Apple has filed a patent for an adaptor that will allow slot-loading DVD and CD drives to play small 8cm discs.

Such discs aren't yet playable within slot loading optical drives, but the new Apple technology - developed by leading iPod engineer, Tony Fadell - should bridge the gap.

The patent describes an adaptor that fits around the smaller disc to make it compatible with slot loading drives. Fadell suggests two possible configurations: one where the adapter comes in two halves that are folded out, another where four quarters are clicked together.

The application was published on November 22 and was originally filed in May 2006.