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Thread: How to manage my huge, pulsating CD collection digitally

  1. #1

    How to manage my huge, pulsating CD collection digitally

    A lot of people on PE know a lot more abut this topic than I do so I hope to solicit some advice.

    I'm OK with computers and other devices in general but not so knowledgeable on the audio front.

    Like many of you, I have a gazillion (ok, about 1500) CDs. I'm ripping them all now onto 2 PCs -- importing them all into iTunes. Of course though, PCs break down. So the big question is, how can I best permanently keep my rips?
    I can't import them all into the iTunes on all my connected devices because they take up far too much space (I can import selected items only).

    Of course, I have a cloud with just enough space to keep them all but I can't figure out the step-by-step menu-by-menu method of putting them on the cloud (which also makes them harder to retrieve for playing, does it not?).

    Am I doing the 'right thing'? What is the best way to keep your CD collection permanent digitally and have it most readily at hand for all your devices?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Many questions you ask.
    How do you listen to the ripped cd's?
    Are you using any networked music players around the house?
    How price sensitive are you to potential solutions?

    So, I use a NAS to store the ripped cd's. The NAS runs LMS ( logitech media server ), which acts as a database and streaming server.
    Logitech is not in the business of selling the music player hardware anymore, but there is a very active community of developers and makers maintaining the software and adding functionality.
    There are a number of devices available that use LMS as a source of music. LMS will run on a wide array of operating systems. Raspberry pi based microservers and players are quite popular.
    Homebrewed devices and commercially available boxes. There are software players and many choices of DAC's to provide high quality playback.
    see here for more info https://forums.slimdevices.com/

    I keep backups on hard drives ( my collection is a bit less than a terabyte ) which are pretty cost effective. I can have multiple copies.
    Not a fan of 'the cloud'. But, if your goal is to have access to all of your music where ever there is internet access then the cloud is maybe a good choice for you.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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  3. #3
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Cheap external hard drives, I have three 1TB hard drives that I have all my music backed up on. They are now small enough to essentially go in your pocket & need no power source.
    Ian

    I blame Wynton, what was the question?
    There are only 10 types of people in the World, those who understand binary and those that don't.

  4. #4
    A 2 or 3 TB hard drive it will be then. Sounds simple enough.

    Unlike... 'the cloud'.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    Cheap external hard drives, I have three 1TB hard drives that I have all my music backed up on. They are now small enough to essentially go in your pocket & need no power source.
    Same here, basically.

    As far as trusting something like iTunes or Amazon Cloud, we used to worry "what if Amazon went under," etc. I now think while it's unlikely that Amazon will go under, it's more likely they'll do something that is "the last straw" and makes people want to stop doing business with them. And with Apple, there's the problem of the evil that is iTunes.

  6. #6
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    What is the best way to keep your CD collection permanent digitally and have it most readily at hand for all your devices?
    Back them up to CD.

    I'm only being half-facetious. The discs are small and light, permanent, not subject to power outages, they provide storage for the artwork, and they can be played at home, in the car or on the move. Doesn't that meet most of your criteria?

  7. #7
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    One thing I can suggest is that you don't rely on thumb drive/microSD for anything other than temporary storage. I use microSD cards for my car stereo and for use in portable players, but a while back I had two of them die on my about 10 days apart. Fortunately I didn't lose anything because they were just carrying copies of what I have elsewhere.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post

    Logitech is not in the business of selling the music player hardware anymore
    One of the biggest shames I can think of - the Squeezebox duet by Logitech was the best recommendation I ever glomed from PE

    I have two receivers, I thought one was dying and I found a used replacement cheap on Ebay so I have a spare

    Using these were a total game changer as far as going all digital
    Last edited by Chichen Itza; 09-25-2019 at 12:57 PM.

  9. #9
    Member wiz_d_kidd's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else who said to back them up to a removable HD. I'm guessing you're ripping to .wav or .flac format since you need around 2 TB, otherwise, if you did MP3 320 you'd be able to put those 1500 CDs in about 200 GB. That's what I do, so I can put everything on my phone, as well as my PC, and the removable HD.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wiz_d_kidd View Post
    I agree with everyone else who said to back them up to a removable HD. I'm guessing you're ripping to .wav or .flac format since you need around 2 TB, otherwise, if you did MP3 320 you'd be able to put those 1500 CDs in about 200 GB. That's what I do, so I can put everything on my phone, as well as my PC, and the removable HD.
    Agreed on 320 being perfect - when I started digitizing I was using 192 but have gradually re-ripped and upgraded

    Pretty sure I couldn't tell which from which blindfolded but if I know it's 320 it makes it sound better

  11. #11
    Talk of the evils of iTunes changes this for me (the OP) a bit.

    As I mentioned, I've been ripping my CDs into my iTunes library and hope to save that to a back-up file. Is that not recommend by those-of-you-who-know-more-than-me?

    And next a luddite Q. What are the steps by which one rips a CD to an MP3 (320), he asked blushing with the shame borne of stunning naivete.

  12. #12
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    All my stuff is on iTunes and save to hard drives.
    Ian

    I blame Wynton, what was the question?
    There are only 10 types of people in the World, those who understand binary and those that don't.

  13. #13
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    And next a luddite Q. What are the steps by which one rips a CD to an MP3 (320), he asked blushing with the shame borne of stunning naivete.
    1. Insert CD into your CD drive
    2. When iTunes displays the disc contents, click on the "Import CD" button (upper right)
    3. In the dialog box that results, choose 320 MP3
    4. Hit "Okay"

  14. #14
    Thanks.it turns out that I have been importing at 320 all this time.

    As for RC’s comment regarding the extant convenience of CDs, the problems are 1) several of my CDs are showing mildewy wear n tear, 2) players are becoming scarcer, and 3) should I move or when I travel (as I very often do) I don’t want the bulk and would like everything at hand.

  15. #15
    Member wiz_d_kidd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    ... or when I travel (as I very often do) I don’t want the bulk and would like everything at hand.
    10-years-ago-17.jpg

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    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post

    And next a luddite Q. What are the steps by which one rips a CD to an MP3 (320), he asked blushing with the shame borne of stunning naivete.
    ... or use EAC (Exact Audio Copy) to ensure best results. At least in my experience.
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    The problems are 1) several of my CDs are showing mildewy wear n tear, 2) players are becoming scarcer, and 3) should I move or when I travel (as I very often do) I don’t want the bulk and would like everything at hand.
    1. Back them up while you still can. Backing them up to CD-R is not unreasonable. (Make sure you're storing your discs correctly!)
    2. How many players do you need? They should last 15-20 years. Buy a couple.
    3. Cloud storage, my friend.

  18. #18
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy Vengeance View Post
    several of my CDs are showing mildewy wear n tear
    FYI another advantage of using EAC is that it provides error correction. I have ripped more than a few CDs that are unplayable or cannot be played without skips or other artifacts due to damage etc. that resulted in seemingly perfect digital copies. I ordered John Greave's Piacenza CD three times and all had the exact same problem each time: marred disk skipping badly. I just gave up and made a rip using EAC and it sounds fine. The CD is otherwise useless.
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year — the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

    Buddhabreath's Rescued from Oblivion album from the 80's. The critics are raving (raving mad that is).
    Do you have what it take to survive I Can't Stand My Own Mind? Hint: smoke something strong first...

  19. #19
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Error correction is a feature of all ripping formats, not just EAC. They all use check-sum.

  20. #20
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I'd try to figure out why my collection was pulsating before worrying about how to store my media files.

  21. #21
    One option for a collection that big: Throw it all away and see which ones you feel compelled to replace
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  22. #22
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    One option for a collection that big: Throw it all away and see which ones you feel compelled to replace
    Sadly, too many people have gone this option. Or ripped everything to HD then lost it all. I question: why the big rush to abandon the CD format?

  23. #23
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Why are you ripping at 320? I guess I can see using the MP3 format for use on a phone or a tablet, but when I rip a CD for preservation its in lossless format. That is a memory hog but memory comes pretty cheap these days.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  24. #24
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Why are you ripping at 320? I guess I can see using the MP3 format for use on a phone or a tablet, but when I rip a CD for preservation its in lossless format. That is a memory hog but memory comes pretty cheap these days.
    Ears.

    If you can tell the difference between a 320 MP3 and a "lossless" format like WAV, AIFF or FLAC then your ears are better than mine. And if you CAN'T tell the difference... well then you're just wasting bits.

  25. #25
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Depends on the recording and the environment. Play some of my wife's brick-walled dance pop, I won't hear a difference. Play something recorded with some care, say Steely Dan, I'll hear it. On the living room stereo, the difference is much more apparent. In a car with 70 mph road noise, not so much.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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