Reading old DVD-RAM discs with new Mac

Reader Jeffrey Boyd has some old discs that he’d like to use in a new Mac. He writes:

I have a few DVD-RAM discs left over from an older Mac that had a DVD-RAM-compatible burner. The discs are enclosed in a case and double-sided. I no longer have the burner but I wonder if there is a way to play/dump the contents of the discs.

There is, but not with the media drive in your current Mac. Regrettably, Apple’s SuperDrives aren’t compatible with DVD-RAM discs. However, Mac OS X does support these discs, with the right player.

Other World Computing (and a variety of other vendors) sell media drives that are compatible with DVD-RAM discs. A compatible external USB drive can be had for around $90.

To play the disc you’ll have to remove it from its case. Once you do, you read one side at a time. So, when you’ve copied the data you want from Side 1, eject the disc, flip it over, and pull the data from the second side.

MyTechGuide provides nicely illustrated instructions on how to remove a DVD-RAM disc from its enclosing cartridge.

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