Import into iTunes simultaneously from two CD drives

If you have more than one CD or DVD drive available on your computer then you might want to use both simultaneously to import CDs into Apple iTunes. There are a number of comments posted some years back indicating that it is not possible to import two CDs simultaneously and that it is only possible to organize for the CDs to be imported sequentially.

That might have been the case but with iTunes version for Windows 7, it is possible to import simultaneously from two CDs but it requires a little non-intuitive trick. Here’s how. First ensure that your preferences indicate that you do not want CDs to be automatically imported! Second, load one CD, allow iTunes to identify the CD on the Gracenote database (if that is how your preferences have been set) and then, when you are asked, indicate that you want to import the CD. Thirdly, insert your second CD into your other CD or DVD drive, identify the CD if necessary, and then, when asked, indicate (counterintuitively!) that you do not want to import the (second) CD. Then, directly contrary to the question you have just answered, click the “Import CD” at the top of the window to indicate that you do want to import the CD after all. Now you should find that both CDs are being read into iTunes simultaneously and not merely put sequentially into a request queue.

Now for the things that can go wrong! If you make the mistake of answering “Yes” to the question “Do you wish to import the CD?” then you will find that the CDs are not imported simultaneouly and that you must wait for the importation of the first CD to finish before iTunes commences on the second disc. Further, if you answer “Yes” even once, then it messes things up for the remainder of that iTunes session. For example, if you are in the process of copying one disc, then insert the second and say “Yes” to the importation question, then (a) you will find that the importation is delayed, and (2) clicking on “Stop CD import” and then clicking on “Import CD” will not save the day. Not only will the importation of the second disc be delayed but even when both the importation of both discs is complete and you want to import another two, you will find that the error you made earlier prevents the simultaneous importation of any further discs. You will have to exit from iTunes, restart, and do things correctly.

I have used this method many times without a hitch; moreover, the two discs get imported in just about the same time as a single dics would normally take, without any noticeable reduction in the speed that one obtains when the discs are imported separately.