Burning and managing blu-ray discs on your Mac, if you need it

While Apple has been on the blu-ray consortium for a few years, it has been reluctant to pursue blu-ray playback in the Mac OS. Meanwhile, Apple has been focusing on online delivery of HD content with the iTunes store; but even though the use of Blu-Ray movies is limited, you can still manage and use blu-ray disks on your Mac.

While Apple has been on the blu-ray consortium for a few years, it has been reluctant to pursue blu-ray playback in the Mac OS. Meanwhile, Apple has been focusing on online delivery of HD content with the iTunes store; but even though the use of Blu-Ray movies is limited, you can still manage and use blu-ray disks on your Mac.

The first thing you will need is a blu-ray drive. These can be installed on any Mac and should be recognized by the system as a CD/DVD burner. They currently cost between $150 and $250, and will fit in any Mac Pro system. For other Macs, you can put one in an external enclosure or purchase a standalone USB Blu-Ray drive (though it will be a bit more expensive).

With the hardware installed and ready, you will need the software. There are several options out there, including Adobe Premier Pro and Final Cut Pro; however, at between $800 and $1000 these are relatively expensive and are used only for authoring movies, not files and folders. The cheaper alternative is to either use Roxio's Toast Titanium Pro or ShedWorx's RevolverHD, both of which cost around $150 and $40, respectively. Roxio also has a $20 Blu-Ray plug-in for their standard $80 non-Pro version of Toast, allowing you to create Blu-Ray discs for $50 less than the Pro version (it also has far fewer media handling and organization features that can be seen here).

Thats it! With these programs and the Blu-Ray hardware you can now mount blu-ray discs for managing files and folders, as well as burning HD movies. The thing to think about now are the conveniences and limitations of what's available for you.

Data storage

Blu-ray discs can hold up to 50GB of data, making them more ideal for data storage than CDs and DVDs; however, the use of optical discs as a regular storage medium can be quite cumbersome. The prevalence of thumb drives and online storage for small files, and external hard drives for large files is making the use of optical media a less and less attractive option.

Given the relative cheapness of external hard drives (200-250GB drives for around $50), these days the most practical method of backing up and transferring data is with an external drive. Not only are the drives larger, but they're faster, reusable, and more configurable. Given these advantages, I see no real benefit to using Blu-Ray disks for transferring files, but its there if you need or find use for it.

Movies

If you are looking for options to play Blu-Ray discs on your Mac, then you will still have to look elsewhere; however, you can use the authoring capabilities of the Mac with the aforementioned programs to create detailed and professional HD content for Blu-Ray devices. Even if you just use Toast or RevolverHD for creating a simple movie disc, you will be able to present these movies in HD instead of downsampling them for DVD.



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About the author

    Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.

     

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