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Apple patents adapter for mini optical discs

updated 11:30 am EST, Fri November 30, 2007

Apple optical disc patent

Recently published by the US Patent and Trademark Office is an application from Apple, relating to optical disc drives. Originally submitted on May 22nd, 2006, the application details an an improvement to slot-loading drives, which allows them to play smaller-sized three-inch discs, in addition to regular-sized five-inch ones. Normally, only tray-loading drives can play both. The application is attributed to iPod engineer Anthony Fadell, who has devised two possible adapters: one with two folding halves, and another in which four sections lock together.

If used in future Apple products, the technology could be a minor but welcome addition, since even the most recent iMacs and MacBooks are unable to run three-inch discs. The issue is not critical mainly because such discs tend to hold promotional media, rather than critical applications.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. EMC

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    wii?

    The wii has a slot-loading drive that plays different sized discs...

  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    application number

    For anyone that's interested, you can view the application on the uspto.gov website. It's application number 20070271577.

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    to emc

    Apple has patented two ways of doing this, not all ways.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    bah!

    So rather than force people to use standard size disks, let's keep up with the wonderful non-standrd stuff. Small disks. Misshaped disks.

    I find the current mac line perfect for these, for it gives me a good reason NOT to open them.

  1. sadmachine

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: bah!

    My buddy just bought an external HDD and it came with one of those mini discs. So, they're out there and that's is a viable reason to have a solution. But, then again, the glass is always half-empty to testudo as long as Apple is the one filling it.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Standard Size

    The first PowerBook G4 came with a slot loading drive that could read both standard sizes (yes, the smaller disk IS a standard size)

  1. ApeInTheShell

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Testudo is right

    We should stop adopting non-standard disc formats for our machines. Leave mini disc readers to third party manufacturers. I remember the Iomega Zip drives we used to backup data from our hard drives in the 1990s. That was an essential technology back then because Mac hard drives were no larger than 500 mb and Zip disks held 200 mb. The mini discs today are hardly essential. Most people can use their iPods as backup disks, buy an external hard drive, or a thumb drive. Also, the Mac does not need to play Wii games unless you are too cheap to buy the Wii. Let the japanese release a Mac clone with dozen of slots for discs and catridges and watch it flop. I wouldn't mind this technology but like it says above: it is not a critical technology

  1. ApeInTheShell

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    correction

    it's not a "critical issue"

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: bah!

    My buddy just bought an external HDD and it came with one of those mini discs. So, they're out there and that's is a viable reason to have a solution. But, then again, the glass is always half-empty to testudo as long as Apple is the one filling it.

    And exactly what of importance was on that disk, anyway? Maybe if they just stopped putting in worthless disks, there'd be less plastic c*** cluttering the landfills.

    Wrong-sized disks, just because people make them, doesn't mean they should be adopted. In the good ol' days, what if someone gave you a 3" floppy? Would you have said "Hey, we need to be able to read this?" or "Hey, you ever heard of a 3 1/2" floppy?).

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