In computing, an optical disc drive (ODD) is a disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves near the light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs.
Some drives can only read from discs, but recent drives are commonly both readers and recorders. Recorders are sometimes called burners or writers. Compact discs, DVDs, HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives.
Optical disc drives are an integral part of stand-alone consumer appliances such as CD players, DVD players and DVD recorders. They are also very commonly used in computers to read software and consumer media distributed in disc form, and to record discs for archival and data exchange. Optical drives — along with flash memory — have mostly displaced floppy disk drives and magnetic tape drives for this purpose because of the low cost of optical media and the near-ubiquity of optical drives in computers and consumer entertainment hardware.
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