Jump to content

Difference between Mac Mini & Macbook Pro DVD / CD Burners

Recommended Posts

I am using a Mac Mini as a dedicated media server and ripped all of my music collection as AIFF w. error correction using iTunes via my Mac Mini CD/DVD Rom drive. The Mac Mini is using a Pioneer drive. I had a few CDs w. surface scratches that I didn't know about. On playback on my system skips came through the system and I checked the original CD. The CD did in fact have some scratches that were easily seen. I then tried playing back the CD on my EMM CDSAse. It skipped as well. I then tried some different compounds to repair the CD and and none worked. Skips remained on both the CD player & Mac Mini on playback and ripping. I then tried using DB Poweramp using a ripping technique for damaged CDs on my Lenovo Laptop. The results were the same. Then I tried to listen to the CD on my Macbook Pro which uses a Hitachi drive. It played back almost perfectly. I then copied the CD to my Laptop and moved the files over the my Mac Mini. The Music played back perfectly with only one audible glitch.


My realization is that the quality of CD Rom drive is important in terms of ripping CDs if the CDs are defective. I wonder if it makes a difference if the CD is in good condition. Has anyone experimented with different drives for ripping on a Mac. I did some A/B comparisons and couldn't detect a difference on CDs in good condition but I haven't had a lot of time for extensive comparisons. Any thoughts and experience from others would be appreciated.


2009.5 base Mac Mini, 8GB, SSD, WD My Book Studio II via USB, SL, iTunes 10> Prism Orpheus>VTL 7.5>VTL750>Maxx IIs.

Link to comment

It is generally accepted that with CDs in a good condition, one CD drive will make a rip identical to another CD drive and iTunes will make a rip identical to XLD (or EAC or dbPoweramp, etc). There are however some people who claim that differences result are audible depending on CD drive or software used to rip, even when a "perfect" rip is achieved and the resultant files are bi-identical.


To my mind: It's when there is minor, or major, damage on the CD that the drive and ripping engine become important.


The big issue with iTunes is you don't know the extent that it's been relying on error correction and re-reading. My suggestion is that XLD (or Max) is a better solution for ripping on the Mac, not because of improved sound quality, but because they give you peace of mind by giving you an after rip report, and comparing your rip to the SecureRip database for added confidence that your rip is good.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment

I have noticed that both of my minis are much slower at ripping vs my iMac- 50-100% slower if I had to estimate.



Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Link to comment

I will check what drive our latest iMac is using.


I find ripping software made much less of a difference than the drive as far as getting the bits off of a scratched CD. I didn't try Max but I will tonight. I have seen iTunes slow down to 5 X speed (maybe even slower) on a problem CD. I think the main differences are the number of passes on a bad sector can be set on ripping software where iTunes would be fixed. Also the speed etc, but iTunes seems to adjust the speed fairly well.


The difference between the CD Rom Drives ability to read a scratched disc was major IME.


2009.5 base Mac Mini, 8GB, SSD, WD My Book Studio II via USB, SL, iTunes 10> Prism Orpheus>VTL 7.5>VTL750>Maxx IIs.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...