CDs and DVDs Preferences and Display Preferences on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

The Hardware section of the System Preferences window allows you to specify settings that affect your MacBook’s hardware. The CDs & DVDs group and Displays group provide lots of opportunities for you to customize your MacBook.


The CD & DVD preferences here are

  • When You Insert a Blank CD: Click this pop-up menu to specify the action that Mac OS X takes when you load a blank CD-R or CD-RW. You can choose to be prompted or to open the Finder, iTunes, or Disk Copy. Additionally, you can open another application that you select, run an AppleScript that you select, or ignore the disc.

  • When You Insert a Blank DVD: Use this feature to specify the action that your MacBook takes when you load a recordable DVD.

  • When You Insert a Music CD: Choices from this pop-up menu specify what action Mac OS X takes when you load an audio CD. By default, iTunes launches.

  • When You Insert a Picture CD: Choices from this pop-up menu specify what action Mac OS X takes when you load a picture CD.

  • When You Insert a Video DVD: Choices from this pop-up menu specify what action Mac OS X takes when you load a DVD movie. By default, DVD Player launches.


The Displays group offers two tabs

  • Display: Click the resolution that you want to use from the Resolutions list on the left and then choose the number of colors (from the Colors pop-up menu) to display. In most cases, you want to use the highest resolution and the highest number of colors. You can also choose a refresh rate (from the, ahem, Refresh Rate pop-up menu).

    Again, generally, the higher the refresh rate, the better. Move the Brightness slider to adjust the brightness level of your display. If you’ve connected an external monitor or flat-screen TV to your MacBook, click the Detect Displays button and Lion will add them to the list of available displays, allowing you to redirect your MacBook’s video signal.

    Enable the Show Displays in Menu Bar check box if you’ll be switching resolutions and color levels often — this means you, Ms. Image Editor and Mr. Web Designer!

  • Color: Click a display color profile that will control the colors on your monitor. To load a profile, click the Open Profile button. To create a custom ColorSync profile and calibrate the colors that you see on your monitor, click the Calibrate button to launch the Display Calibrator.

    (You can also launch it from your Utilities folder within your Applications folder.) This easy-to-use assistant walks you step-by-step through the process of creating a ColorSync profile matched to your monitor’s gamma and white-point values.