The emergence of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple Music and Spotify has killed the optical drive for CDs and DVDs. Apple no longer sells MacBook’s with an optical drive, which means if you want to watch movies or convert CDs to your Mac you will need an external drive to plug into your USB or USB-C ports.
Multifunctional Optical Drives for Mac
You’re going to want to find an optical drive that allows you to read, write, rewrite and burn content. This will allow you to install system files, rip your music from a CD to put in your iTunes library, write content to a DVD, and backup your data.
USB or USB Type C Cable Ports
Pay attention to the type of port you have on your Mac. New Macs are equipped with the ultra-versatile Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C) instead of the standard USB and HDMI ports you’re used to. If your MacBook only has USB-C ports, ensure you purchase an external drive with that plugin, or you will need an adapter to go with it.
Plug & Play
You’ll want to be able to just plug your external CD/DVD drive right into your MacBook’s USB port and enjoy without worrying about downloading an additional drive or plugging into a separate power source.
Slim & Compact
If you’re looking to use an external optical drive while traveling, you’ll want one that is slim and compact enough to easily slip into your laptop bag.
While it is obvious that Apple is attempting to get more digital downloads from the iTunes store, we have helped compile the best models of external CD/DVD drives you can buy for your modern MacBook.