Cataloging Your Collection

Rudy

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I had some stray CDs I needed to rip. With two drives, I was able to rip 27 in one hour, using the batch ripper. Since it is more automated now, with a third drive I could have done over 40 per hour.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I think the biggest hurdle to ripping is just getting past the thought process! It helps to have a solid plan first, and have your tools all in place (software, ripping hardware, storage, etc.). And then once you start, the process is automated enough that it's just a matter of swapping discs in and out when you have a spare hour or two of computer time to work with.

You're right, I'm sure. I should just take a weekend off sometime and power through it. It would be a nice feeling to have it all organized. I've already got a few external drives sitting around here - some with pictures, various projects and etc. backed up on them and some with lots of empty space. I need an organizer! :D
 
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Rudy

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I think what really propelled me to finally do this, aside from getting the software lined up, was having a completely free drive to put all of the files on. In the past, I would have some files on one drive, some on another and when I'd run out of room, "lesser" files would end up on a computer in another room, copied via the network. Storage has gotten so cheap now that someone with a couple thousand CDs could probably fit them onto a 2TB drive with room for a few thousand more. Since my goal was to be able to have music (and video) all over the network, I went the route of the Synology NAS box with (eventually) a pair of 4TB drives, with the ability to add more drives via USB3 and eSATA ports. But even if it were just a single USB external drive, it would still have been an empty, uncluttered space to devote to my task.

And the real beauty comes when you need to use the files. Want to throw together a compilation CD for the car? Just drag those FLAC files to CD Architect (or another burner program) and burn the disc. Need WMA files for a multi-album CD or a thumb drive? Run them through a converter, then copy them over to your device. Just having that physical labor of ripping the discs behind me is a big relief. :wink:

I think when I was at my peak in ripping, I could easily do 80-100 discs per session. I still have one large box in storage to go through, and another box or two of strays, but aside from that the bulk of the ripping is done.

Video is a similar process. It just involves different software, and a bit of knowledge about encoding. But again, once everything is set up, it can go quickly. (BluRay discs can eat up a lot of space though!)

SACDs were more work since my Oppo BDP-105 is located in my system rack, and I did not feel like disconnecting it and moving it each time I wanted to rip a few discs. The extractor program on the computer runs only via the network, so it was a matter of heading across the room to swap out discs. The only other way to rip these is with an older, modified Sony PS3, and those can cost a few dollars now that they are in demand.
 

Eyewire

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What I would like to see invented is a machine with a big spindle sticking out the top of it. You would just stack your disks on that spindle, and the machine would just load one at a time off the bottom of the stack, saving the content of each CD or DVD or BluRay in a playable format on a giant hard drive array. Digitizing your music is just too much of a pain in the butt if you have limited spare time to sit in front of a computer and just wait.

You mean something like this? I think it works with dBpoweramp to batch rip CDs automatically.
nimbie-disc-autoloader-use-disc-archiver-w580px.jpg

Links:
Integrated Nimbie and dBpoweramp Solution - Acronova »
dBpoweramp Batch Ripper »

Also, this:


I totally agree that ripping discs is a huge chore. The part I hate most is fixing all the metadata to my liking. That was by far the most time consuming part for me. I'm still finding mistakes in my tags even to this day, even though I ripped most of my CDs many years ago. I'm done ripping all my CDs for now, but I sure wish I had that disc autoloader when I began because it sure would have saved a ton of time!
 

Rudy

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There are some other multi-disc units out there that can rip with dBpoweramp Batch Ripper, but some I've noticed take a bit of tweaking to get right. Fortunately, dBpoweramp seems to have a guide online which gives suggested settings for some of those units, so they will work properly. I believe there is even a driver you can download to use one of Sony's carousel CD changers, although there is a (now discontinued) adapter box that works with the Control-S interface to enable the ripping.

The cheapest Nimbie is about $574 on their site. It is expensive for what could be a one-time use, but I could see something like a local audio club having one to pass around.

The part I hate most is fixing all the metadata to my liking.

Very true. It can be tedious work. In my last go-round with dBpoweramp, I spent some time figuring out its scripting language so it could format the tags and filenames to my liking, based on the data it was pulling in via the Internet. That saved me a bit of time. I did the same with MP3Tag, and I must say that this has been one of the more helpful tools I've ever used (in addition to being free). If I need to quickly touch something up, luckily I can do it right in JRiver.

I also think it doesn't help when some of the data coming from the Internet (especially Freedb) is so poorly formatted. Tracks in all lowercase letters, with incorrect spellings and no punctuation? Uh, no thanks. I don't even check Freedb anymore, as I spend more time fixing the faulty data than if I'd have typed it in manually. MP3Tag has access to Amazon and Discogs for tags, along with Musicbrainz, and I would say for the most part the data has been good, needing little if any fixing. Cover art? That can be a mixed bag also. But the alternative is to scan thousands of discs...something I wouldn't care to tackle. :D
 

Brasil_66_Fan

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I cataloged my CDs back in '09 (just after I retired) on an Excel spreadsheet, but it's woefully out of date now - need to update. 419 CDs with each track listed. Haven't gone downstairs to inventory my records yet either, but maybe it's time.....
 

Rudy

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There are some other multi-disc units out there that can rip with dBpoweramp Batch Ripper, but some I've noticed take a bit of tweaking to get right. Fortunately, dBpoweramp seems to have a guide online which gives suggested settings for some of those units, so they will work properly.
Just to update--I compiled a stack of CDs from miscellaneous audio boxes of mine, along with a couple of stray box sets, and ripped them with the dBpoweramp Batch Ripper. Once I got the metadata format to my liking, it was almost no work at all to rip through 40+ discs. It took me about an hour to maybe do 30-ish...? That was spread across two CD drives in the computer, working simultaneously. Whenever it hit an error with the metadata, it would pause and pop open a window. Just to save time, I would put in artist and album title, so it would save into a proper folder, then fix it up later with MP3Tag.
 

TallPaulInKy

Active Member
Back in the 70s and 80s I tried cataloging my 45s and albums with a simple system I found in use at a radio station I worked at in the early 70s. Each artist was assigned a number series of 100 numbers hence Herb would be 100, 101, 102 etc. That way all the records by the same artist was in the same part of the shelves. The only way it would be messed up was if you owned more than 100 releases by the artist. The albums/singles were added in the order they were acquired not release order. But in those days I bought more records than I had time to add them to the system. Typed sheets in a three ring binder worked for me. Now that system has gone by the wayside and I just have an organized mess. Never attempted anything with CDs.
 

Rudy

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CDs are actually much easier to do now than LPs. With the right software and an inexpensive barcode scanner (or a small smartphone app which would send the barcode data via WiFi to a computer), it is just a matter of scanning the barcodes to add the CDs to the library. There are newer LPs that have barcodes, but all of the older ones would have manual entry. Thanks to Internet databases, like Discogs, it would just be a matter of retrieving the data online using artist and album title and selecting the proper release from the results, saving a lot of typing.
 
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