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 Post subject: Best Way To Archive Music CD's
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:45 pm 
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What is the best way to archive music cd's? My wife got me a 1 TB external drive strictly for the purpose of converting all of our music to mp3's, so we can banish the actual cd's to boxes in the garage, but I don't know how I should go about doing it. What I've pretty much done so far is add our albums to my iTunes and then copy the music folder in iTunes to the external drive. But I know this isn't the best, and easiest, way to do this.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:17 pm 
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If you just want fast then yeah what you did there should do fine. For quality, I choose Exact Audio Copy paired with the free LAME codec. There are also a bunch of add-on where you can compare your rips to others. This will read and reread to make sure it has the closest match to your CD.

Also when ripping mp3, try ripping to a higher bit-rate. 128 is close-to-CD. I would do a 192 or higher.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:51 am 
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Airheadq wrote:

Also when ripping mp3, try ripping to a higher bit-rate. 128 is close-to-CD. I would do a 192 or higher.


I have to disagree there. listen to a 128 or 192 bit MP3s at "live" levels on a decent audio system. it is The Suck. its like FM radio quality.

320 is close but even that is only near CD quality. at minimum use VBR 256-320 stereo. your ears will thank you.

I would use FLAC for archives, then, depending on device and intended listing environment, rip to whatever MP3 bitrate is best. IE low levels for work at VBR 192-256, high levels on a decent car system at VBR 256-320, on a home audio system play the FLAC directly.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:29 am 
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CharBroiled wrote:
Airheadq wrote:

Also when ripping mp3, try ripping to a higher bit-rate. 128 is close-to-CD. I would do a 192 or higher.


I have to disagree there. listen to a 128 or 192 bit MP3s at "live" levels on a decent audio system. it is The Suck. its like FM radio quality.

320 is close but even that is only near CD quality. at minimum use VBR 256-320 stereo. your ears will thank you.

I would use FLAC for archives, then, depending on device and intended listing environment, rip to whatever MP3 bitrate is best. IE low levels for work at VBR 192-256, high levels on a decent car system at VBR 256-320, on a home audio system play the FLAC directly.


OP hasn't replied back and I agree higher bit-rate are necessary but 192 is minimum for most.

A for FLAC, how many CD's do you have? They can take up considerable space and you would need to re-rip everything again.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:43 pm 
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Airheadq wrote:
A for FLAC, how many CD's do you have? They can take up considerable space and you would need to re-rip everything again.


a few hundred CDs probably. in FLAC they come out to about 300 megs a pop. I dont worry about space as they are usually burned to DVD (10-12 CDs per DVD). I just want perfect archive copies in case the original CD gets damaged.

I will only listen to MP3s as a last resort.. call me a snob but I like my music to sound as good as possible. IMO MP3s are only for portable players where storage space is limited.

with a terrabyte drive and FLAC at 300 megs per CD it still comes to what? over three thousand CDs? (someone check my math please)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:27 pm 
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I don't use FLAC, but that's just likely to be the average. (Could be more) But can the OP be bother to rip all the CDs to FLAC is what I'm wondering. And for future use, will they have iPods or FLAC players?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:45 pm 
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I'm going to have to agree that 128Kbps sounds like crap most of the time. It's no where near CD quality in reality, which is roughly 1100Kbps if I remember correctly. I rip at 256-320Kbps VBR at a bare minimum for my Creative Zen Vision:M (yeah, it's old) and rip my archive using FLAC.

It's roughly 260MB per album of 13 tracks (my average anyways). With a 1TB hard drive, that's well over 3000 albums, or 39,000 songs at pretty much the most perfect sound quality you can hope for from a rip.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:05 pm 
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I have about 2,000 to 3,000 cd's. I've already done approx. 1,000 at 128 bit. I went to CNET and looked at the FLAC program downloads and now I'm confused as to which one I should use. They've got "FLAC Ripper", "4Music FLAC", "Magic FLAC", etc. Which one should I use?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:12 pm 
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Screw that, get MediaMonkey. Its a music manager that will support your collection nicely. Its free, auto-tags, encoder, ripper, organizer, monkeys, and lots more.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:15 am 
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Airheadq wrote:
Screw that, get MediaMonkey. Its a music manager that will support your collection nicely. Its free, auto-tags, encoder, ripper, organizer, monkeys, and lots more.


This may be an ignorant question but what about WMP? I know it can't help you with FLAC but if lossy files is all you want. WMP is free and does some of the above. I'm curious myself is all, would you recommend MediaMonkey over say WMP12? I'm thinking of doing something like the OP but luckily I don't have 3000 CDs!!! :shock:

Not trying to push WMP, but it's what I've been using and am open to other recommendations too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:15 am 
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I've been using CDex for over 7 years to rip music to 320VBR MP3. It sounds great, and it works on every device I have ever put the music on.

I can't recommend FLAC to anyone since it won't work on every player in the marketplace. Sure, it's better quality, but 320VBR MP3 is fantastic for pretty much every use, and exceeds the sound-reproduction capabilities of ear buds and most average home stereo systems.

I use WMP to play the music and make playlists because I can then use the external drive to play music playlists where ever I plug it in.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:55 am 
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JoetheMobster wrote:
Airheadq wrote:
Screw that, get MediaMonkey. Its a music manager that will support your collection nicely. Its free, auto-tags, encoder, ripper, organizer, monkeys, and lots more.


This may be an ignorant question but what about WMP? I know it can't help you with FLAC but if lossy files is all you want. WMP is free and does some of the above. I'm curious myself is all, would you recommend MediaMonkey over say WMP12? I'm thinking of doing something like the OP but luckily I don't have 3000 CDs!!! :shock:

Not trying to push WMP, but it's what I've been using and am open to other recommendations too.


This is why at least i cant even think about using wmp for my 120k+ collection:

A.it takes around 30 min to load the player eve up
B.it crashes every 5 min
C.after half a hour of usage it has a mem footprint of 1gb :roll:

i use mediamonkey and could not be happier.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:25 pm 
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killerxx7 wrote:
...
A.it takes around 30 min to load the player eve up
B.it crashes every 5 min
C.after half a hour of usage it has a mem footprint of 1gb :roll:

i use mediamonkey and could not be happier.


damn, those are some compelling reasons to not use it! I have roughly 6000 songs and don't notice any hesitation (using WMP12) but that may change after ripping more of my music. Thanks for the head's up though! 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:09 pm 
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I like Media Monkey as an organizer and the included player is decent. I use CDex at 320 to rip cd's. I have used it to rip cd's that EAC wouldn't touch. I have put a like new cd in EAC and it sat there overnight. Put the same cd in CDex and it was ripped in about ten minutes. If you have audiophile ears or you are a trained musician you may be able to tell the difference between a cd ripped at 320 and the original cd but for joe average that is more than adequate. I have used CDex to rip roughly 3000 albums and backed up the files to two different sets of DVD's. And I still have all the cd's in storage.

At the moment I have just over 85,000 line items in two main folders and Media Monkey is, imnsho, the best organizer available. If your tags are done properly, and they will be if you use CDex or EAC, all you have to do is point it at your Music directory and say go. Once the data base is created it will load and unload an iPod, or any portable player with a usb connector. It will also burn a cd or dvd. It includes a tag editor but mp3tagtools is a much better option if you are doing edits on a large number of files. It's possible you could wind up with directories of songs by The Charlie Daniels Band and Charlie Daniels Band and want to change them all to one or another. Or you may want to change the genre of an entire folder. Or there may be a typo in the Album name. While you are at it, MP3Gain will normalize an entire folder to the same level. That way you aren't continually playing with the volume when you are playing your music. And, it's free.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:08 am 
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320 MP3s arent too bad if encoded well (LAME is very good when set up right) unless you listen at near live volume levels, then you will find your ears get fatigued from the artifacts that are introduced. imaging suffers a bit also.

since you want to rip thousands of CDs only once, I would still use FLAC. media monkey can convert to FLAC and then to MP3s "on the fly" as needed if you want to load a MP3 player.

anyway, the better the audio system, the more you will notice MP3 artifacts.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:40 am 
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I love WMP, its the best all-in-one player ever. However, IIRC killer and I have had this discussion already and MM is best suited for a huge library. But because MM is for audio only, it has a lot more features relating to it than WMP.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:48 pm 
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Uncompressed .WAV ftw


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:18 pm 
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whelderwheels613 wrote:
Uncompressed .WAV ftw


No problem if you have unlimited storage space but 85,000 .wav files would take up one hell of a lot of drive space and backing them up would get very expensive very quickly.

:roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:09 pm 
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I have nearly 250,000 songs ripped as .wav on my server (And before anyone asks - I'm a Professional Country Dance Club and Mobile DJ) - however, that machine does have 12 1.5Tb drives in two RAID-5 setups with 6 drives each. One RAID setup is all of my Country Music, the other holds all of my other music. Figure close to 15Mb per minute of music.

For playback I'll recode the songs to 320kbps MP3 using AudioGrabber with LAME, since I don't feel like lugging an 85Lb tower with me, and they don't make 10Tb external drives..............yet. ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:22 pm 
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CharBroiled wrote:
320 MP3s arent too bad if encoded well (LAME is very good when set up right) unless you listen at near live volume levels, then you will find your ears get fatigued from the artifacts that are introduced. imaging suffers a bit also.

since you want to rip thousands of CDs only once, I would still use FLAC. media monkey can convert to FLAC and then to MP3s "on the fly" as needed if you want to load a MP3 player.

anyway, the better the audio system, the more you will notice MP3 artifacts.

I use WinLAME with 320kbps VBR and the results sound great to me. I agree that the better the system the more you might notice artifacts, but even with my fairly decent system, I can't hear anything higher than ±9kHz.

I've heard shitty mp3s at 320 and decent ones as low as 96. Lots of variable pieces make up the whole puzzle.


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