Maintaining a Digital Music Collection

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There's been some talk about digital music collections in the past on threads like The Data Migration Thread , but I wanted to start a new thread! dedicated solely to those of us who are actively building up (legally acquired) digital music collections. I'm not talking about buying a CD or LP and then digitizing it, but buying music natively in mp3, FLAC, or some other format. The majority of posters on ILM seem to prefer their music on LPs and CDs, and I definitely see the appeal in doing that--up until very recently, I had to have everything in CD-- but I think there might be a few others who, like me, are starting to purchase most of their music digitally.

Recently, I've decided to go (mostly) digital. The first step in this process has been culling my CD collection. I sold off a chunk of the collection in two batches, and I'm getting ready to sell off a third. My goal is to eventually have as few physical CDs as possible, and I want all of my digital music to sit on two hard drives. Most of the new music I buy is from Amazon mp3, although I'm currently searching for some good online stores that sell everything in FLAC.

I'm doing this for several reasons:

(1) I'm 22, so I'm of the generation that sees CDs as nothing more than a storage medium. I buy a CD, rip it into iTunes, and place it on my CD shelves, where it sits forever.
(2) I have a lot of books, and I'm not a fan of eBook readers, so I plan on acquiring many more books than I already own, and I don't want to maintain two physical media collections.
(3) I need less shit in my life in general.
(4) There's a lot of stuff that's difficult for me to easily acquire where I live, and I've been able to find some stuff that I've had a lot of difficulty tracking down in brick-and-mortar stores on Amazon mp3 and iTunes.
(5) A lot of artists are starting to do the whole LP + mp3/FLAC thing, and I have no desire to start collecting LPs. I think that soon enough more and more artists will start going this route as CDs sales continue to tank.

Is anyone else actively maintaining a digital record collection or planning on doing so? Where are you buying from? How are you storing and organizing everything?

As I said, I'm sure that the audience for this thread on this board is relatively small, but I'm hoping there might be at least a few others out there who are going this route, and perhaps we can get a discussion going.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

i can't even fathom doing what you're doing. seems no stretch of my imagination no matter how great will alow me to even consider the possibility paying for an mp3. sorry!

samosa gibreel, Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

Keep all your favorite/best CDs, or yer gonna feel like a chump when that hard drive explodes

Whiney G. Weingarten, Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Much more convenient for housebreakers too, like being able to carry away a whole collection in a binder.

I am using your worlds, Saturday, 22 August 2009 23:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm more interested in how people are organizing large digital collections. Do you just chuck it all in one folder or do you take the time to set things up in an artist/album way? Do you keep multiple CDs as multiple folders or just combine it all? Do you get rid of duplicates or is that too much work? Etc.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 23 August 2009 00:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

I trust that when you say "two hard drives" you mean one to back up the other. Wouldn't be the dumbest thing to, from time to time, dump everything to a third that you send offsite--back to your parents' house, for example. I'd also make sure you were getting everything at the highest quality possible. What seems good now, won't. And storage will someday be irrelevant.

I just use iTunes, so that takes care of the folders and files. Two external drives (one good quality for constant use, the other, cheaper, to backup the first once a week). I do try to eliminate duplicates, but that can be a lot of work. And also to maintain consistency of names and genres. There are certainly times I feel more like a database manager than a music listener.

But I still can't see getting rid of the originals. Risky. Maybe putting them in deeper storage?

Michael Train, Sunday, 23 August 2009 00:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm more interested in how people are organizing large digital collections.

I don't have an enormous digital collection, only about 4000 songs. I organize it in a pretty standard way, I think. A folder for each artist, and then within that, folders for each album, using the format of:

year - album name

Adding the year onto the front can be a hassle if you didn't do it from the start, but once everything uses that format it's convenient because it arranges everything chronologically under each artist.

I also make sure that I have album art for each album, which has come in handy recently with my new iPhone acquisition, since you can flip through your collection by scrolling through album covers.

ZS69 (Z S), Sunday, 23 August 2009 00:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

My concern with acquiring material digitally is bad rips - I'm paranoid about downloading something from Amazon and hearing digital noise. I've heard reports of this a number of times; I'd rather make my own rips and have the quality under my own control.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

Z S, do you still buy many physical releases?

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:20 (eight years ago) Permalink

I'm more interested in how people are organizing large digital collections. Do you just chuck it all in one folder or do you take the time to set things up in an artist/album way? Do you keep multiple CDs as multiple folders or just combine it all? Do you get rid of duplicates or is that too much work? Etc.

― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, August 22, 2009 7:03 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark

For right now my shit's all over the place, but I'm starting to work out in my head how I'm going to manage this . . .

I'm considering starting off by organizing by the SOURCE of the mp3. So, if I download something from Amazon, it will go into an Amazon/[artist name] folder. Then I'll copy everything into iTunes and have it copy everything into its own directory structure and sort everything for me.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

Keep all your favorite/best CDs, or yer gonna feel like a chump when that hard drive explodes

― Whiney G. Weingarten, Saturday, August 22, 2009 6:39 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark

^ This is the plan, Whiney.

Honestly, though, I usually listen to records I love 30-40 times and then I can barely, if ever, listen to them again. Wilco's a ghost is born is my favorite record of the decade, and I've barely listened to it since 2005. By then, my brain's had enough of the record for a lifetime.

Reading his posts is like watching The Ring (kshighway), Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

I buy records with pretty much all of my spare money, which isn't much, admittedly. I download everything else.

ZS69 (Z S), Sunday, 23 August 2009 01:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have about 45 DVDs on a spindle, each of which holds about 4.5 GB of MP3s (AACs, actually). I have a desktop iMac with a 250GB hard drive which has about 50GB or so of music on it, and I'm planning to burn all that to DVD pretty soon. I've also got a laptop (on which I'm typing this post) with a similar-sized hard drive, and that one's got about 25GB of music on it at present (because that's the one I import all my promo CDs to, and download digital promos to). I'm gonna burn that stuff to DVD soon as well. How many individual albums does all this add up to? Several thousand, easy.

unperson, Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

my brain's had enough of the record for a lifetime.

Yeah, I feel the same about that Wilco album. Mind you, I've never heard it.

Dom J. Palladino (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

stop ripping. bind your cds its totally hot

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

unperson: Do you still buy/collect any physical albums or are you mostly digital?

kshighway, Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

Album art is always nice to have, in any form. To me, just collecting mp3s seems really sterile and doesn't have any connection to the process of collecting music. A lot of my best memories of music are of buying it at my favorite local store, or studying the lyrics. My thought process when I think about an album immediately begins with the album cover.

I guess there's nothing wrong with collecting music the way you are, and god knows, just about everyone your age was raised under the same circumstances. I personally never want to stop "collecting" music outside of the mp3 format, although I do realize there will come a day (in the not too distant future) that cars won't even come with CD players.

slagterm, Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

and all your meals will come in tablet form.

Someone left the cape out in the rain (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

Do you still buy/collect any physical albums or are you mostly digital?

I don't keep many individual album CDs around anymore - one tower's worth, which is about 400 or so, plus another couple of hundred slimcase promos and things in weirdly shaped digipaks which I keep in a cabinet. Mostly what I keep is boxed sets, especially archival ones like the Anthony Braxton Mosaic box from last year, or the Miles Davis Complete Plugged Nickel Sessions set.

unperson, Sunday, 23 August 2009 02:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

stop ripping. bind your cds its totally hot

Yes, great idea. This works best if you put similar genres adjacent to each other (e.g., all your M0unt41n G04ts CDs next to your Bright Eyes, Dashboard Confessional and Taking Back Sunday). That way once J0hn D. gets you feeling all emo and sad, it's only a single binder page-flip to your Chris Carrabba stuff! Woo!

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

god the saddoes eager to show they've heard of me are out in force tonite eh

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

lool

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

:'(

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

eager to show they've heard of me

Seriously though -- considering I've been on ILM three years, that was hardly the point.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

dude it's all love I was just rezingin please unsad that face

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 03:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

How good a sound quality/how great a breadth would an on-demand music service have to be in order to consider doing away with having a digital collection at all?

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 23 August 2009 04:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

I can't really hear the difference between a well encoded mp3 and a FLAC, even though I've had the opportunity to use some pretty heavy audiophile equipment in the past...tin ears, I guess. so as long as it's 200+ kbps I'm fine, which both Amazon and iTunes do now.

what are you gonna do when iTunes moves to this rumored 'Cocktail' format?

my biggest problem with a digital collection is all the metadata. do you add the lyrics? when do you feel the need to add a composer? what if you can't find a decent scan of the album art bigger than 150x150 pixels? etc.

tony dayo (dyao), Sunday, 23 August 2009 06:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

We've got about 80gb of music on this iMac, which runs three iPods - an 80gb classic that sits on the Zeppelin, my 1gb shuffle, and Em's iPhone. It's not backed up anywhere at the moment, because we've only just migrated to this machine in the last week. We've got an external HD that'll take it all. The vast majority of it is backed up next door on a couple of thousand CDs though, and most of our listening is probably still off CDs. I've bought a few dozen songs from iTunes, mainly b-sides, odd old singles, and things that I'd not want a whole album or compilation of. I guess those are the only ones that really NEED backing up. Everything's just organised via iTunes; I'm pretty anal about covers & tags & things. I don't think we'd ever go totally digital; just yesterday I bought The XX album on CD. I love CDs too much. But then I'm 30.

Sickamous (Scik Mouthy), Sunday, 23 August 2009 07:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

for all you guys backing up to CD/DVD, be careful: Up To 10% of CD-Rs Fail Within a Few Years

tony dayo (dyao), Sunday, 23 August 2009 07:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

I've got pretty much my entire music collection in digital form on a 500gb hard drive (with another one as backup) for iPod purposes - however I only really buy singles digitally rather than whole albums. This is partly because I like the physical object and partly 'cos the CDs I do still buy are mostly very cheap secondhand/bargain bin ones so it's cheaper just to rip from the disc. That said, I've got rid of/have boxed up to get rid of 350+ CDs this year, basically things I've gone off. I moved earlier this year and I've got slightly less room in the new house which certainly spurred me on and I'll be honest, it feels really good paring things down (I still have loads left though!).
The main reason for me buying CDs over vinyl was portability - I've always done a large portion of my listening on the move and I had a CD walkman up until a few years back. However I've started replacing some CDs with vinyl for home listening and I intend to buy more nof my new music in vinyl form (really grateful to those labels who include a download coupon with the record). I could never see myself only having a digital collection and nothing else - I'm sure I'll hang on to lots of my remaining CDs for as long as they can be played.

Gavin in Leeds, Sunday, 23 August 2009 09:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

(really grateful to those labels who include a download coupon with the record)

Seconding this.

I think I'm at 8 or 9TB of digital files now split evenly between audio and video and I'm probably going to go to some sort of desktop RAID 5 set up once the next generation of 2+TB drives become common. I'm more concerned with having a decent file system that can handle all that and a metafile indexer/cataloger that won't collapse when I hit it with that size of data.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 23 August 2009 22:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

Even if i was goin digital, I think I would throw all my CDs in storage or somethin

Whiney G. Weingarten, Sunday, 23 August 2009 22:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

I mean, amassing a bunch of files isn't really "collecting" anything anymore is it? It;s like saying you collect pokemon

Whiney G. Weingarten, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

For those who are on PC, Mediamonkey is the only place to go.

J4mi3 H4rl3y (Snowballing), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

"I mean, amassing a bunch of files isn't really "collecting" anything anymore is it? It;s like saying you collect pokemon"

If you have a file that isn't readily replaceable/accessible (like say something dubbed off a rare public access TV performance that only you have a VHS copy of), then it takes on more of the properties of something tangible/loseable like pokemon cards, but my thinking is that music services will increasingly make obsolete any need to keep a file or file backup at all.

For example, netflix users wouldn't bother to "collect" movies they've seen on netflix, at least not with any great frequency. (though there's supposedly some pirate group that prides itself on having backed up the entire netflix catalog)

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

i don't really consider my digital music a "collection" per se, it's just me tunes

i could (and will) quite happily be all-digital in the future. i'll probably hang on to most of my cds, boxed up and stored away, more than anything else because it's not worth the time or effort trying to sell them.

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

my digital vs hard copy purchase ratio is about 9 to 1 at the moment. i think i've bought less than 50 cds this year.

you! me! posting! (electricsound), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

well but this is what begs the really interesting generational divide question. what is your collection? a series of hard-evidence signifiers about experiences you've had & can have again at will, tangible evidence of those experiences - or is your real collection the experiences themselves, and the physical collection something of an old-fashioned proof that will no longer be necessary in the future/present? nb I am from the previous gen so for me I gotta have some physical token to feel like I "own" something. but I don't think that's the only way to conceive of "ownership," and I suspect that different conceptions - no less valid - will replace/have replaced "our" conception. it's like: I don't save ticket stubs or collect/trade shows, but I do have a collection of live music experiences - that collection is the experiences themselves. digital collections are considerably more tangible than those, right?

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

xpost w/philip btw

Man Is Nairf! (J0hn D.), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:31 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Honestly, though, I usually listen to records I love 30-40 times and then I can barely, if ever, listen to them again."

I cannot for the life of me fathom feeling this way about "records I love".

Alex in SF, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

At age 45, my big paradigm shift was when the artwork and liner notes shrank from 12" to 5", so I find myself strangely blasé (perfectly happy, actually) about the shift from 5" disc to digital file.

Hugh Manatee (WmC), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

Pardon my grammar. I'm 45, not my paradigm shift.

Hugh Manatee (WmC), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

w/r/t generational divide, I don't believe the next generation will be so alien as to maintain a digital collection against an endless buffet that makes that collection obsolete when making personal top-ten lists does all the signifying one needs (and is an activity well-enjoyed cross-generationally)

so maybe this kind of digital album collecting as if they were physical albums will be a weird hiccup peculiar to just this moment in time.

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

i can appreciate good artwork as much as the next dude but i've pretty much always listened to music the same way - compiled the best songs into whatever format i was working with at the time (tape, cdr, playlist) and listen to that, completely separate from the original artifacts. so artwork is really something i only ever looked at if i wanted to know who the producer was or something. frankly some records i appreciate more for not having the shitty artwork.

internetkonnektivität (electricsound), Sunday, 23 August 2009 23:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

i have a car and that is mostly why i buy cds

winston, Monday, 24 August 2009 04:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Honestly, though, I usually listen to records I love 30-40 times and then I can barely, if ever, listen to them again. Wilco's a ghost is born is my favorite record of the decade, and I've barely listened to it since 2005. By then, my brain's had enough of the record for a lifetime.

How old are you? I found that after about 10 years, I bought a lot of albums I previously weeded out by favorite groups. Now that I'm digitizing my collection, it's not as big a deal. I'm still keeping 60% of my CDs. I'm ripping in FLAC with dbpoweramp, correct some tagging and make playlists with Mediamonkey, and listen in three rooms with Squeezebox. I will be able to fit everything on my 6TB NAS server with room to spare, and have everything backed up twice, one on extra drives at home, another at work. It's nice to be able to have access to everything at work.

I think it's crucial to use lossless files. You can easily convert them to another format with a batch converter without losing anything. Buying CDs is still the cheapest option, because you can get deals on them new and used for under $10 each. $1 to $2 a song for FLAC is just not an option. The CDs you don't want to keep, you can sell, and end up spending only $2 to $5 on the music.

I'm listening to more of my music more often now that I can play it simultaneously in multiple rooms. Living with someone else the past couple years, I had stopped listening later at night because she goes to sleep earlier. Now I can put on some closed headphones and have access to the whole collection from bed on the Duet remote.

Fastnbulbous, Monday, 24 August 2009 13:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

i mean, one of the biggest obstacles for me re: digital is that iTunes keeps changing how it organizes things.

Like for a while it was just artist/song/album and then with a recent update you can put files in one pile while labeling it another with "sort by." Also my iphone used to recognize "sort by" so I'd sort all my compilations by "#" so the errant comp tracks just show up at the end. The new iPhone update no longer recognizes "sort by" and my iphone tracks are now a shitty jumble again.

Who knows what iTunes will change to? Or even if we'll be using itunes in 10 years?

patti lmaonnaise (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 24 August 2009 13:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

where we're going, we don't need iTunes

tony dayo (dyao), Monday, 24 August 2009 13:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

iTunes is just a ID3 tag editor isn't it (at least for mp3 files) and it's such an 800 pound gorilla that I'm sure whatever player we'll be using in the future, Mp3-O-Matic 5000 or whatever, will definitely be "iTunes compatible"

the Album Artist field is such a life saver w/r/t rap albums...and Sort By is great for those who catalog by last name, among others

tony dayo (dyao), Monday, 24 August 2009 13:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

but completely useless for people that use iphones

patti lmaonnaise (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 24 August 2009 13:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

soundslike, what is the battery life like on that pioneer thing? You had me at 2x micro sd

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Monday, 4 September 2017 19:42 (three months ago) Permalink

It seems great. I've never run it down, because I recharge it like a phone ever night, or often keep it plugged in at my office. It doesn't have a lot of apps, but I stripped it of everything I could uninstall except the stock software player. I mostly turn off wi-fi, keep the screen off when not needed, play mp3s per the above, not flacs, but I'd guess from use on travel I get 15+ hours? Maybe it can do more--I've never worn it down. It's not going to get the time that a Cowon or whatever gets, because of the big screen, can do Bluetooth, etc. but much longer than a phone.

Soundslike, Monday, 4 September 2017 20:36 (three months ago) Permalink

Damn that sounds kind of ideal for me

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Monday, 4 September 2017 21:54 (three months ago) Permalink

the picture makes it look bigger and heavier than it is ... but yeah, totally portable and would fit in my purse.

sansa riff (sarahell), Tuesday, 5 September 2017 02:08 (three months ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's totally pocketable--much smaller than most modern phones in footprint, just thicker. I even like the little "bumpers" on the top and bottom, which I assumed I'd remove--they help make pulling it out of a pocket easier, and I use the top one to hang it on a hook at my office when I'm using Bluetooth.

Soundslike, Tuesday, 5 September 2017 03:56 (three months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

so i got a computer to keep my library with me on the go. "should be fine", says i. "512 gb ought to be enough for anybody". i'm now up to 50,000 songs, 338 gb, windows keeps wanting to install massive updates whenever i connect it to the internet, and soundslike just posted a gigabyte worth of 2000s post-punk revival. itunes used to have this great thing where you could convert your files down to 128 aac to save space, and i'm seriously wondering if i can do that with my whole library for portable purposes. suggestions?

bob lefse (rushomancy), Saturday, 28 October 2017 01:29 (one month ago) Permalink

you can get a 4TB external drive for $100

mookieproof, Saturday, 28 October 2017 01:38 (one month ago) Permalink

i could but then i'd be lugging around even more stuff with me

bob lefse (rushomancy), Saturday, 28 October 2017 01:53 (one month ago) Permalink

oic -- a laptop rather than a computer to stream from? then yeah, downsampling seems reasonable as long as you're keeping the originals somewhere (and aren't all hydrogenaudio about the quality)

mookieproof, Saturday, 28 October 2017 02:00 (one month ago) Permalink

338 + 1 = 339

That's still way less than 512. I don't see a problem.

Will the laptop support a second internal drive? Some will. Or you can swap out the 512 for 1tb.

koogs, Saturday, 28 October 2017 03:50 (one month ago) Permalink

yes, i know there are a lot of ways to add more storage space. i don't particularly want to open up the laptop and mess around with the innards. i could get a usb drive and expand the space i have that way, if i wanted. i know 128 aac doesn't sound as good as 320 mp3, but it's good enough for portable listening, even with the dragonfly in. i figure mass transcoding could recover a lot of space for future growth and ought to be possible!

bob lefse (rushomancy), Saturday, 28 October 2017 12:13 (one month ago) Permalink

Are those 338gb lossless? then keep them backed up in a couple big hdds at home and mass convert them with foobar to the laptop as lossy files. aac 128 will be transparent almost every time, doubly so for portable listening.

if they're already mp3s or other lossy stuff, then transcoding might be fine as well (again, portable listening) but it's a much bigger risk. again, as long as you keep the originals backed up somewhere...

chihuahuau, Saturday, 28 October 2017 12:41 (one month ago) Permalink

they make thumb drives that are 500gb, i don't know how reliable they are, though.

to each his own, but the only stuff i'd listen to in 128 would be like pre-war music

brimstead, Saturday, 28 October 2017 19:21 (one month ago) Permalink

they make thumb drives that are 500gb

they're like $250 on amazon btw

brimstead, Saturday, 28 October 2017 19:22 (one month ago) Permalink

the only stuff i'd listen to in 128 would be like pre-war music

― brimstead, Saturday, October 28, 2017 8:21 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

128 mono = 256 stereo, so pre-67 maybe?

Cannot understand why so many of these cylinder rips I'm downloading are in stereo.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 28 October 2017 20:30 (one month ago) Permalink

i don't understand what the equals sign means there, a 128kbps mp3 will sound shitty for anything "well recorded"...

brimstead, Saturday, 28 October 2017 20:56 (one month ago) Permalink

if you're just playing it on a boombox or something tho, 128 is probably fine for anything

brimstead, Saturday, 28 October 2017 20:59 (one month ago) Permalink

yes, i'm keeping the originals backed up. i'm keeping the originals backed up in multiple places. this isn't my only listening source.

and for anybody concerned about the "128" thing, codec matters. i'm not talking about bloody xing 128. i'm talking about aac, which to my middle-aged ears is _acceptably lossy_ at 128.

none of which goes any direction towards answering the question of "how", mind you. i just wanted to save myself a google - if i wanted an argument i'd be on stevehoffman.tv!

as for cylinder rips in stereo, it's because people are lazy. the mono version of piper that came out a couple years back had non-identical left and right channels. fortunately _one_ of the channels was okay so easy enough to just duplicate the non-fucked-up channel using software.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Saturday, 28 October 2017 21:53 (one month ago) Permalink

sorry, piper = piper at the gates of dawn.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Saturday, 28 October 2017 21:53 (one month ago) Permalink

dbpoweramp can do the converting easily

but this one looks like it'll do it free: https://www.freac.org

mookieproof, Saturday, 28 October 2017 22:20 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm sure there are plenty of just as capable alternatives but foobar is what I always use, you can load all your files once and let it do the conversion overnight. those 300 gb will surely take many hours

and if you have your music collection properly tagged with artist, album, etc it can easily do fancier stuff like defining a desired output directory tree and filename template, replaygain scanning and tagging, removing long stretches of silence from CD album closing tracks, etc

chihuahuau, Saturday, 28 October 2017 23:06 (one month ago) Permalink

I meant that you can halve the biterate for mono recordings, so 128 will effectively be 256.

I edit my mp3s in something proper, but do tagging in tagscanner and equalise the volume using mp3gain, would recommend both, have not really come across a bulk file converter that I'm completely happy with yet - the best was the software that came with my creative mp3 player but lost it long ago.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 28 October 2017 23:32 (one month ago) Permalink

Using AIMP to actually play mp3s on my computer but hate it, looking for an alternative

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 28 October 2017 23:33 (one month ago) Permalink

none of which goes any direction towards answering the question of "how", mind you. i just wanted to save myself a google - if i wanted an argument i'd be on stevehoffman.tv!

what's your problem, i gave you a suggestion, did you even read my post

brimstead, Sunday, 29 October 2017 01:22 (one month ago) Permalink

sigh. i don't have a problem, brimstead, thank you for your suggestion.

bob lefse (rushomancy), Sunday, 29 October 2017 02:39 (one month ago) Permalink

1TB hard drive is around $50; no-brainer. By the time you fill that up, it's pretty easy too imagine affordable SD cards of the same capacity.

I recommend against low bit-rates or shifting to mono unless you have very specific needs, even if you still have higher res. backups -- i have 3 HDs of my stax (original, and 2 back-ups) and have enough trouble just keeping those updated -- even without worrying which copy has my best MP3s/flacs, etc.

My problem will be when my stax grow beyond 1TB (over 800GB now) -- as i would want 1 HD for each copy -- i've been using older 3.5" HDs that connect thru docking stations of either eSATA or USB 3.0, but my oldest computer is still on Win XP and have trouble with HDs larger than 1TB.

Bulk file conversion very easy in Mediamonkey.

bodacious ignoramus, Thursday, 2 November 2017 19:24 (one month ago) Permalink

itunes

is probably the problem.

campreverb, Thursday, 2 November 2017 19:59 (one month ago) Permalink

What a fucking ballache is my irritable response to all that.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 2 November 2017 20:01 (one month ago) Permalink

what's all this about mono? Don't most encoders actually use "Joint Stereo" by default? That is, where left + right are the same, use the allowed bitrate to enhance overall fidelity.

maffew12, Thursday, 2 November 2017 22:04 (one month ago) Permalink

That's not joint stereo.

Joint stereo is where they encode the one channel as an absolute and encode the other channel as a delta. It's more efficient than encoding both channels absolutely but it is capable of exactly reproducing the input, nothing is lost.

koogs, Thursday, 2 November 2017 22:27 (one month ago) Permalink

http://wiki.hydrogenaud.io/index.php?title=Joint_stereo

chihuahuau, Friday, 3 November 2017 00:14 (one month ago) Permalink

Actually, I think that is what maffew is describing. And there are more things called 'joint stereo' than just the one I mentioned. (But all rely on the fact that the two channels will be nearly the same a lot of the time)

The bloke had already said he doesn't want an external drive, or an internal one. And that these aren't the masters. It's safe to transcode then down. But I'd wait until my disc was 90% full at least.

koogs, Friday, 3 November 2017 04:55 (one month ago) Permalink

I'd definitely prefer using a cloud service for backup rather than buying more external hdds

Currently I'm on the 100gb google drive plan, I downloaded the desktop client and am placing all my non-system files in the drive folder

This works flawlessly and saved all my files when my SSD crashed for no reason 6 months ago

The 1tb plan is 8£/month, if I was maintaining a digital music collection I'd use that for backup

niels, Friday, 3 November 2017 07:09 (one month ago) Permalink

But I'd wait until my disc was 90% full at least.

― koogs

Windows, at least, runs like crap with anything less than 15% drive space, and <10% is unbearable.

The 1tb plan is 8£/month, if I was maintaining a digital music collection I'd use that for backup

― niels

My DSL limit 12Mbps down and .3Mbps up -- theoretically, it would take about a month to upload 100GB even if i dedicated 100% of my bandwidth to the task. Maybe cable users could boost those numbers by a factor of 10+, but it would still take a month to upload a full TB.

bodacious ignoramus, Friday, 3 November 2017 13:55 (one month ago) Permalink

wow, those are low speeds?

I had .5mbps up in ~2004 and with my last ISP 50mbps up

niels, Friday, 3 November 2017 14:16 (one month ago) Permalink

... that's the fastest available for my location

bodacious ignoramus, Saturday, 4 November 2017 02:32 (one month ago) Permalink

cool, there's more to life than fiber optics

can I ask where you live?

niels, Saturday, 4 November 2017 16:21 (one month ago) Permalink

rural michigan, usa.

Also of note, i use an android app called muzecast to stream my stax anywhere over my wifi; works okay once it grinds through all the database set-up.

bodacious ignoramus, Saturday, 4 November 2017 19:50 (one month ago) Permalink

Years ago, I had a Windows program that would go through my MP3s and compile a list of errors and offer to fix them. For example, it would add a release year, or it would highlight tracks that had an incorrect track name. Anyone know of something that does that these days?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 10 November 2017 21:05 (one month ago) Permalink

What would the source database be?

calstars, Friday, 10 November 2017 21:07 (one month ago) Permalink

musicbrainz picard

scoff walker (diamonddave85), Friday, 10 November 2017 21:20 (one month ago) Permalink

What I need is something to tag the original release date of everything, like all of the tracks on a best of compilation should have the years they were originally released, not the year the best of was put out.

I know this thing probably doesn't exist, but it would save a lot of time for me.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 10 November 2017 21:49 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah this is a big problem. You’d think that sometthing like this wouldn’t be that hard to code, you’d just query the database (discogs, rym, allmusic) for the track name + artist, receive a table with all matches and take the lowest value for release year. I’m not sure if the API’s of these databases allow that type of queries tho.

Siegbran, Saturday, 11 November 2017 11:50 (one month ago) Permalink

are those APIs even public?

Randall Jarrell (dandydonweiner), Saturday, 11 November 2017 14:14 (one month ago) Permalink

Discogs is, I dunno about the others

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 11 November 2017 14:15 (one month ago) Permalink

You can also download the entire discogs database as XML, or at least you could a few years ago, cos I wrote some code to import the whole thing into SQL Server (was supposed to be for a work colleague who wanted to use it for some idea he had that didn't work out, so I never actually used it for anything).

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 11 November 2017 14:17 (one month ago) Permalink

Wonder how you’d account for different versions - international , re-issues with bonus tracks etc.

calstars, Saturday, 11 November 2017 14:36 (one month ago) Permalink

Seems like some error is bound to creep in...

calstars, Saturday, 11 November 2017 14:36 (one month ago) Permalink

it already exists, it's called musicbrainz picard and beets for the more technically inclined

scoff walker (diamonddave85), Saturday, 11 November 2017 15:33 (one month ago) Permalink

Really, it can do that? OK, checking this out, thanks.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 11 November 2017 17:31 (one month ago) Permalink


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