[Laughing...] I started ripping my CDs with whichever version of iTunes offered ripping, so I have migrated Macs probably a dozen times. I remember having to enter all of my own data in the early days, and I spent dozens of hours every weekend cleaning things up.I suppose we can assume that you didn't perform the original rips on that Mac (or a Mac that was migrated from the one that performed the rip). Otherwise, iTunes should have had the metadata associated with the CD that you entered at that time.
Somehow, I don't think he bought those 1400 CDs just today. If his collection is like mine (I also have over 1000 CDs), they have been purchased individually over a period of decades (in my case, since 1988).
It would be so nice if iTunes "replace existing" had an option to grab the metadata from whatever was being replaced.
And, no, I don't have the funds to rip lossless, because I am saving my quarters and half-dollars for a new Mac Pro, because my "trashcan" Mac always runs throttled, due to heat.