I have a mac and never need to finalize the disc. All I do is hook up the USB to the camera and the computer, then turn on the camera and the application called Image Capture will come on automatically, you can download some of the pics or all. They will go into a folder you choose.
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your issue is a matter on software compatibility, try to find correct software to run on your MAC that is compatible with software that used to run the discs before...no problem with discs or the external DVD...
A few times over the last several years, having shot thousands of images with my CD-400, I discovered that VERY rarely a bump/jar, etc. can cause a bad write, or the same thing when finalizing. In the car with a friend one day, I was needing to finalize for him and got the message of death. That's the only thing I can offer; mine has worked like Sony intended.
The biggest cause of not being able to read the disk is it hasn't been finalized. To use them anywhere else but in the camera the disk must be finalised first before removing it from the camera.
There have also been a number of faulty units which suffer from writing problems.
I doubt it altho I really don't know. I've put over 6000 shots through my 300 and finalized in all kinds of conditions - including bumpy roads, trams, and airplanes. I've never experienced what you described, although twice in severely bumpy conditions I had one pic on each disk with half its pixels corrupted. Sounds like there is something severely wrong. To test it you can try not finalizing and look at the pics through your USB connection.
Bob: the Mac will never show what is on the disk.....and you don't hgave to finalize either.
Do you have Image Capture on your units? If so, all you need to do is connect the camera via USB cable to the computer. The program will come on automatically (the camera has to be on), you can choose to download some or all of the pictures to a folder of your choice.
wow did you get an amazing deal on the camera? lol... to buy it with nothing? check sony's website, they must have a link to download the drivers for the mac. I presume you'd need to download something to be able to read sony formatted disks on a mac.