Music storage

February 18, 2008 at 10:54 pm | Posted in music | 7 Comments

Well, I got all the A’s and B’s done.

After my hard drive crashed last November, I have been slowly ripping my CDs back onto my hard drive. And by “slowly ripping,” I mean that I ripped about 30 CDs a week after it happened and haven’t done anything since. And they were random CDs that were just sitting out on the speaker. A week or two ago, I re-alphabetized our CD collection, so we can actually find all our music again. So now I’m ripping it all, little by little.

I got a CaseLogic SKU-PF-200. It’s a hard plastic CD storage filing system. It has 3 drawers and holds 200 CDs in ProSleeves. Actually, I have two of them. So that’s 400 CDs. They aren’t 100% full, and the way things are going they won’t ever be. I’m a little perturbed that the plastic dividers have all broken, and I’ve had to jury-rig something to block the CDs from falling out of the back of the drawer into the case when I pull the drawer open. And the drawers stick a little. But if the unit was made to a bit better quality, it would be fantastic. I should probably just rip all of the CDs to MP3, back it all up somehow, and sell the CDs to a used store while I still can can get a few bucks for them.

In the mean time, I’m ripping them all. Again. Letter by letter.

Next up, the C’s! Woo!



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  1. Personally, having ripped all of my CD last year when I bought K an Ipod, I keep them in a couple of file boxes in the basement. I don’t feel confident that I’ll never need/want them again. For one thing, I recently found out that I accidently ripped the first third in a format that some of my players read and some don’t, so I’ll have to re-rip those, (took me a year to find that out), plus occasionally, I still use one of our CD players. Primitive, I know.

    I THINK Mike and Dave still have their CD’s and they have like thousands, right?

  2. If we take for granted that I choose a sufficiently secure backup system, what have I got to lose? Jenny’s iPod is hooked up to the stereo most of the time, and it’s got most everything. Also, rather than get a new iPod with more storage myself, I’ll probably just get an Airport Express for playing my music at home and keep using my Nano for portable stuff. And I think I’ve read maybe 5 liner notes in the past few years. It’s not like LPs when there was comparatively large artwork and lyrics you couldn’t get anywhere else. I think I have nothing to lose except clutter. (Don’t worry, Jenny, I won’t sell your CDs unless you ask me to.)

  3. My CD collection is around 800 discs. I keep them all in their jewel cases, on two high-capacity shelf-type storage units. I am planning on replacing them with something like this or this in the future.

    The discs are all ripped onto my hard drive (a little more than 40GB). The tracks are either played directly from the computer, or are loaded into my iPod (using some random-selecting smart playlists, so my 4G iPod always gets a random selection of stuff I haven’t heard in the past 90 days.)

    Although you have probably heard it already, good backups are always important. As you’re discovering, it takes a long time to restore that much content. I bought myself two 500GB external hard drives, each one large enough to contain three complete backups of the entire computer. Every Friday night, I make a full backup (replacing the oldest one), so if disaster strikes, I haven’t lost more than one week’s worth of changes.

    This is especially important for things like my photo album. If those files get lost, there’s no possible way to recover the images. (Music CDs and installed software is just aggravating but not a total loss. My photos are irreplaceable.)

    BTW, don’t sell your discs after ripping them. That would be illegal. You have no legal right to keep your ripped tracks after you transfer the original media to a third party. (Assuming, of course, that you believe you have a right to rip tracks in the first place – most people think you do, but the RIAA disagrees and no court has yet ruled on the matter.)

  4. Derek: browsing though Deep Discount’s media-storage pages, I ran across this. It looks like about the same capacity (150 discs, I assume in jewel cases, which should be about 300-400 in ProSleeves) and should be a lot more durable, being made of wood. And, on top of that, costs less than the MSRP for the CaseLogic boxes you’re using now.

  5. Mmm, good point about the selling of the CDs. Oh well, I probably wouldn’t have gotten much for them anyway.

    I haven’t decided on a good backup system yet. I need to decide soon. It sounds like it’s either buy a big hard drive, or invest in an off-site service. I’ve heard good things about Mozy from Lee. $5 per month, compared to what I’ll pay for a hard drive big enough to hold two backups … it may be worth it.

    Has anyone here (besides Lee) had experience with this type of off-site backup service?

  6. I can’t say I’ve heard of Mozy or even given online backup serious thought. I have an external hard drive for my backups. It is quick and convenient, and I don’t have to worry about being hooked up to the Internet when I do it. (Maybe connectivity is no problem for you, but with my old computer it is an issue sometimes.) External hard drives have gotten pretty cheap. Chances are you don’t need big 500 GB ones like Dave. I have a single 160 GB drive and I’ve never come close to filling it. I think it cost me around $150 a few years ago, so they probably cost less for more space now. $5/month will eclipse that pretty fast considering you’ll want to keep it for a long time. Just my opinion.

  7. Hard drives are cheap. And 500GB is the current sweet-spot for price-per-GB.

    Using Best Buy (far from the cheapest store) as an example, a 500G Western Digital MyBook sells for $110. If you have a problem with the quality of WD MyBooks (as I do), you can also get a 500G Seagate FreeAgent Pro for $140. Overall, a lot of different 500G external drives can be had for well under $200. 750G drives go for under $300. 1TB drives can be had for under $400.
    This is if you choose to buy a pre-assembled system from Best Buy. If you buy an internal drive and a case, and/or shop around you can do better. For example, at Micro Center, I can get a USB enclosure for as little as $20 and a FireWire enclosure for under $30. A 500G drive to put in the case costs about $110. A 750G internal drive costs $200.

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