That's a good to know trick - I'll give that a shot when I've got a unit that isn't apparently a lemon. "Manage Discs" is only available through the "More programs" part of the MCE interface - non-intuitive, when you think it would be directly under the "My Changer" link next to Play Music and Copy Music.
Initial tinkering with it looked promising within MCE 2005 as I expected it would - but upon its first effort at ripping a 200 disc batch it choked on the R.E.M. "Up" album. A regular CD, no dualdisc or combo CD/DVD... The changer software didn't see the disc loaded in the drive, and so it would choke when trying to load any other discs. But when I accessed the drive as a DVD-RAM drive through "My Computer", Windows Media Player 9.0 detected it as having an "Audio CD" in it, and was able to play it without problems.
Long story short, I had to open the player to retrieve the R.E.M. disc. I then reloaded all the discs that hadn't ripped in that first run, MINUS the R.E.M. disc on the off chance it's thickness was out of tolerance range for the player, and it promptly choked again on a second run, not even re-identifying 26 out of 150 discs before doing so.
I've found firmware updates that purportedly improve it's multi-CD ripping abilities here: http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/swu...teType=Updates
However, it says they need to be installed BEFORE the April 2006 Update Rollup. This Install is completely patched and up to date - I'm wondering if they'll work in spite of this.
Has anyone else had this difficulty with one of these changers? If it did as I expected it, I think this would be a worthwhile addition. But if these kinds of headaches can be expected, my time would be better off ripping my CD collection one at a time...