Need help with problem burning cd's with Mac G4

Ok, I'm new to burning cd's and I'm having problems with audible dropouts in cd's I'm burning. There are numerous short audible dropouts at random intervals in cd's assembled from a playlist. I have a new 12" G4 Mac Powerbook, stock 256 ram, with Superdrive. I'm importing the cd tracks to Itunes, then ripping with the internal drive onto Memorex cd-r media. This is a really new computer and it isn't loaded with data intensive files. Do I need more memory, configuration changes, external hard drive, external burner or what? Thanks, Will.
I burn CDs fine on an old G4 PowerBook and an external CD-R drive, but I use Toast and System 9.2 ( stone age ).

I've heard of this problem and it is fixable. I think it may have something to do with the version of QuickTime you are using. Have you searched at MacInTouch ?


As Tobias pointed out, depending on the Mac OS you're running you should make sure you have the latest version of Quicktime.

You may also be experiencing buffer underrun which can be caused by a lagging or fragmented hard drive. Do your music files reside on the start up drive? This is usually a bad thing as this partition is by far the most prone to fragmentation, master blocks being corrupted and so forth because of the hundreds of thousands of tiny files a system or system file contain.

The best thing to do is to have all your music files on a separate storage device or different partition that has been recently optimized.

Also, in the past myself and other co-workers in the design field have found Memorex media to have higher failure rates during burns. This was 6-8 years ago and may not be an issue now. But that is why I prefer to use Mitsui or Sony for CDs and TAiyo Yuden for burning DVDs.

Burning CDs and DVDs hogs processing power, so working in other applications while burning can be a risky thing. I've been using Toast since I think 1996 and notice these days that is never a problem when burning CDs. I can even manipulate 2 gig Photoshop files while burning CDs without problems.

However, DVDs are a whole 'nother issue. I can't even surf the net while burning DVDs. It's hit or miss if they'll pass verification if I've been active in other programs during burning.

You seem to have a fairly new computer so I would recommend working in OS 10.3 Panther using Roxio Toast 6 to burn your CDs. I've never used iTunes for this as I've found over the years Toast to be a very stable and reliable solution. Toast also has a simulation mode that allows it to go through the whole process without actually burning a CD. IF it fails during this, then you've saved a CD and may have a corrupt music file, a fragmented drive or a drive in need of a disk Utility.

These days because of the better software and CD/DVD burners, I find I never have to run simulation or verification for CDs, but I do verify DVDs as they are more prone to failure. CD and DVD media is also more reliable now.

Another thing to try is to burn at a slower speed. I know it's tempting to burn at fast rates, but slower speeds are more reliable and many say sound better too.

Good luck!
Thanks for the suggestions. I have been using Memorex cd-r's to record music on a different G4 Os9.2 system with Toast flawlessly, so I was surprised to discover such error ridden burns with Itunes. I find Toast faster & easier to work with anyway, so that sounds like a good first step. Thanks, Will.
Are you using Panther 10.3.2? I burn CDs and DVDs on my Mac using itunes and idvd all the time and have never ran into a problem. When using idvd I work in other programs during the burn time, using itunes it is so fast that I don't have time to work in other programs. I used Toast when I was using Os9 but haven't seen any need to get the updated version for Os 10.
Agaffe brings up an interesting point.

The failed DVD burns I experienced were data disks at work in OS9. We're now working under 10.3.3 and using Toast 5.2.3.

At home I'm using 10.3.3 and I've never had a problem with Toast 6 or burning directly from iDVD.

Photon, you may want to move to Panther. Processing power is a consideration when burning, but under OSX multi-tasking is handled better and may be a more stable environment for Toast and iDVD.

Good luck!
I know in iTunes having Error Correction turned on can can this same issue of dropouts. Don't know if Toast has a similar feature.
I very much agree with using the Toast Software. It is fun and very user friendly.

It works great on the McIntosh but sometimes has problems with PC, especially if you are running Windows 98.
Again, thanks to all. Yes I'm running Panther 10.3.3. This morning, I tried burning a cd at 2x speed, rather than the preset default which is several times faster. The same playlist which had numerous audible dropouts now sounds error free. While looking around controls/settings in Itunes, I noticed that the factory default turns error correction during import off in order to speed this process up. I turned error correction on and will burn some tests to see how this affects things.
Awesome, let us know how reliable these settings perform in the long run.

Have fun!