most things will be connected that way (esp. on Macs). but it's optional and future.

    USB 2.0 speeds are THEORETICALLY always faster than any CD/DVD/BD read/write data throughput speed. in practice usb 2.0 is usually much slower WRT sustained throughputs. therefore, there MIGHT be some speed benefit to getting a usb3.0 capable external drive. since 3.0 is 2.0 backwards compatible, you only lose throughput speed by connecting it to 2.0 port.


    HTH,

    Scott
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    Hello again, Scott ~

    (1) Thanks for clarifying that "bd" means Blu-ray, in general.

    (2) I now understand that -- given our lack of Thunderbolt 3, which, by all accounts, is very much akin to USB C -- we will be forced to employ another active device to realize faster data transfer. In other words, our three USB 2.0 ports can [theoretically] only transfer data up to 480 MB/sec, so faster speeds -- with our MBP 17 -- requires adding an active piece of external hardware, and its associated driver software...and, put a third way, a passive adapter used with our TB1 port will not get us a better data transfer rate. I don't mean to muddy the water, but isn't 10 GB/sec (per channel) achievable with our TB1 port?

    I'm assuming that you're basing your words on what's actually available today. As in, none of the big manufacturers are making BD/DVD drives that are compatible with the TB1 port technology. Instead, they're aiming their products at the newest USB-C transfer technology, which, as you've pointed out, is backward compatible with the USB 2.0 ports we presently have. Am I anywhere near being on the same page with you in this regard?

    (3) First, does "WRT" mean With Regard To? If so, you seem to be saying that USB 2.0 transfer rates are ACTUALLY slower than what a modern external CD/DVD/BD can constantly read or write. If I'm understanding you correctly, you're essentially stating that USB 2.0 ports cannot continuously transfer at their theoretical transfer rate of 480 MB/sec. Assuming that I'm understanding your words -- that's definitely some good information.

    Although we may not rush right out there to buy one, I've been doing a bit of reading on the new MacBook Pro 16 (MBP 16). Based on my reading, the MBP 16 comes equipped with (4) Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports...too bad about the lack of an anti-glare display, though. Our MBP 17 might not be able to do some of the things that the newer MBPs can, but the anti-glare display I'm looking at right now is pretty easy on older eyes...but I digress. Do you have any thoughts to share about the new MacBook laptops?

    As ever, thank you for trying to bring us into the new computer era. Your words are very helpful to us.
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  13. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    #2 - CD at 72x speed (max known) can transfer 10.5MB/sec; DVD at 24x speed (max known) can transfer 33.2MB/sec; BD at 16x (max known) can transfer 72MB/sec. USB 2.0 can transfer UP TO 480MB/sec, but often transfers 1/3 - 1/10th of that, esp. sustained. USB 2.0 will USUALLY be able to support all those optical rates. TB1 can transfer up to 10GB/sec; TB2 can transfer up to 20GB/sec. However, those do NOT natively support USB protocols or specific pin connection/voltages, so it doesn't matter that those are potentially much faster. They would need an active converter device that uses a driver to "encapsulate" the usb data and have an output with electronics that translate that data and convert it to native USB at the port. Aka not passive.

    #3 - WRT = with regard to.
    Yes, I am saying the USB datarate is almost NEVER the full stated speed, but in circumstances related to optical discs, it may be sufficient (it is NOT when trying to compare with Firewire, which CAN support in a sustained fashion the 400MB/sec as rated. too bad FW is basically defunct).
    MacBooks are always getting better, and you may want to experience the screen in person to make a comparison, because it is pretty darn good. (I'm no spring chicken myself).


    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 22nd Jul 2020 at 17:32.
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  14. Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    USB 2.0 can transfer UP TO 480MB/sec
    No, it's 480 Mb/s, 60 MB/s. In practice, after overhead, etc. about 30 MB/s.
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  15. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Whoops! Senior moment, thanks for correcting. Now that comparison makes even more sense.

    Scott
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