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Is there a way of avoiding CDDB?



I always find it galling and annoying that Toast tries to load CDDB data.


CDDB is reliable for pop songs, but it's totally rubbish for audiobooks because


1) Nobody has developed a standard for referring to different discs of a set. You could see 'albumname' (which makes it really difficult to figure out what you've got) or 'albumname (disc 1)' or 'albumname 1 of 6'. Because CDDB assumes the name of the individual disc is the important thing, it's unreliable. Especially since very few people have the patience to put an entire audiobook in at once, so you're likely to see 'albumname (disc 1)', 'albumname (disc 2)', 'albumname (disc 3)' -- all put in by the same person -- followed by 'albumname' for disc 4, followed by 'albumname 5 of 6', followed by 'Audio CD', where all of the participants have given up in disgust and gone home. In the case of the Harry Potter books, because they're so popular, you're actually likely to see three or four entries for the same disc because the people who entered it used different naming conventions for 'disc n of n' (and in some cases used different capitalisation or spelling for the same basic title).


2) ISIS audiobooks, for one, break tracks by time rather than sense, in five-minute blocks. This makes the sort of data CDDB uses entirely useless. It's likely to pop up without a by-your-leave and put an entirely different book into your metadata. (I think the algorithm uses fractions of a second, or at least that's my best guess for the way any ISIS audiobook with five-minute tracks tends to get mistaken for one or two other books rather than all the ISIS titles in their database...)


3) Some malicious person with much too much time on their hands has actually taken to putting in junk metadata to annoy people. Put in an ISIS CD, and you're quite likely to get an album where the main album is, say, one of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, but all the tracks are random tracknames (with different artists) from different inspirational or self-help or even music CDs. If your audiobook 'looks like' that disc to it, and there isn't another one where CDDB can ask you which one you have, it'll just write in the junk details ready to screw up iTunes.


The latest major version of iTunes has (not before time) added 'Retrieve track names from the Internet' as a preference--before that, I actually had to run an Applescript and enter my admin password every time I wanted to stop connectng to something I never asked for in the first place, and it kept forgetting its settings and going back to CDDB anyway.


This is what Toast should have. Please, please tell me there's something obvious I just haven't seen that allows me to switch off attempts to connect to CDDB. This should be a general preference--fine to assume it's set to start with, on the principle that most people have recent pop CDs whose data has been added correctly, but able to be unset for people with jazz or folk or audiobook or just unpopular stuff, where CDDB is useless at best and may actually add junk data.


On a good day, it only wastes 10 seconds or so before popping up a dialog box that I have to click on explicitly to send away, telling me it cannot find the details in a database I never asked for in the first place. If CDDB's servers are under heavy load, it can waste up to a minute in repeated attempts to connect before popping up the dialog box or writing junk metadata into the details for the CD.


Yes, for the many people who find CDDB's data valid, it's useful. For the rest of us, it's a nagging pain. CDDB looks 'like magic' if you get valid data. It looks like malware if you don't.


Because I'm currently re-ripping my thirty or so audiobooks to Sd2f images (after the third or fourth time I changed format, in preparation for putting the originals in storage boxes) this is an issue that's beginning to annoy me.

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