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Thread: Multiple CD drives on Mac / OSX

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Philly Philly

    Multiple CD drives on Mac / OSX

    This is less of a question and more of a "seeking clarification"

    First - the software is GREAT.

    Finally, I can see WTF is going on with respect to tags, BEFORE the tags ge written.

    Long ago I got a Microboards "budget" robot and ripped a massive number of discs; but the tags could be it or miss, and I didnt have a good tag editing work flow etc.

    Fast forward to today, and now Im using Serato and really could use no longer lugging cases of CDs (unless of course, there was an event that demanded that)

    I had been steadily ripping CDs using a MacBook Pro mid 2012 (aka the built in superdrive / optical), but I wanted to speed up workflow.

    So I experimented with a USB optical drive and landed on an OWC
    I was going to go for a "high end" pioneer drive and an OWC enclosure, but realized Im reading CDs, not BluRay so maybe an LG drive won't be so terrible.

    Other than making the mistake of putting in an obtuse and damaged disk in for the first rip (gee this is slow), this has speeded up my workflow

    I had considered a Nimbie, but then I would need to build up a PC, and also I began to realize that I wanted to scrub the tags BEFORE the rip started.


    Is there a limit to the number of CD drives I can strap on?

    Or is the limit, more of a work flow issue of seeing all the different windows and keeping things straight


    Can I use a powered hub to add more USB?

    Or should I really stick to the two USB that are on the actual laptop chassis (the other two USB I am using are connected via a CalDigit "hub" which connects via ThunderBolt2, so I doubt that the Thunderbolt2 is the bottleneck).


    The way that dbpoweramp manages the UI when ripping from multiple drives is "confusing".

    The use of the two screens with the heading of what drive they are reading from; that part is great.

    The fact that the app also has to keep a third window open, is understandable

    But the screen has one or the other (I have 2 drives going) of the CDs being ripped "data" on the screen, making harder to tell that you are looking at a "manager" screen that needs to be kept open.

    Blanking out the song data and the CD image and putting some other kind of "You are ripping from multiple drives at once; please leave this window up" might be an alternative?

    or am I supposed to run two DIFFERENT instances of the dbpoweramp program and NOT the "Rip from multiple drives" option?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    Re: Multiple CD drives on Mac / OSX

    Would all depend on how many discs you have to rip.

    On OSX I would not go more than a few drives ripping at the same time.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Philly Philly

    Re: Multiple CD drives on Mac / OSX

    Posting info in case it might be helpful to others

    As noted above, I had issues with TWO (2) USB CD drives connected to the two (2) USB ports on the actual MacBook Pro

    When I placed THREE (3) USB drives on the ports on a CalDigit TS2 (which connects to the Mac via Thunderbolt2) I had no issues

    I recently plugged all three drives into a powered USB Hub (Plugable Y-3184) and had no issues in either the single USB port on the TS2 or directly plugged into the MacBook.

    Go figure.....

    Next up - I got a cheap AZUS full size drive.
    And a Modular ATX power supply
    And was going to "hack" the power supply to the drive (well - use the supplied SATA drive power cable and run a SATA data cable to the eSATA port on the TS2

    But if the hub works with SIX (6) drives, I'll probably just use the USB hub instead of the crazy eSATA port multiplier idea.... - cheaper too!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Philly Philly

    Re: Multiple CD drives on Mac / OSX


    I have three (3) budget LG drives
    Three (*) budget ASUS drives

    Im running them as UBS3 to a USB3 hub into a port on the MacBook

    While speeds of all 6 running at once are not as fast as one running at a time - the work flow and throughput is much higher than one by one

    I have noted that some drives, even of the same brand/model - may like (or not like) certain disks.
    Like I'll get errors on one drive but a clean read on a different drive

    I have learned to WATCH what's going on with the rips in progress. I if the disk is getting hung up on a track (multiple and frames etc) I'll skip the track. If the other tracks also encounter issues, I'll move that disc to a different drive.

    Also - it seems that drives can "heat up" and then get inconsistent reads. If I stop using that drive for a bit - it seems to cool down and "fix itself".

    Anyway - Thanks to Spoon et al for making such great software!

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