The answer I got from a Mac engineer in a comparable post is in http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6122_102-0.html?forumID=44&threadID=250781&messageID=2505160#2505160
It shows you can put any external USB2.0 hard drive into a Mac, if formatted FAT32. There's no need to limit yourself to an Apple offer.
Of course, it's a very bad idea to trust any internal or external hard disk to be fail-safe and ever-lasting. On the contrary, look at them as error-prone and short-lasting. So the least you can do is keep your current 1500 CD's as a backup. Or buy two hard disks and copy your data to both, having one as a backup for the other.
Hope this helps.
I'm getting rid of about 1500 CDs one way or another. I want to rip all of them onto an external hard drive which will need to be Mac compatabile. I've looked at a few on the apple website but they all seem to have reliability issues. I'm not totally oposed to something other than an external drive if there's something I'm missing.
Any tips or product sugestions?