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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Occam's Razor Meets iTunes

I've had these ridiculous intermittent problems trying to burn CDs from iTunes. I had entirely different issues with other software, so I really wanted to get iTunes working correctly; but every time I tried to burn a CD, I got this message:

The attempt to burn a disc failed. An unknown error occurred (4280)

I went a long time without bothering to try to burn a CD, because it got so frustrating; but finally, my desire for a longer playlist overrode my frustration, and I sat down determined to find the problem and make every possible effort to fix it. After more attempts in the past than I can remember, I practically stumbled over what appears to be the solution.

I went to the help menu and choose diagnostics. From there, I chose CD diagnostics. I ran it, and read the resulting text. One little thing caught my eye: it only listed four burn speeds that my burner is set to burn. I've heard of trying to burn too fast, but evidently I was trying to burn too slow (in an attempt to get a burn that my boombox could read). I found the lowest speed that my burner can burn that iTunes also has a setting for, and selected that speed. Now everything is working.

Sometimes the simplest solution really is the best one.