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Speed up iTunes CD importing Apps
This might be obvious for some people...

I find that importing a CD goes visibly faster [you can see it in the progress bar] if you're not playing the CD while importing, even if you're using a fast Mac with gobs of RAM. On my dual 2GHz G5, playing a CD slows down CD import considerably, but if I wait until the first song is imported, and play the iTunes file instead of the actual CD, importing isn't slowed down noticeably.

[kirkmc adds: I've noticed this as well, and, in fact, that's why I say it might be obvious. Two things are happening when you import a CD in iTunes: the CD is read, and iTunes processes the file to convert it. The first limit therefore is the read speed of your CD drive. If a song is playing, you can (on most Macs) here the drive skipping back and forth between the song it's playing and the one it's importing. The second limit is your processor speed. It is possible that, with a relatively slow Mac, or one with a very fast CD drive, there won't be much difference in the import speed if the CD is playing.

What I've tried to figure out, however, is why some CDs import at about a maximum of 8x on my 2 GHz iMac, and others hit up to about 14x. The fastest my iMac can go is around 15-16x; I can see that when converting AIFF files to AAC. While the type of music should make some difference, I'll see different results on multiple discs from box sets (such as different CDs of a set of Beethoven string quartets, for example) where the music is very similar. Anyone have any answers to this question?]
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Speed up iTunes CD importing | 12 comments | Create New Account
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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: chutem on May 05, '06 07:45:01AM

I have also seen it to be faster without playing at the smae time as importing. As for the some are fster than others. I have found that newer/less dirty/scratched cds go much faster than old/dirty/scratched cd's. I would think it would be due to newer cd's being able to be read "better" by the read head than old cds.IMHO



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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: Netzach on May 05, '06 07:58:20AM

Ive gotten up to about x24-speed when I'm importing a CD on my PowerMac G5 1,6GHz, 1.25GB RAM. But normaly it stays around x15.

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//Intelligence has it's boundaries, but stupidity is unlimited.



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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: mpanighetti on May 05, '06 10:41:10AM

I believe iTunes soaks up about as much RAM and processing power as it can muster to obtain fast CD imports (from what I've heard, it even makes optimal use of the multi-core processors to achieve this end), so other processes running at the same time will affect this performance. The difference is noticeable on my eMac 700 MHz; if I quit all other apps and the Dashboard, the import speed increases drastically.



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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: Mikey-San on May 05, '06 11:32:55AM

This article should note that "playing the CD while importing" != the iTunes "play songs while importing" setting. The former reads from two sections on the CD at once, and the latter simply starts playing imported MP3s/AACs/etc. as the data is ripped.



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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: k-rock on May 05, '06 01:08:21PM
Do not forget that the amount of data read from optical media increases from inner tracks to the outer edge of the disc.
As you import an album, each song will have a greater and greater import rate, until you hit the CPU bottleneck (probably only possible on an older machine).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CD_recorder

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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: sjmills on May 06, '06 09:02:20AM

That was a joke, right?



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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: kirkmc on May 07, '06 01:43:50AM

You're kidding, right?

CDs spin at a fixed speed, so as they get to the outer edges, the drives can read more data.

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Read my blog: Kirkville -- http://www.mcelhearn.com
Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more



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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: dafdaf on May 06, '06 03:43:42AM

<sarcasm>
I also heard that if you copy only one item at a time it should be faster than copying 3 items simultaneously. Although I find that really hard to believe.
</sarcasm>



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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: juandesant on May 06, '06 07:45:46AM
kirkmc said: What I've tried to figure out, however, is why some CDs import at about a maximum of 8x on my 2 GHz iMac, and others hit up to about 14x
That's probably due to the use of the Use error correction when reading Audio CDs iTunes preference: disks which show less scratching and/or dust will be imported faster.

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--
Juan de Dios Santander Vela
Electronics Engineer
Astronomy Software Developer
Ph.D. Student

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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: kirkmc on May 07, '06 01:45:45AM

No, before I had that setting turned on (which I did a few months ago, after noticing the occasional diginoise in music files), I had the same results. Also, I mostly rip new CDs - as soon as I buy them, I rip them, so they are almost always in excellent condition. There's something else going on that I can't figure out...

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Read my blog: Kirkville -- http://www.mcelhearn.com
Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more



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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: ncollingridge on May 07, '06 12:43:36PM

As a benchmark of what's possible, the maximum speed for import on my system (Dual 2GHz G5) is about 40x on the last few (outer) tracks of a CD, starting at about 20x on the inner tracks. This is with a Lite-On SOHC-5236V Combo drive in an external Firewire enclosure. I also have a Lite-On SHW-1635S DVD writer and this is just about as fast.



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Speed up iTunes CD importing
Authored by: kirkmc on May 08, '06 01:48:22AM

Dang, that's fast! I wish I could get that fast; I have lots of CDs I still haven't ripped.

This said, there have to be other variables. Rob's got a dual-G5 as well, and when we were testing it, he didn't get anywhere near that speed.

FWIW, my 2 GHz G5 iMac has 1.5 GB RAM, and I think it's a 24x CD drive (well, it's a SuperDrive, but when reading CDs, it's 24x).

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Read my blog: Kirkville -- http://www.mcelhearn.com
Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more



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