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Osx beta cd

A CD-ROM of Mac OS X Public Beta

CD-ROM (an acronym for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory) is an optical media format that was popular in the 1990s. It was superseded by DVD-ROM drives and the Apple SuperDrive in Macs.


The Red Book standard for compact discs specified a bit rate of 153,600 bytes (150 KB) per second, referred to as "1x" CD-ROM speed. Audio was encoded in 16-bit resolution at 44.1 kHz. The original standard specified that each disc could contain up to 99 tracks and store 650 MB (74 minutes).[1] The standard was later amended to allow variances of up to 700 MB (79.8 minutes),[2] though some drives have allowed for usable capacities as high as 750 MB (85 minutes).[3]


Early Apple CD-ROM mechanisms used SCSI connectors, typically set to ID #3.[4]

External models[]

  • AppleCD SC (1x speed, model M2850) — required a CD caddy. Introduced in 1988, the internal fan was found to be drawing dust into the CD mechanism which had no external door; it was deemed unnecessary and left out of units manufactured from early 1990.[5]
  • AppleCD SC Plus (1x speed, model M3021) — required a CD caddy. Introduced in 1991, the new drive mechanism added a drive door to keep out dust and could read CDs with more data than the original Red Book standard, up to 750 MB.[3][6]
  • AppleCD 150 (1x speed, model M3022) — smaller enclosure, still required a CD caddy.[7]
  • AppleCD 300 (2x speed, model M3023) — same enclosure as AppleCD 150, still required a CD caddy.[8] Introduced in 1992.[9]
  • AppleCD 300 Plus (2x speed) — same enclosure as AppleCD 150, but introduced a built-in CD tray and no caddy needed.[10]
  • AppleCD 300e Plus (2x speed, M2918) — included a CD tray, revised enclosure.[11]
  • AppleCD 600e (4x speed, model M3958) — included a CD tray, same enclosure as AppleCD 300e Plus.
  • Apple PowerCD (4x speed) — based on Philips CDF-100. Included Photo CD support with built-in audio/video out.[12]

Internal models[]

12x and 4x Apple CD-ROM drives

Back of 12x (top) and 4x (bottom) Apple CD-ROM mechanisms using the SCSI interface.

  • Apple CR-503-C (2x speed CD-ROM), used in AppleCD 300 Plus.[10]
  • Apple CR-504-C/K (4x speed CD-ROM, a.k.a. AppleCD 600i)
  • Apple CR-504-L (4x speed CD-ROM), also used in Bandai's Pippin consoles.[4]
  • Apple CR-506-C (8x speed CD-ROM, a.k.a. AppleCD 1200i)[13]
  • Apple CR-507-C (12x speed CD-ROM, a.k.a. AppleCD 1800i)[13][14]
  • Apple CR-508-C (24x speed CD-ROM)[15]

Driver software[]

Classic Mac OS included an Apple CD-ROM extension, which at first only supported Apple-branded hardware. This forced users of drives from other manufactures to resort to using a range of 3rd-party drivers with varying degrees of compatibility. Apple started making its CD-ROM extension "universal" with version 5.3.1, which was included with Mac OS 7.6.[16]

The Apple CD-ROM extension was superseded by the Apple CD/DVD Driver included with Mac OS 8.1, which again limited compatibility to drives supplied by Apple. However, this could be hacked to support 3rd-party drives.[16]


  1. Red Book (CD-DA), Media Technics. Accessed 2020-08-09.
  2. What Is A Red Book CD? by Karl Machat, Mister's Mastering House. Accessed 2020-08-09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 AppleCD, IT History Society. Accessed 2020-04-04.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Un lecteur CD plus rapide dans la Pippin (et un échec partiel) (French) by Pierre Dandumont, Le Journal du Lapin. 2016-09-03.
  5. AppleCD SC: Fan Deleted in 1990, Apple. 2012-02-18. Archived 2012-04-18.
  6. AppleCD SC Plus, Apple Rescue of Denver. Accessed 2020-04-03.
  7. AppleCD 150 External CD-ROM Drive, Apple Rescue of Denver. Accessed 2020-04-04.
  8. AppleCD 300 by Sameli Kujala, Flickr. 2010-06-29.
  9. AppleCD 300 by Adam Engst, TidBITS. 1992-10-12.
  10. 10.0 10.1 AppleCD 300 Plus CD-ROM Drive, Apple Rescue of Denver. Accessed 2020-04-04.
  11. AppleDesign Speakers II & AppleCD 300e Plus, AppleToTheCore. 2011-06-20.
  12. ポータブルオーディオ機器紹介: CDP / PowerCD (Apple / PHILIPS) (Japanese), Kaz's Web Site. Archived 2004-04-14.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Un lecteur CD plus rapide dans la Pippin (avec la ROM 1.3) (French) by Pierre Dandumont, Le Journal du Lapin. 2016-10-22.
  14. CDROM Drive 12x SCSI Apple CD 1800i (661-1415), PartSquad. Accessed 2020-04-04.
  15. Un lecteur CD (encore) plus rapide dans la Pippin (French) by Pierre Dandumont, Le Journal du Lapin. 2017-03-18.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Disk, CD-ROM Drivers, The Mac Driver Museum. Archived 2015-10-12.

External links[]

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