Friday, July 29, 2011

Ripping the CD collection ready for iCloud

CdsWhen I was young I used to buy lots of records. When CDs appeared I bought them all again! In recent years the CD collection has gathered dust and the only music that gets listened to is the stuff that's been moved on to computers and iPods. One of the great pleasures of having my music collection on computer is having it play random tracks and discovering wonderful tracks of unexpected albums. I decided to rip the entire collection. It's time consuming, although much better than it used to be, my Mac Mini imports at 8x these days. Going through the process threw up a few observations about the age of the Compact Disk that is drawing to a close:
  • CDs don't last for ever. Quite a few have lost the silver coating in parts over the years.
  • Mould spots have grown on some, Sydney humidity I guess, hard to get off.
  • Jewel cases have always been hard to open and brittle - a bad combination.
  • Jewel cases are a very bulky way to store data these days.
  • What kind of idiot publishers have used duplicate id numbers?
  • The little cover pictures are not a patch on impressive 12 inch albums. Cover art on a tablet is a great improvement.
  • It was a wise choice to use an un-compressed format.
  • I bought the same CD twice on a few occasions.
I've been looking around at the possibility of selling my CDs. It doesn't look like you get much for them any more. The eBay auctions often end without bids and the thought of sending hundreds to little packages out via the post office for a dollar each doesn't sound like a good use of time. Syncing my collection to iCloud seems like a good way to go. I hope it works! Backing up 52Gb of data is a responsibility I'm keen to offload. It would be nice not to have to buy all these tracks for the third time.


Anonymous said...

Is that a copy of "Take Five" waiting to be ripped?

If you're going to do the Last Ever Import it might pay to use something like XLD, which uses a "secure" ripping technique, verifying the digital integrity of the disc against a web database (AccurateRip) where possible. Also 8x sounds kinda slow... ?

Lossless is a good idea, as you note. Pity iTunes can't handle FLAC, but Apple Lossless is a fairly low-risk (i.e. future proof) format I think.

Recent versions of iTunes support dynamic transcoding of lossless tracks to 128KB AAC for on-the-go listening on storage-constrained devices. It's a great combination; lossless at home and compressed on the go.

I think they announced that iTunes Match wasn't coming to Australia yet?

Peter Marks said...

Well spotted, yes "Take 5" and many other classics are in the collection.

Look, I considered lossless, but to be honest, my hearing isn't that good and unlikely to get better unless they find The Cure (which is also in there).

Certainly disk space has become unbelievably cheap in the last year so that's no longer the issue. I see 1TB for AU$64!

Oh and 8x is slow but I'm using an external USB DVD drive as computers don't come with optical drives any more.

John Hancock said...

Yes, format is the big question. The issue with Apple lossless is that it is propietary and from what I can see it is difficult to get it on anything other than iTunes and Apple players. I use the Popcorn hour which has flac ogg but no Apple lossless so if I want to use the PCH and my Apple devices I need two copies. Sigh!