Ben Dodson

Freelance iOS, Apple Watch, and Apple TV Developer

Optical media and the pain of Remote Disc

I hate optical media. I avoid it as much as possible with streaming or digital versions of music and films but sometimes it is unavoidable. An album I wanted1 recently wasn’t available on iTunes or any of the other online stores so I had to give in and buy a physical version on Amazon. Unfortunately this didn’t give me a free MP3 version as it often does2 which left me with a slight issue as neither my iMac nor MacBook have a CD drive.

I didn’t think this would be a big problem as my wife has an older MacBook with an optical drive so I’d be able to use Remote Disc to access the drive. Remote Disc is a useful feature that lets you access the optical drive on another computer via your network and has been useful for me in the past if I’ve had some data lying around on an old disc. Unfortunately, it didn’t work at all for this as Remote Disc is locked to prevent the streaming of audio discs (or movie DVDs). To make matters worse, Remote Disc doesn’t straight up tell you this but instead gives you a cryptic message about the drive being unavailable. I can see no logical reason for this but that is still the state of play in 2015.

In the end, I had to rip the CD on my wife’s MacBook, then copy the files back to my computer. Crazy.

  1. The album, in case you were wondering, was the original Broadway version of “La Cage Aux Folles” ↩︎

  2. In ridiculous circumstances, it is often cheaper to buy a physical CD from Amazon than it is to buy the MP3 version! They sometimes give you the digital version free with the physical so I bought “Bright Idea” by Orson and just recycled the Amazon package that arrived without opening. ↩︎

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