FastMac External Slimline USB 2.0 Blu-ray Optical Drive

Steve Jobs may still think that Blu-ray’s licensing terms are a “bag of hurt,” but if you want to burn these high-capacity discs on a Mac, you do have some options, as FastMac is now offering a whole line of External Slimline USB 2.0 Blu-ray Optical Drives ($200-$350). Consider this fair warning: they’re mostly for authoring. Since Mac OS X doesn’t support Blu-ray playback, you need to rely upon third-party software for recording, and Boot Camp over to Windows if you want to watch Blu-ray discs on your Mac’s display.

Software such as Roxio’s highest-end versions of Toast 11 already include support for burning Blu-ray discs, so you can just plug one of these drives in and be ready to go. The different models come in at different speeds, with the least expensive burning at 1x and the most expensive writing at 6x. Each is a neutral-looking black unit that connects via a USB cable. At the rate things are going, you’re more likely to see optical drives being left out of future Macs altogether, so instead of crossing your fingers for built-in Blu-Ray, go for something like this.

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