If you've ever considered ditching those stacks of DVDs and CDs cluttering up your home, there's never been a better time to get started. We're slowly but surely moving towards a world where CDs, DVDs and most forms of portable optical media are obsolete.
We're consuming more media than ever on our iPads and mobile phones, neither of which can read discs, and many of the sub-compact netbooks don't even ship with a DVD/CD drive. Netflix is ditching DVDs in favor of streaming subscriptions. Apple is launching an app store for Macs, and the MacBook Air, which Apple just refreshed with new models, has no optical drive. Cloud-based storage and giant hard drives that plug into your home network are pennies per gigabyte, and reusable flash memory drives can hold more data than a Blu-ray disc.
Blu-ray players and disc-based game consoles will likely be around for a few more years, but the writing is on the wall: DVDs and CDs are not long for this world. Here's how to transition to a future free of shiny plastic disks.
This article is part of a wiki anyone can edit. If you have advice to add about using the software mentioned here, log in and contribute. Please read the How-To Wiki's guidelines on writing about media conversion software. Spam will not be tolerated. If you want to recommend a specific free software solution, please start a new article.