I have been searching for an answer to that same thing for a long time. I gave up on Totem. Rhythmbox has done similar wierd things -- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I have had better luck with Sound Juicer and xmms.
I did find a clunky workaround for that Totem error though. Here is the funny business
---------------->volume manager :: automount media
Eject the CD
Hover the mouse over: Play disc 'CD ... (the drive that will soon have the CD inserted)
Insert the CD
Wait to hear the CD spin up
Click the mouse
There is one other thing that I did and I am not shure whether it helped or not.
Added this line to /etc/lvm/lvm.conf:
filter = [ "r|/dev/cdrom.*|", "r|/dev/dvd|", "r|/dev/hdf|", "r|/dev/hdd|" ]
Deleted the file:
because lvm.conf says you can.
/dev/hdd is my CD-RW drive
/dev/hdf is my DVD drive
Not sure if this is a bug or a bugaboo.