Digital Sharing for Apple Users: A Take Control Crash Course (2014)
Share Optical Discs with Other Macs
Do you remember optical discs (DVDs and CDs)? These ancient technological relics have largely gone the way of rotary telephones and film cameras. We’ve moved past them. I can’t remember the last time I bought software on a physical disc, and although I occasionally purchase a CD at a concert or a movie on a Blu-ray disc, downloads have almost entirely replaced optical media for me.
That said, I still have lots of optical discs for software from days gone by, and every once in a while—maybe a few times a year—I need to get something from one of those discs. Of course, my trusty MacBook Pro doesn’t have an optical drive. As I write this in late 2014, Apple sells only one Mac—the non-retina MacBook Pro (13-inch, mid 2012)—that still includes a SuperDrive for reading and writing optical discs, as well as a USB SuperDrive that can be attached to any Mac.
If you have an older Mac with an optical drive, you can use OS X’s Remote Disc feature to “share” CDs or DVDs with a newer Mac that lacks an optical drive.
Enable DVD or CD Sharing
On the Mac with an optical drive:
1. Go to System Preferences > Sharing.
2. Select DVD or CD Sharing ①.
① With this selected, other Macs on the same network can share your optical drive.
Then close System Preferences and insert the DVD or CD you want to share.
Use Remote Disc
1. On the Mac that needs access to the optical disc (which must be on the same local network), select Remote Disc (under “Devices”) in the sidebar of any Finder window.
2. Select the Mac where the disc is located and click Ask to Use.
3. Back on the Mac where the disc is located, click Accept in the dialog that appears.
The contents of the shared disc appear on the disc-less Mac.
Remote Disc Limitations
Unfortunately, Remote Disc can’t be used for:
· Audio CDs
· DVD movies
· Operating systems (such as Mac OS X or Windows)
· Burning CDs or DVDs
In other words, this feature is really only for reading data from CDs and DVDs.
“Keep an old SuperDrive-equipped Mac around to share CDs and DVDs with newer Macs that lack optical drives.”