What is an “Optical Disc Drive” ?

Optical Disc Drive (ODD) – In computing, it is an disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives can only read from certain discs, but recent drives can both read and record, also called burners or writers. Compact disks, DVDs, and Blu-ray disks are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives. Optical disc drives that are no longer in production include CD-ROM drive, CD writer drive, and combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) drive. As of 2015, DVD writer drive is the most common for desktop PCs and laptops. There are also DVD-ROM drive, BD-ROM drive, Blu-ray Disc combo (BD-ROM/DVD±RW/CD-RW) drive, and Blu-ray Disc writer drive which are not so much demand in the market.

Optical disc drives are an integral part of standalone appliances such as CD players, VCD players, DVD players, Blu-ray disc players, DVD recorders, certain desktop video game consoles, such as Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U, and certain portable video game consoles, such as Sony PlayStation Portable. They are also very commonly used in computers to read software and consumer media distributed on disc, and to record discs for archival and data exchange purposes. Floppy disk drives, with capacity of 1.44 MB, have been made obsolete: optical media are cheap and have vastly higher capacity to handle the large files used since the days of floppy discs, and the vast majority of computers and much consumer entertainment hardware have optical writers. USB flash drives, high-capacity, small, and inexpensive, are suitable where read/write capability is required.

Disc recording is restricted to storing files playable on consumer appliances (films, music, etc.), relatively small volumes of data (e.g., a standard DVD holds 4.7 gigabytes) for local use, and data for distribution, but only on a small scale; mass-producing large numbers of identical discs is cheaper and faster than individual recording.

Optical discs are used to back up relatively small volumes of data, but backing up of entire hard drives, as of 2015, typically containing many hundreds of gigabytes or even multiple terabytes, is less practical than with the smaller capacities previously available. Large backups are often made on external hard drives, as their price has dropped to a level making this viable; in professional environments magnetic tape drives are also used.

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Source: Wikipedia

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