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Going To Rip My CD Collection For The First Time - Your Advice?


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I apologize, up front, for being completely new this, but better late than never. I previously had an Olive unit, which recently passed away. Unfortunately, while all of my cd files on the Olive were complete backed up, as some, perhaps most of you know, the method via which the Olive units backup are proprietary, so the files are useless for any other purpose.

 

I now find myself needing to backup a 2500 cd collection, and from everything i'm reading, this will be a daunting task. My first question is which software is best to utilize (Windows pc) for the purpose, Exact Audio Copy or DBPoweramp? And does either or both also tag the files and get album art? I understand from talking to severl people that tagging, especially, is a challenge to learn to do correctly, and difficult and time consuming.

 

 

I will also need an external cd drive for this purpose, and would appreciate knowing which ones are accurate enough to perform the ripping, as well as reliable, and fast enough to get me through this process effectively.

 

 

Lastly, NAS units are quite expensive. I am thinking of going with one 2tb standalone drive for storage, and a second for backup. Is this an okay strategy? Also, should I be using a particular brand, or type of drive for reliability and performance? One of the options I am considering is the upcoming Auralic Aries which needs an ethernet connected drive.

 

 

Thanks for any input on this, and for excusing my more or less complete lack of knowledge in this space.

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If you have the DY skills / aptitude to build your own computer ... I would get a case that will take at least 4 5.25" devices, and stuff it full of CD drivers. That will cut your time considerably as dbPowerAmp supports ripping from multiple drives. Initially store on an internal drive ... but get at least one, preferably two external drives to regularly back up to.

 

If you decide on the Aries, then you can utilise this same computer as a UPnP server by just installing Minimserver.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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If you still have the internal drive from the Olive and it is functional, there are ways to get the data off of it. Google is your friend. Basically it means connecting the drive to a Linux computer so you can see the partitions. One of them holds the music library and you just need to copy the contents.

 

Or you can use a utility that allows you to "mount" Linux partitions on a Windows computer and copy the files within.

 

I'm pretty sure there are similar methods for doing this from the Olive external drive also.

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Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

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If you're going to rip all them, dbpoweramp is the way, it will tag and bring in album cover art for you. It'll be right about 95% of the time, there will be some things you'll have to change, but all in all, it's pretty darn good.

 

The USB drives are okay to use... it might get a little bit cumbersome as you have to keep the drives in sync. That's why a lot of people end up grabbing a nas and using drives off it that will automatically keep the files in sync or do backups at specified times.

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Even if you can get the files off the Olive I'd wonder about the quality. As for a ripper use Dbpower amp.. Rip to the lossless format of your choice.. UnCompressed Flac is popular.

 

As far as a Nas goes I'd look at the Synology.. Maybe a DS214..for drives the Western Digital Red are the drive of choice. the Nas and two drives will set you back about $500.00 total off Amazon..And the Synology will work great with the Aries.

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Even if you can get the files off the Olive I'd wonder about the quality. As for a ripper use Dbpower amp.. Rip to the lossless format of your choice.. UnCompressed Flac is popular.

 

As far as a Nas goes I'd look at the Synology.. Maybe a DS214..for drives the Western Digital Red are the drive of choice. the Nas and two drives will set you back about $500.00 total off Amazon..And the Synology will work great with the Aries.

 

Erik, this is good information, thanks. I'm in the same position as the op, but with a few more cd's in my library to rip for the first time.

 

JC

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+1 . Thank you Erick!

 

Any thoughts on this, as an alternative? I love that it handles tagging and getting album art automatically and all I have to do is pop in cd's.

 

VortexBox 1TB Automatic CD ripping NAS

 

Going against the grain here, but I find it necessary to edit the metadata on almost every album, for consistency to avoid split albums and such.

 

Honestly, the Vortexbox ripper is very good at ripping, but not so good at finding the right metadata. In my experience, and YMMV, etc.

 

If you want the *simplest* RIP process, I would consider using iTunes. If you want the best, albeit more labor intensive RIP process, I would consider XLD or dbPoweramp.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I love Vortexbox for what I need it for... But I agree with Paul every CD needs checking and editing.

 

Going against the grain here, but I find it necessary to edit the metadata on almost every album, for consistency to avoid split albums and such.

 

Honestly, the Vortexbox ripper is very good at ripping, but not so good at finding the right metadata. In my experience, and YMMV, etc.

 

If you want the *simplest* RIP process, I would consider using iTunes. If you want the best, albeit more labor intensive RIP process, I would consider XLD or dbPoweramp.

 

-Paul

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Not sure if you've seen this ... Computer Audiophile - Computer Audiophile CD Ripping Strategy and Methodology ... it's a few years old but the general philosophy is still valid.

 

One thing I would take from it is always rip your CDs in a native format initially; some people like to run them through some form of processing but I would always recommend keeping a pre-processed version so that if you change your mind later you can return to the original versions (a batch process is much less trouble to run than re-ripping everything). Equally keep a FLAC version with all the tagging correct and in place even if you decide you prefer WAV for day to day playback.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Not sure if you've seen this ... Computer Audiophile - Computer Audiophile CD Ripping Strategy and Methodology ... it's a few years old but the general philosophy is still valid.

 

Eloise

 

I just checked the link that Eloise kindly provided. I will admit that I am a complete novice to ripping, but I am completely intimidated and lost after reading all of that. Also, given that I am 55, I'm not sure I would live long enough to rip my 3000 cd collection if I were to follow that to the letter. :)

 

Much like the OP, my intent is to convert my cd's to FLAC files on a soon to be purchased NAS to use with an Auralic Aries when they become available (assuming I can locate an affordable, usable DAC). I plan to use DBPoweramp to accomplish this, as I only plan to do it once, the right way.

 

Is there any, more "basic" tutorial anyone is aware of, that a complete beginner could follow to accomplish what I want, I would greatly appreciate a link to where it may be found. Thanks.

 

JC

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Once you get going with DBPoweramp it really is not hard at all. Basically just feed it disks every couple minutes. Unless you are a total stickler for getting all the details, the metadata will be fine as DBPoweramp does it. Depending on your music you will come up with the odd one it can't find at which point your spend 5-10 minutes typing it in.

 

When I did my whole library I set up things up where I hung out watching TV and for a couple months when ever I was hanging out I would grab a pile of disks and feed away. During ads I would go get another pile of disks. Make sure to back it all up as you won't want to do it again but once you get into the flow of it the process is just boring feeding the disks. I read elsewhere that someone paid some local kids to do it for them. ;)

 

The fantastic things about doing this are:

 

1) You will be able to store all those CDs away somewhere. I recently discovered some great boxes for mine on Amazon and they all now live in the garage.

2) As you rip you will rediscover music you hadn't noticed for some time.

3) Once you have all your music electronically available you will rediscover even more music you forgot you had and enjoy it all that much more.

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One of the main reasons i dislike iTunes is that it can create multiple folders for one album if each song does not have the same artist credits. DBPoweramp works well for me as does JRiver. The more I use JRiver, the more it impresses me with how easy it makes mundane tasks like tagging and album art. These features were not immediately apparent tome, leading me to disparage it initially, but I have come around so much that I spent money for JRemote last night (I've had gizmo for months already). DBPoweramp and JRiver are both pretty good for tagging and art, as is FooBar for that matter, though FooBar lacks automation out of the box.

 

Going against the grain here, but I find it necessary to edit the metadata on almost every album, for consistency to avoid split albums and such.

 

Honestly, the Vortexbox ripper is very good at ripping, but not so good at finding the right metadata. In my experience, and YMMV, etc.

 

If you want the *simplest* RIP process, I would consider using iTunes. If you want the best, albeit more labor intensive RIP process, I would consider XLD or dbPoweramp.

 

-Paul

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To both kingcrimson and Tube lover if you are ripping on a windows computer then DBpower amp is the way to go.. ripping to uncompressed Flac is the best choice there.. if you're on a Mac XLD is the choice and rip to Aiff ...On the DBpoweramp page there is lots of info on how to rip.. it's not tough.. just practice a bit and ask question if you have any..

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To both kingcrimson and Tube lover if you are ripping on a windows computer then DBpower amp is the way to go.. ripping to uncompressed Flac is the best choice there.. if you're on a Mac XLD is the choice and rip to Aiff ...On the DBpoweramp page there is lots of info on how to rip.. it's not tough.. just practice a bit and ask question if you have any..

 

Thanks for the positive input Erik. I would be using a Windows PC, and plan to purchase DBPoweramp soon to get started on this somewhat herculean effort (given my 3000+ cd library). I'm just trying to nail down the "right" NAS to purchase to enable me to get rolling.

 

JC

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Thanks for the positive input Erik. I would be using a Windows PC, and plan to purchase DBPoweramp soon to get started on this somewhat herculean effort (given my 3000+ cd library). I'm just trying to nail down the "right" NAS to purchase to enable me to get rolling.

 

JC

It's never to early to start - just rip to the internal HDD initially.

 

One thing some people find helpful is to get some coloured dots to stick on CD boxes... a blue dot indicates it's been ripped, a green dot for when you've checked the meta-data and red when you have scanned the CD cover (for examples).

 

Its a useful visual check especially if you are starting ripping your "favourite" CDs rather than (for example) an A-Z approach.

 

Eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I use dbPoweramp mostly, and like it best for quality, accuracy, and flexibility. If you have a significant amount of classical music, you may want to tag 2-3 CD's and play them, to see if you like the way things are organized and displayed. I ripped about 50 classical CD's before I decided that the default info put in the Track name and Album Artist was unhelpful, especially when using Gizmo as my J River remote...or when playing on a portable device.

 

For other genres the tagging seems usually right, but the album art is a bit smaller than it could be. I keep Google Images open when ripping, so that I can quickly check for larger cover art. Though I am wary of the Russian, Chinese, and bogus sounding sites, as I assume there is a much greater risk of a virus hiding in the JPG files.

 

One nice thing about dbPowerAmp is that you can rip simultaneously to FLAC, WAV, MP3 and whatever else you want, each in its own folder area, and stores metadata in the WAV file in the same way that J River uses. If you are a stickler for sound quality, consider ripping at slower than 10x speed (rather than the fastest available) and keeping a couple MoonGels or a ziploc of sand on the CD drive, if external. I also calcualte and records ReplayGain. You don't have to use it in playback, but it is now stored in case you want to use it in the future.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Or get one of these:

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]13254[/ATTACH]

 

Uses a pro Teac drive and loads 50 discs. Just sit back and relax..:)

I wish I knew they were available for cheap before I ripped my own collection..

 

Kodak Model KDK 1000 04 CD Burner Writer Dispencer | eBay

 

I purchased one of those myself and was extremely glad I did. I was able to rip about 250-300 cds per day (which doesn't sound like a lot). The beauty of it is that you don't have to be there while the ripping is taking place. It can be a little twerky to set up if you're using windows 8 (Start is back is a must app for windows 8). Unfortunately, no more cd robots are availalble from that vendor. You might want to consider starting a post to see if anyone in your geographic area has one and might be willing to part with it. Once you've done the major ripping, you tend to not use it anymore. Good luck.

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