How do I re-rip 65% of my CDs into iTunes library from 3 machines at the same time?

eme jota ce

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2005
193
0
Chicago
I have about 300 CDs that I'm re-ripping into my library for two reasons (1) I had a hard drive failure that corrupted / lost some of the files and (2) I'm shifting from MP3 to Apple Lossless format.

Setup: MacMini is linked to entertainment center for iTunes playback but I ahve 2 other Macbooks on network. iTunes library is on an external hardrive connected to mini via firewire --accessible to macbooks via network.

Issue 1: Can I load the iTunes library from the external hard drive on each of the three machines, then have each of the three re-rip CDs simultaneously to overwrite the old files? After the CDs have been re-ripped, I'd just tell iTunes on the MacMini rebuild the library so that it knew the actual file types for the CDs imported by the macbooks.

Issue 2: I want to overwrite existing songs (1) to avoid duplicate files and (2) I've misplaced / stored a couple hundred other CD's, so I can't just erase the old library, rip from three machines, then import into the mini b/c that would be a large loss of CDs.

My plan would as follows, but I'm not certain if it will work or if it's the best way:

1. Erase the iTunes library (not the files) on all three machines for a clean start.
2. On Each machine, Preferences -> Advanced -> General: Set the iTunes music folder to the external drive where the current music files are located. Also set each computer to "Keep Music Folder Organized" and "Copy files to iTunes Music Folder..."
3. on Each machine, select File -> Add to Libary: to add all of the current music files.
4. Start simultaneously shoving my CDs into the three machines and re-importing using lossless / telling it to overwrite existing files when prompted.
5. When done re-importing the CDs, erase the macbook libraries (I don't listen to music on them), tell the mac mini to erase it's library, then re-add all the newly ripped files and the preexisting/not-overwritten files to the library to rebuild it, so that the mini becomes aware of the files that were added / rewritten by the other two machines.

While none of the three machines would be ripping the same CD or trying to overwrite the same music files at the same time, my concern is that all three machines would run into problems if trying to update / write to the same iTunes non-music file, for example the iTunes Libarary Database file of the iTunes Library.xml file on the external drive.

Comments? Suggestions? Experiences?

Thanks,
mjc
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,396
7
San Francisco
It won't work. You can't import more than one CD simultaneously onto one computer. The hard drive can only move so fast. And doing this would be very very slow.

What I would do is rip the mp3's onto each computer individually. And when you're done just transfer the data files to your computer with the iTunes library. This will be the fastest way ultimately.
 

ChrisBrightwell

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2004
2,294
0
Huntsville, AL
It won't work. You can't import more than one CD simultaneously onto one computer. The hard drive can only move so fast. And doing this would be very very slow.
The hard drive is fast enough to handle data from 3 computers as they convert the music.

What I would do is rip the mp3's onto each computer individually. And when you're done just transfer the data files to your computer with the iTunes library.
This is probably how I would do it, too, just to simplify things.
 

eme jota ce

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2005
193
0
Chicago
The hard drive is fast enough to handle data from 3 computers as they convert the music.



This is probably how I would do it, too, just to simplify things.
Any suggestion for how to avoid the duplicates, though?

In other words, I'm not re-reipping every CD and was relying upon iTunes to overwrite replaced CDs while leaving others alone.

If I rip to all three machines, I'll be able overwrite
 

GimmeSlack12

macrumors 603
Apr 29, 2005
5,396
7
San Francisco
Any suggestion for how to avoid the duplicates, though?

In other words, I'm not re-reipping every CD and was relying upon iTunes to overwrite replaced CDs while leaving others alone.

If I rip to all three machines, I'll be able overwrite
Just rip a CD once to one computer. Seems easy enough to me.
 

eme jota ce

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2005
193
0
Chicago
Just rip a CD once to one computer. Seems easy enough to me.
Hmmm.... Maybe something is happening that you know and I don't, but that doesn't seem to be addressing the goal for speeding the CD ripping process through the use of multiple computers or concerns of how to get them to overwrite the re-riped files while preserving the files for which I won't re-rip.
 

psycho bob

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2003
638
6
Leeds, England
So let me get this straight, all your music is on one hard drive but your wanting to re-rip your CD's using 3 machines at the the same time to speed the process up?

If I got the scenario right then there are going to be some problems which to me would just make the process too troublesome.

1. Ripping over a network from the Macbook's to the Mini will not be that fast, on top of that you will then experience lag writing 3 separate data streams to the hard drive. It will do it but it will not be as fast as one at a time. Even with the tracks transferred the library then needs rebuilding which won't be a quick process.

2. You could rip the CD's directly to the Macbook's hard drive then transfer them via network to the Mini and import in to iTunes. This avoids any issues with ripping 3 in to 1 but requires more work and I don't know if adding files in this way overwrites duplicates.

All things considered I would just do it one disk at a time, might take longer but is hassle free and will give you the least trouble.
 

eme jota ce

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2005
193
0
Chicago
So let me get this straight, all your music is on one hard drive but your wanting to re-rip your CD's using 3 machines at the the same time to speed the process up?

If I got the scenario right then there are going to be some problems which to me would just make the process too troublesome.

1. Ripping over a network from the Macbook's to the Mini will not be that fast, on top of that you will then experience lag writing 3 separate data streams to the hard drive. It will do it but it will not be as fast as one at a time. Even with the tracks transferred the library then needs rebuilding which won't be a quick process.

2. You could rip the CD's directly to the Macbook's hard drive then transfer them via network to the Mini and import in to iTunes. This avoids any issues with ripping 3 in to 1 but requires more work and I don't know if adding files in this way overwrites duplicates.

All things considered I would just do it one disk at a time, might take longer but is hassle free and will give you the least trouble.
Bob,

Not the answer I wanted to hear, but I appreciate the assessment. Based on the other replies, sounds like others agree. Being bull-headed, I'll try until it works or I break something, then report back if successful

Thanks again
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
FWIW all my CDs are ripped to FLAC+CUE using EAC in Windows. The images are backed up to optical media (I easily get 10 CDs on a single sided DVD). This way I can mount a virtual audio CD and rerip using iTunes quite quickly, but I can't do it on my Macs under OS X since I don't own Toast and thus can't mount a virtual audio CD. :(

B
 

eme jota ce

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2005
193
0
Chicago
Some Success

I hooked my external drive with the iTunes music folder to an airport express and shared the drive an 802.11n network / WAN.

I then cleared the mini's and a Macbook's iTunes libraries, changed the location of iTunes music folders for each to point to the Airport shared drive, and told each to Add all the files from the shared external drive to their libraries. After about 10 minutes, each showed identical libraries from the same, shared iTune music folder. Mini was connected via ethernet, macbook via 802.11n.

Then I started reinserting CDs into both machines simultaneously to re-rip (with settings set to rip as lossless, then eject upon insertion). I put different CDs into each drive, and received the prompt to "Replace Existing files" of the previously ripped MP3s.

The new files were added to the shared drive. Obviously, the libraries on each machine are no longer identical, but I can plan to just have the mini rebuild the library once the CDs are re-ripped.

Presumably, since this is working with two machines, it will work with three. I only had time to re-rip about 6 CDs but thought that there may have been slower encoding while both machines were accessing the drive. Not sure, though.

The part is is not working, is that the old files are not being erased. iTunes is just adding duplicate files to the music folder. Each file has a "1" added to the end of it.

Since my goals were to re-encode the CDs that aren't in storage but keep the other music files until I can retreive the missing CDs and to NOT have to manually remove the duplicates, this is a problem.

Should I have placed a checkmark next to "Keep iTunes Music Organized" on the advanced tab? Currently, it is unchecked on both machines, but "Copy files to iTunes music folder when adding to library" is checked on both machines.

Any suggestions after this unsuccessful success?
 

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,945
180
Canada
Hey Eme,

What I would do is this:
print out a list of the albums currently in Itunes.
then cross reference the ones I physically have. I know what you're thinking....but dude..that may take some time! It might, but if your CDs are organized alphabetically like Itunes is and if you print the list that way, it's actually easy peasy.

this way, you'll know which ones to delete from Itunes. you could add a name or something to the comments field, make a smart group and delete? (i think deleting them from the smart group deletes them properly?).

Once that is done, then re-rip on 3 machines like a madman and you don't have to worry about the dupes.

now, is this way the fastest? probably not, but i bet it helps reduce the dupes big time.

Good luck and let us know how you made out.

Cheers,
Keebler
 

eme jota ce

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 26, 2005
193
0
Chicago
Hey Eme,

What I would do is this:
print out a list of the albums currently in Itunes.
then cross reference the ones I physically have. I know what you're thinking....but dude..that may take some time! It might, but if your CDs are organized alphabetically like Itunes is and if you print the list that way, it's actually easy peasy.

this way, you'll know which ones to delete from Itunes. you could add a name or something to the comments field, make a smart group and delete? (i think deleting them from the smart group deletes them properly?).

Once that is done, then re-rip on 3 machines like a madman and you don't have to worry about the dupes.

now, is this way the fastest? probably not, but i bet it helps reduce the dupes big time.

Good luck and let us know how you made out.

Cheers,
Keebler
Thanks. dupes seems to be the biggest problem right now. I'm really surprised that selecting "Replace Existing Files" when importing a CD doesn't delete the old files and import the new track files.
 

Keebler

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2005
2,945
180
Canada
Thanks. dupes seems to be the biggest problem right now. I'm really surprised that selecting "Replace Existing Files" when importing a CD doesn't delete the old files and import the new track files.
i think it does, but the problem (b/c i've seen this before when i re-imported a bunch) is when the CDDB gets the info. you may have Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet* with multiple CDDB entries and their data might vary slightly - ie. one had track numbers. when itunes imports it, it sees these as different albums.

i tried deleting the 'old' dupes, but it was time consuming to say the least. i think my other option worked the best for me.

Cheers,
Keebler
 

God^Cent

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2007
63
0
Sorry I'm being lazy and not reading all the posts so again sorry if this has been said...
What I would do is just network all your computers and have one computer of the three work as the "media" pc; with all you music on it.