So you just stopped by the Apple Store to pick up your new MacBook Air or Mac mini, and you’re wondering how you’re supposed to rip your CD collection. If optical media are still part of your life, then you might want to consider dropping $79 for Apple’s MacBook Air SuperDrive. Don’t let the name fool you; it works with both of the company’s drive-less Macs.
The SuperDrive is dead simple: a tiny aluminum slot-loading box just bigger than a jewel case. One USB cable runs out the back and into your machine, transferring data and providing power. The drive reads and burns both CDs and DVDs, including dual-layer DVDs. It really couldn’t get any easier. Bear in mind that there have been some historically less than positive reviews for the MacBook Air SuperDrive, suggesting that Apple picked a poor supplier for the drive mechanism in the past, but those comments have more recently subsided. If you’re concerned about its ongoing reliability, you have two choices: buy AppleCare for your computer so you can get the accessory replaced if it fails, or use Remote Disk from either the Mac mini or MacBook Air to wirelessly share the drive in another Mac you already own.