iTunes 10 (Mac) won’t burn to my external DVD writer

My MacBook Pro has a built-in DVD writer (which I have not had success using lately) and I also just purchased a Samsung SE-S084D External USB DVD Writer, because of my trouble burning DVDs with the internal drive.

I’ve got the Samsung burner connected and when I insert a blank disc, I get the pop-up from the OS that asks if I want to launch Finder, iTunes, etc. I can burn files to the drive from Finder (at 6X) just fine. iTunes however…

I have iTunes 10.1.1 (4). I go to File | Library | Back Up to Disc… In the window that comes up, it lets me choose one of the two DVD burners:

MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-857E
TSSTcorp CDDVDW SE-S084D

Clearly the first is the internal drive and the second is the Samsung USB external drive.

If I set it to the second one (the external drive), then iTunes gets stuck on “Please insert a blank disc…”. I’ve tried ejecting and reinserting the disc, inserting the disc before starting iTunes, etc. Nothing works. Then on a whim I wondered if it was really using the drive that I told it to use. So I tried to do another burn to the EXTERNAL drive and when it said “Please insert a blank disc…”, I put a disc in the INTERNAL drive. Voila! The message went away and iTunes proceeded to attempt to burn using the internal drive, which failed in a minute or two (which is the reason why I bought the external DVD writer in the first place!).

I tried many times and even though I choose “TSSTcorp CDDVDW SE-S084D”, iTunes keeps trying to use the internal drive. Then I wondered if iTunes perhaps was displaying the wrong labels for the drives, so I tried to instead selecting “MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-857E”, hoping that iTunes would use the external drive. No dice. iTunes still used the internal drive. By the way, the Samsung shipped with the TS00 version of the firmware – I upgraded the firmware to version TS01 (the latest), but that didn’t help with my iTunes problem.

So it seems to me that I have stumbled on a bug where iTunes DVD burning doesn’t work properly on a system with multiple DVD writers. In the GUI, it offers a choice of DVD writers, but this seems to have no effect.

I suppose if I get desperate, I could try opening up the MacBook Pro and disconnecting the cable from the internal drive, on the hope that iTunes would then only one see DVD writer and would hopefully not get confused. That’s pretty extreme though and I’d rather not open up the computer just to test out a theory.

Known issue? Can anyone verify this? Any other ideas for a software method for convincing iTunes to use the external DVD writer?

2 thoughts on “iTunes 10 (Mac) won’t burn to my external DVD writer

  1. I found that switching to a different USB 2.0 cable from the crappy one Samsung packages worked for me.

  2. I just switched to different usb outlet in my Macbook Pro had solved all the problems

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