Help with iMac (Intel) and iTunes import speed

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by GenesisST, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. GenesisST macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

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    #1
    Hello,

    In the past, I used my PC to import my CDs to iTunes. I achieved 14-16X with that 2.4 GHz processor.

    With my new 17" 1.83 Intel Duo, I can only get 5-6X. I know that if iTunes would use only 1 CPU, then it would be slower than my P4, but not by 2/3.

    Is this a known issue? Is there a setting to adjust this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #2
    I assume you're converting the tracks to a certain format during this process. Is it the same format for both machines? You can check what you convert music to (and change the settings) in the iTunes Preferences, under the Advanced section and within Importing. :)
     
  3. live4ever macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    It's the vertical slot drive that's slow - use a 5.25" drive in a FireWire for maximum ripping speed.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #4
    My iMac G5 rips to 160kbps MP3 at about 25x so even though the vertical drive might be slower, the difference shouldn't be that great. :)
     
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #5
    That is a big difference in performance. Even Mad Jew's iMac G5 gets ~25X. Are you using the newest (universal) version of iTunes?
     
  6. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

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    #6
    Hello again,

    Yes, I am using the same encoding on both machines: AAC 192 kbps.
    And I am indeed using the vertical slot drive.

    Also, I am using the iTunes version 6.0.4 that was updated through the software update of the Mac.
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #7
    Try converting a song that's not 192kbps AAC to 192kbps AAC from the Advanced menu. This'll give you two versions of the track, the original and the new one. This might help determine whether it's a problem inherent in the drive or the converting process in iTunes. :)
     
  8. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

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    #8
    The speed of the drive seems a logical culprit. When I import as AIFF, I do get 10-12X speed. But the Superdrive specs say: read CD at "up to" 24X.

    When converting from AIFF (on HD) to AAC, I got around 22X.

    Any way of tweaking CD speeds?

    Thanks!
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #9
    Okay, firstly the Superdrive's read speed of up to 24x is not equivocal of importing at 24x in iTunes. They're different standards.

    I'm not sure why your optical drive is reading so slowly. I know there are some firmware settings help in your PRAM, so resetting it may help.

    Also, open up Activity Monitor as you import and see if there's something acting suspiciously by taking up a lot of CPU cycles or RAM. Make sure you're looking at All Processes, not just My Processes. :)
     
  10. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

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    #10
    I agree that reading CDs at 24x does not mean the same import speed.
    Since I am able to convert to AAC at 22x from a file on disk, i know the CPU is ok. It does take ~110% of the CPU during conversion and there are no other processes taking more than 1-2%. Everything is Intel as well, no PowerPC rosetta stuff running.

    I am willing to reset the PRAM, but will I loose much? The link mentions mouse settings, volume, basically non-critical stuff. Any other side effects I should know before I do a PRAM reset?

    Thanks!
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #11
    Resetting the PRAM is thankfully pretty safe. :)
     
  12. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

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    #12
    Resetting the PRAM did not change anything.

    Thanks for the tip though. Might help me in the future
     
  13. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #13
    Okay, well I'm out of ideas. I can't think of anything more to do software-side. Maybe give Apple a call and they may replace it or reconnect it. :eek:

    Just quickly though, I'm assuming the read speed is slow for everything, not just iTunes, right? :)
     
  14. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

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    #14
    I would tend to think so, but I haven't used the drive a lot.

    I am currently trying to transfer the Cd files to the desktop and it is estimating 6-8 minutes to transfer 518 MB of data. This is for a 52 minutes CD.

    I my math is correct, I get 52/8 = 6.5. Which would be consistent with the 5-6X i am getting in iTunes.

    Could it be another device I have on USB that is limiting the bandwidth of the CD? Or the fact that I have disabled Airport and use a wired gigabit ethernet?

    I guess there is only one way to find out, and that to unplug everything and disconnect the gigabit ethernet connection.
     
  15. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

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    #15
    I just had the mouse and KB plugged in, no wired gigabit ethernet and no iPod. Same thing.

    I guess I'll have to give Apple a call... eek, I hate customer support representatives...

    Thanks for the help!
     
  16. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #16
    Yeah, sorry I can't be more help. Hopefully it's just a loose connection and it'll be easily remedied. :)
     
  17. Angelus520 macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    I did a similar test with the Killers' CD when the Intel Macs first came to the Michigan Avenue store. I wasn't blown away by the importing speed since I was only able to get in the teens. My dad's eMac 1.25 ramps up into the 20x area and that's importing as Apple Lossless files. Not sure what the deal was but the slot v. tray drive thing does make some sense. I do notice a big speed improvement when I import songs using an external FireWire CD drive.
     
  18. furryrabidbunny macrumors 6502

    furryrabidbunny

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    #18
    I encountered this "problem" with my new iMac... I expected it to destroy while importing. Wouldn't a good temporary fix be to drag the aiff files a cd to the hard drive and then encode them from there? Is this something apple could fix with a software update to itunes when it becomes more intel optimized?
     
  19. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #19
    Yeah, it can't be the angle of the drive because my iMac G5 zips along nicely. Hopefully there's not a speed problem inherent in all the Intel iMacs though. :eek:
     
  20. GenesisST thread starter macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

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    #20
    I just updated the firmware with the just released update and I can now import at around 10-12X. But over the time of the album, it rises to around 19-20X.

    That's better!

    Thanks for all your help!

    I am new to Mac and this community just rocks!

    Now, if I can just stop doing alt-F4 to close applications...
     
  21. furryrabidbunny macrumors 6502

    furryrabidbunny

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    #21
    Well, I just installed the firmware update, so maybe i'll get better speeds. The fact is, Apple probably needs to just optimize iTunes better for the core duo.
     

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