Yesterday we reported problems playing store-bought DVDs in some Macs, and we've since received confirmation from a number of readers with a variety of drive mechanisms. Matshita and Pioneer models seem most affected.
One reader has a situation where DVDs will not play in his Matshita-drive equipped PowerBook unless first used in a set-top player. "I too experience a similar phenomena with my PowerBook g4 12-in 867 superdrive (matshita uj815): sometimes commercial dvds rented from blockbusters won't mount at all in this PowerBook but would play no problems on the home dvd player (a pioneer, if this matters). But then after the DVD gets a spin in the home player, it seems to mount and play on the PowerBook ..."
Will Collier was one of the first readers to report mounting problems with a desktop Mac: "I've recently had problems with home-brew DVDs not mounting in my Quicksilver desktop, using either the stock -103 internal drive or an external -105 in a Firewire case (both Pioneer mechanisms). The discs in question are DVD-R, created on a PC with Ulead DVD Movie Factory (I'd rather be using DVDSP2, but it's not very forgiving of ReplayTV-extracted MPEG oddities). Extremely long times to mount, if at all; I often have to launch Toast to force a disc eject. No issues watching the discs on a set-top DVD player."
Other readers note that they have no problems using other, third-party, non-movie DVDs: "My iMacDV400 running 10.3.3 (1GB RAM) won't mount commercial movie DVDs but instantly mounts DVDs such as the Macworld 'Total Panther DVD'."
Bad drives In some cases, a truly faulty DVD mechanism may be the culprit. Oliver Taylor writes "I had a similar problem as Michel Tavir that was actually related to a bad drive. However this was not clear to me at the time because the drive actually deteriorated over time and as it did so, would not mount CDs and DVDs at seemingly random intervals. It was only when the drive would not mount anything at all that I realized the drive was bad, but before that I thought many of my CDs were bad."
Problems with burned DVDs Greg Morin, meanwhile, notes some problems playing burned DVDs. "I have a similar issue with my G5 2 GHz although not with commercial DVD's. I have DVD Rs that were burned in a Philips DVDR985. All of the DVD's I've burned with this work fine on a variety of Macs in OS 9 and OS X but they will simply not play in my G5 (Pioneear DVR-106D). In 10.2 they would not even mount and now in 10.3 at least they mount and DVD player opens but pushing any button results in a "not allowed" or "forbidden" (I forget the exact phrase) message in the viewer window. I have no idea how to fix this if it is just some odd software issue, I've never seen it addressed before. It would seem to just be Apple's DVD player program because I downloaded a program called DVDxDV and it was able to play the contents of the DVD (this program grabs the content of the DVD and converts it to a DV stream that can be used by iMovie, etc). So I know the drive in the G5 is physically capable of playing the DVD. But it's not purely an Apple software issue because I installed 10.3 on an iBook and it played the DVD just fine. So either it is a combination of the G5, Pioneer drive and the player in 10.3... or I just need to wipe the drive and do a clean install...which I don't want to do as I'll be pretty ticked if I do wipe the drive and it does not solve the problem."