Problems getting CD info from CDDB


Q: I bought an iPod nano for my young daughter, and tried to load songs onto it. The problem is that the Apple info says that when you’ve inserted a CD the album title and song titles should be automatically culled from the Internet, and that it’s only a matter of clicking on an icon for this to happen. This isn’t working for me, however, and I’m finding myself having to manually type everything in. I assume that I must be doing something wrong, but have gone over the procedures several times without finding the answer.

– Anonymous

A: iTunes normally retrieves track information for an inserted CD from the Gracenote CD Database, or CDDB. As you’ve observed, this should happen automatically as soon as you insert a new CD into your computer. If this is not happening, you can try to initiate this search manually by choosing Get CD Track Names from the Advanced menu.

Naturally, you do need to be connected to the Internet for this to work, so if you are using a connection that is not always-on, such as a dial-up connection, you will need to ensure that this connection is active before you do this, otherwise iTunes won’t be able to contact the CDDB service.

If you are still having problems, even after initiating the connection manually and confirming that you are connected to the Internet, the next thing you should check is any firewall software that may be installed on your computer that may be preventing iTunes from making this outbound connection. Many firewall applications prevent outbound connections from applications on your computer without express authorization, to prevent adware or spyware from initiating connections. If this is the case, you may need to add iTunes to a list of authorized applications within your firewall application.

Other software that you may have installed that uses the CDDB service can also interfere with iTunes, since it uses third-party libraries to perform this function, and these libraries sometimes conflict with other applications. If you have a third-party CD ripping or burning application on your computer these can sometimes get in the way, particularly if they also provide CDDB track lookup services. Uninstalling these applications and then uninstalling and reinstalling iTunes will often solve this problem, by ensuring that iTunes is able to install and register its own set of CDDB libraries.


Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.