Mac OS X freeze while mounting CDs: seems proportional to the number of tracks on audio CDs

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
September 16th, 2004 • 1:27 am

I have already written about this recurring problem I am having when mounting optical media on my G4. Essentially, what happens is that, 20 seconds or so after I’ve inserted the CD (or DVD) — i.e. the time it takes for the drive to spin up and start reading the CD — my entire Mac OS X environment starts stuttering and experiences temporary, but elongated freezes that are most annoying because I am usually trying to do something else while the CD is mounting.

I get the spinning beachball and everything freezes, except for the mouse pointer. Then I regain control for half a second and I get another freeze. And so on.

I’ve sent a bug report to Apple and they have got back to me several times to say that they were unable to reproduce the problem. Recently, I added a second SuperDrive to my G4, and the problem is exactly the same as with the SuperDrive that came with the machine. It is particularly noticeable when mounting audio CDs.

Well, now I have noticed something else: the length of the freezes appears to be proportional to the number of tracks on the audio CD! I just inserted an audio CD with 27 tracks, which is somewhat unusual (most CDs having between 10 and 15 tracks) — and the main freeze was extraordinarily long. A full 25 seconds or so.

So I am sending another bug report to Apple with this additional information… It’s quite frustrating when you are trying to rip CDs in the background while doing something else. Really, an operation as simple as mounting a CD should be able to take place in the background without interfering with your work.

4 Responses to “Mac OS X freeze while mounting CDs: seems proportional to the number of tracks on audio CDs”

  1. ssp says:

    This may way qualify as the funniest bug of the year.

    … if only it weren’t true.

    For curiosity I just tried it with a 99 track CD. The freeze lasted about two minutes. Ugh.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Well, at least it’s not just me!

    Really puzzles me that Apple is unable to reproduce it, though. Maybe it only affects certain types of hardware?

    I’d appreciate it if you could send a bug report to Apple about this…

    PS: What is that CD with 99 tracks? A home-made CD of song snippets? :)

  3. ssp says:

    I’ll do that.

    The freeze doesn’t seem to be a proper freeze though. All apps give me the spinning cursor but Safari would still continue loading a page (very slowly). Odd.

    The CD is the first CD of Belgian band Das Pop. I wrote about it here ( It’s got ‘hidden tracks’ as numbers 97-99.

  4. Pierre Igot says:

    Oh, I agree that it’s not a “proper” freeze. Some things are still taking place. But the UI is pretty much locked up.

    I just tried a CD with 49 tracks that I have (Prince’s New Power Soul album, also with tons of empty tracks and a “hidden” track at #49). Locked up completely for 2:30. Ugh indeed.

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