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Apple PowerCD


The Apple PowerCD, portable audio CD player/SCSI CD ROM, plus power supply, and remote control. The pen is there to give a sense of size.


Apple PowerCD


Apple Computer, Inc.

Original Price

? (This unit was given to me.)


SCSI / Audio / Video / Headphone / Speaker


stereo out

Operating Systems Compatible with

System 6 - 7.6.1 (??)


Very clean and in working condition (at least as an audio cd player)

What exactly is this thing?

The following are several answers I got to this question on the Vintage Macs mailing list, sponsored by Low End Mac .(Thank you to those that replied.)

It was designed by a group called MLT (Mac Like Things) and to be portable (as I said, it should have had a 5v ADB power supply), but needed the bulky base with the big 50 pin centronix connector (it should have been HDI-30, or at least DB-25). So, it couldn't be really used like a Walkman, which Sony and so many others implemented correctly. MLT was charged with various projects having to do with Multimedia (and eventually became that).
The only other project they developed which shipped was The Apple Powered Speakers. They did in fact come up with and had prototypes for a smaller hand held CD-ROM which was a much better implementation of the PowerCD (which was really a desktop model). But Apple's management couldn't get it straight. MLT also developed the Paladin.

Like so many other products, Apple was on the cutting edge and gave up after spending millions in development, only to let somebody else learn from their mistakes, do it right and reap the benefits.

IIRC it was meant to play those wonderful Photo CDs from KODAK.

I have this unit purchased new, ages ago. It belongs on the set of a Batman Movie, which is why I bought it. Good industrial Design sells. It requires the proprietary PowerCD extension to run. I never got it to run with AppleCD extension. It is very slow, but for downloading software, how much speed do you really need anyway? Forget about booting, gaming or entertainment titles on it. Too slow! The remote works in Audio CD mode only. There is a switch on the side of the unit to switch to this mode. Audio CD mode is for using the unit with your stereo amp to listen to audio CDs. That is the only way the remote works. I think this unit was created in the early days of data CDRoms, with the expectation that the user would only need to own one CD Rom reader for all their CD viewing, reading and listening pleasures. It is a nifty looking unit thiugh, isn't it? Enjoy it! Tom
I got that one. It will play Video CDs of some format, but not sure if its the standard VCD. Its a 2x drive, with autotermination. I didnt know the base was detachable.....


Photo gallery

This is the main view of the unit attached to it's base.

This is the back of the CD player unit only. The black port is for power/video through the base, and the other port is the SCSI port that attaches to the base.

This is the front of the base unit without the CD player. Notice the SCSI port and next to it is a sticker with part numbers.

This is the back of the base unit, showing the standard (at the time) SCSI port. Next to the port is the SCSI selector.

The black switch at the top was to lock the player into the base.

The base could also run on batteries!

This is the player and base, showing the LCD screen lit up when an audio CD is in. The unit can be operated by the remote control in this mode.

Power CD Power supply information:

Input: 120V 60Hz 22w
Output: DC 10V, 1.0A
The polarity is -...CO...+
Changes those dots to a line, the C circles the O.

Several people have emailed me asking for the power supply specs, so here they are.