Saturday, March 21, 2009

iTunes R.F.E. : simultaneous drive support

For those who aren't software engineers, and heavy TLA abusers , an RFE is a "request for enhancement".

Here my request of the day. I have several computers with 4 optical drives. With their SATA interface, they are plenty past enough to be all used simultaneously. Why would anyone want to do that ? Well, let's say for example that you just received a box set of 34 CDs that you want to import to itunes, as I did last week. The bottleneck is not the computer. My Core 2 Quad 6600 CPU can compress lossless music at a very high rate, probably in excess of 30x, ie., 30 hours of music per hour of CPU. And the Seagate 750 GB SATA hard drives are capable of at least 60 MB/s.

Instead, with iTunes, the bottleneck becomes the speed at which you can insert and remove into the drive. And the fact that you have to do so every 3 minutes again. And edit the track name each time before import, while nothing else is going.

So, Apple developers, learn to make the best use of threads already. We have had multiple core CPUs on desktops for a very long time. The UI change is simple - just allow the "Import CD" button to be clicked for each drive, rather than just for one at a time.

I would also suggest you do the same for "Burn disc", since I also backup all my CDs to CD-Rs after I import them, only with CD-Text information added.

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