On Sat, Jun 04, 2011 at 11:43:56AM +0800, Michael Deegan wrote:
> Playback of CDs is currently unusable as mplayer reads 15 seconds of audio
> at a time, which seems to be long enough for the disk to spin down by the
> time it wants to read the next chunk. This results in a 5 second pause
> every 15 seconds during playback.

Your analysis is incomplete, MPlayer does request chunks of about 176 kB
about once per second.
But then libcdparanoia comes with its absolutely stupid caching strategy
and ends up grouping it into huge bunches of requests once every 15
Not sure which to recommend, but possible solutions are:
1) linking against libcdio which does not have the issue
2) fixing libcdparanoia to be behave better
3) using a large -cache to compensate for it
4) limit libcdparanoia's caching so it can't break things quite as badly

I think I'd recommend you to go with 3) as a workaround and Debian to go
with 1) (just using --disable-cdparanoia should pick up
libcdio if libcdio-paranoia-dev is installed) and I've
implemented 4) in MPlayer SVN (r33557, only tested against my CD drive,
might not work as well with others).
Disadvantage with 4) is that it probably decreases ripping performance,
but I don't think many use MPlayer for that.

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