Error 4880 when burning CDs in iTunes

A user sent me a couple of Private Messages asking for help with an “Error 4880” when burning CDs. Unfortunately the user does not want to post to the Forum, tell me what application they are burning with, or give operating system details, so I don’t know these. We would respectfully ask users to post to the Forum if they have questions, not send PMs to admins or developers, so everyone has a chance to both reply and read the answers.

Anyway, as there seems to be many people asking this on the internet but almost no answers, I’m posting one answer I did manage to find in case it helps others.

I believe the actual error “4880” is specific to burning with iTunes, but that the problem is with the system disk controllers. Burning in other applications will produce different errors, but the cause is the same. Here is the quote, the actual post is at:

This is how I managed to fix the problem…and I hope this helps others in the similar situation.
I tried with another program…latest version of Nero, and this was also stopping at the ‘initialising’ stage. I was now lost! I thought the last resort is to give Evesham (My PC manufacturer) a buzz. They were very helpfull. Basically go into ‘Control Panel’, ‘System’, and click on the Hardware tab, then ‘Device Manager’. Uninstall everything in the DVD/CDRom Drives. Then uninstall everything under the catagory IDE ATA/Atapi disk controllers. This is where my problem was, as I only had one IDE channel here. You should have 4 or 5! Reboot your machine, and everything will automatically re-load. I tried burning using Nero and it worked. Then the big test was iTunes. It worked 1st time!
I asked why the IDE channels have disappeared, and he said sometimes uninstalling programs occasionally removes them.


I made it through that twice before I figured out it was a PC problem. I know it says so near the bottom, but still.

Control Panel > System > Device Manager

Wait, those are PC instructions…

Are we in Vista, by any chance?

<<<We would respectfully ask users to post to the Forum if they have questions, not send PMs to admins or developers, so everyone has a chance to both reply and read the answers.>>>

I almost never answer actual questions in Private Mail. I don’t do that “Now that I have you alone” business. If it’s a relatively benign question as part of a thread, I’ve been known to paste it back into the forum and answer it there. Otherwise I tell them to repost it.

I never respond to email addresses unless I asked for them.

The militants get ignored.


The user sent me another e-mail after the PM’s, and told me he 'phoned Radio Shack and they told him the answer “straight away”, which was to lower the burn speed from 48x to 24x. In iTunes that’s done by opening the iTunes Preferences (under “Edit” on Windows or under “iTunes” on OS X), then click the “Burning” tab, and lower the “Preferred Speed”. I suppose the rationale is that a questionable disk controller could cope better if the speed was reduced, or maybe it was simply an old, slow drive. I still don’t think Error 4880 is common or normally signifies a straightforward “unsupported burn speed”, but there you are.


In iTunes 8 this has been removed from Preferences. Set the burning speed when you click the Burn Disc button.


Got this Error 4880 before and made a successful burn after I set my burning speed to 4x.

I rarely let CD burning happen at maximum speed. x24 and I usually settle for x16. I keep a worst case CD player around to test my work. It’s an old portable Panasonic and it’s particular about the kind of CD it will play.

The first clue you’re running into trouble is the burner makes more noise than a garbage disposal. Any mechanical instability caused by vibration or off-center motors translates directly into bad burn tracks. There is no guide track on a CD. The burner produces trails of pits and holes on a blank disk from the inside out. If the trail wobbles as the disk goes 'round, the player will never be able to keep up. And all that is over and above weak or miss-formed holes.

I wonder if these errors are the modern day version of Buffer Underrun. Remember that? The computer can’t shovel data fast enough to keep up with the burn process.

Macs tend to not have this problem because the burner is integrated, but even then, when I tell them to go maximum possible speed, they always negotiate something way, way slower than X52.


Hi guys,

I already try this myself by doing this in my samsung CDR drive and pls. see illustration below…

E: SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-248F, Rev R602
The drive CDR speeds are: 4 8 10 12 13 16 17 20.
The drive CDRW speeds are: 4.

Setting iTunes to burn at 24 might not work if your drive only writes at 20. Try LOW (4, to start) speeds with your burner.
If it works, try a bit faster. Repeat.

Having trouble in burning DVD by using CDBurnerXP

Hope this might help you eliminate the occurrence of error 4880…


Thanks, Frederic.

We do mention this on the Wiki:

As far as I know the “Error 4880” message is iTunes-specific - the error will have different names if you burn at too high a speed in other software.