, Ina Fried notes that Apple has confirmed next week’s release of Mac OS X v10.3, “Panther,”
will feature support
for DVD+R and DVD+RW formats.
The support is conditional — it only works for backing up data, and has not yet been integrated into software like iDVD and iTunes, according to the report, which added that Apple would not comment on if or when such support would be added.
Still, the support of additional DVD formats is a shift for Apple, which has up until now only supported the DVD-R format. Fried reports that Apple told the news outlet that the move was done to assist users of third-party DVD recorders that support for the format.
This alphabet soup of recordable DVD formats is bound to confuse some users. For the end user, there’s little difference between DVD-R and DVD+R — both are “write once” formats. DVD+RW media, meanwhile, can be reused multiple times. Unlike CD-RWs, which top out at hundreds of megabytes, DVD+RW media can store gigabytes of data or media files.
Apple was an early adopter of recordable DVD media, and has continued to leverage its support of the technology by including iDVD on new computers, which enables SuperDrive-equipped Mac users to burn their movies and other content to discs that can be read by many regular consumer DVD players.
When each format was introduced, support varied among many of the vendors of drive mechanisms designed to read DVD discs. Now support for DVD+R and DVD+RW has spread to widely used optical media mechanisms, as the industry itself has consolidated and shifted.