Problems recognizing discs in a CD/DVD player

While we are discussing videos, I am some problems with my new iMac (love it!!) I finally discovered the secret of locating the finding the DVD player (find it by searching for it in Spotlight - who dreamed up that hidden trick??). But when I used it to watch a DVD the cursor disappears and I cannot access anything in the menu or on the screen unless I press the esc key??

The other thing is that I cannot get the computer to recognize disks when inserted into an external DVD/CD player - I used 3 different ones that work great with my MBP. I was trying to use MDRP to make an archival copy of some videos I own and it could not find the unmounted disk, dash.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Interesting. I’m still running macOS 10.12 (Sierra), so things may have changed, but when I insert a DVD into my USB SuperDrive, the DVD player app auto-launches when the disc mounts. This is configurable via the “CDs & DVDs” preference panel:

Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 16.44.59

The DVD player is also in the Applications folder (quick access - type CMD-A from the Finder) and is available through Launchpad.

Did all this go away in Catalina? (Apparently, it did, but it should still auto-launch on disc-insertion.)

Also interesting. On my system (DVD player version 5500.70), the UI is different in full-screen vs. windowed, but it is always accessible.

When full-screen, moving the mouse makes the cursor appear and a set of player controls appears at the bottom of the screen. When windowed, the player controls are in a separate floating window.

What kind? Are they bus-powered or do they use an external power brick?

I ask because Apple’s USB SuperDrive (for example) draws more power than the USB 2.0 standard permits and therefore only works with ports that are designed to supply that kind of power (like my MacBook Air and Mac Mini, which date to the same generation). Hubs (even powered ones) generally don’t.

If your drives support an external power brick, does using it help? Also, if you’re plugging the drive into a USB hub or a dock, try plugging it directly into one of your iMac’s USB ports.

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@Shamino Thank you for your response and your helpful links. Catalina apparently hides the player. My problem began when there was no way to have video disks auto open the DVD Player. Once I was able to open it via Spotlight I could then go to Sys Prefs and use the Open in DVD Player option when vids were inserted.

But once it started and the movie opened, that was where I encountered the mysterious appearing and disappearing cursor, which really messed with any effort to control the video.

I used an Archon mobil DVD player and 2 different OWC drives, all of which work perfectly with the MBP running High Sierra and none of which require external power. The problem clearly lies in the Catalina OS I think. When the disk is mounted and recognized is not always consistent and restarts only helped slightly - once it gets acting weird all bets are off.

Also, I cannot open videos that I have on my hard drive although there is no problem doing that in MBP.

I’m very upset that I cannot use MDRP to make archival copies of videos because I use that system most especially for educational disks that I find more convenient to view from within my computer’s hard drive.

Thank you for your suggestions though!

Well, suddenly everything is working! I have no idea what happened but when I insert a video DVD Player immediately opens the video and the cursor works fine. If i quit DVD Player I can use MDRP to rip the archival copy with no problem. Weird but I’m grateful. I still cannot understand why Apple has determined it is wise to hide the DVD Player from the Applications folder.

Oh, and now INA is working fine, too. Will wonders never cease?! Thanks again David for your input.

Sounds like it may have been a temporary hardware glitch. If the problem recurs, consider replacing your USB cable(s). A flaky cable can create all kinds of aggravating problems.

(I recently had a scanner that started running extremely slowly. It turns out that the USB cable went bad and all communication dropped back to USB 1.0 speeds. Replacing the cable fixed it all.)

Presently, I’m feeling a bit weary of any USB device issues on Catalina.

@Shamino I don’t think it was that as I did not change the cables and I keep them pretty current anyway. Get cable problems with iOS devices as I don’t always spring for Apple cables.

@Simon Yes. Catalina seems to be quite nice in many ways but there are little glitches that make me grit my teeth and I am glad my (limping) MBP with High Sierra is still around although HS brought its own difficulties with it.

Thank you both.