Hi wonderdog -
I couldn't get a cd to autoplay in Mint 13 xfce either with Banshee or VLC.
Inserted the cd and Banshee or VLC window would open, but not play the cd automatically - you had to click on it and click play.
Following this post on Ubuntu forums has worked for me in VLC.http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?s=eb93d9560f210e00892dedb8afafbe64&p=5306530&postcount=11
I didn't change any other settings or files besides these:
In Settings > Removable Drives and Media:
Storage > Removable Storage - checked all boxes (don't know if this was really necessary
Multimedia > Audio CDs - checked "Play audio CDs when inserted"
and in the Command box: /usr/bin/vlc cdda:///dev/cdrom
I got the command from bluepowder7's post:
I figured out the cdda: part by manually opening up vlc, going "file"-"open disc", going to the 2nd tab, clicking the "audio cd" box, and looking what it spits out on the bottom for the "customize"
If you try this, your command may be different.
Edit: It's working in VLC, but still can't get it to autoplay with a similar command for Banshee