A common theme I notice about the lamentations over the removal of ODDs from the Mac Mini is the desire for Apple to install Blu-Ray ODDs into Macs and MacBooks. But what percentage of people actually play movies on Blu-Ray disks?
I would imagine that many more people peruse the DVD selection of a Redbox than buying the latest Blu-Ray movie from Best Buy. Maybe I'm letting my own personal anecdotal experience affect my outlook on this "controversy" as I don't have a big screen TV, much less a blu-ray player. But I feel that Blu-Ray was a moribund format on arrival, doomed for failure as a result of the convenience of online streaming.
Sure, the engadget editiorial is correct: downloading a 50gb rip of a Blu-Ray disk is going to take a while, even on the best ISP network in the US. But how many people actually download (legally or illegally) a Blu-Ray film versus a standard DVD rip or standard definition flick?
I can see Blu-Ray living on as the go-to format for installing games, especially in next-generation gaming consoles. But the fact that Apple more or less succeeded in distributing their new OS without a physical delivery system, I see the removal of ODDs from the Mac Mini not as an act of hubris on Apple's part, but simply stating the obvious: the Optical Disk Drive's days are numbered.