Using Multiple CD/DVD Drives to rip CDs Simultaneously in iTunes

My recent attempt to cleanup my iTunes library was a great success.  As I began looking through my newly cleaned music library in depth, I noticed that some music I had previously ripped was not in Apple Lossless.  As I went to re-rip those CDs I also found over 100 more CDs that I had never ripped!  I figured that wasn’t a big deal as my old Mac has two internal CD burners and I have an old high-speed LaCie CD-RW external machine.  Surely with three CD mechanisms going, I’d be able to finish ripping my CDs in no-time.

The first thing I did was go to iTunes’ preferences and under “General” I selected “Import CD and Eject” as the option for what to do when inserting a CD.  I then made sure that under “Import Settings” button things were set to the Apple Lossless codec.

As I began ripping CDs, I noticed that even though I had 3 CDs in 3 CD drives, iTunes would only rip them one at a time.  On the one hand, that was great.  I’d stick in a CD and when it was done ripping it would eject it and I could go on to the second one.  On the other hand, I had three drives and it would be a lot easier and faster if I could use them all at the same time.

Phile Audio will use use multiple CD/DVD 
drives simultaneously to rip music.

After doing some research, it appears as though it’s impossible for iTunes to rip multiple CDs concurrently.  It also appears that there isn’t a workaround for that.  In fact, there aren’t many options at all to help you rip multiple CDs concurrently.  The only product that appears to do this is a piece of software called Phile Audio.  Download the Phile Audio  Software

The software will rip from multiple CD/DVD drives simultaneously and will also rip to multiple file formats simultaneously.  It is a stand-alone app and uses the FreeDB online database to lookup songs and albums.  It doesn’t use GraceNote, which is what iTunes and TuneUp use.  From what I read online, some people’s reviews of FreeDB are great and others’ are mixed.

At $7.99, the app isn’t expensive.  But I ultimately didn’t buy it.  You might ask why given that I could have been done in 1/3 of the time.  The primary reason is that I had already gotten through 2/3 of my ripping at that point and I was multitasking and doing other things while the CDs were ripping.  If I had thought of it at the beginning, I certainly would have tried it.

For those who are looking to rip their collection, I wanted to pass along my research.  I’d be very curious to hear from anyone who has used Phile Audio about your impressions.

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