Converting 1000+ CDs to home digital player

I tried recording my CD collection onto I-tunes but that was a total loser: I-tunes is difficult to manage and loses files. Besides, it only plays off my computer and the sound is not what I want. Is there a device now onto which I can record my CDs, manage them on my PC but then plug into my existing or other stereo player? I do not want MP3 files, as they lack the quality I desire, and I have no need for a portable system; I would use this only at home. A year or so ago I read about such a device, priced at about $400, but forgot to bookmark the page and have never found it since. I am currently using a Sony 5-disc player which is absolute garbage. Any ideas? (If the device plays only off the PC I could upgrade my PC speakers.)

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I only did a few less and used CDEX.

It was fairly automatic and CDs land on the folder I told it too almost automagically.

Did you try CDEX?

Now my collection is in that folder with a folder for each CD. I've seen folk work far harder at this. As to some junk box and automation software, all I ever found was many hundred dollars.

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Re: device

With a CD being 700 MB, a 1000+ CD collection in original quality (the .wav file) is 700 GB+. That would fit nicely on an external hard disk. Be sure to have a backup of that external hard disk on another one, if you don't like the idea to rip those CD's again.

So any device that
(a) can play music from a .wav file on an external hard disk
(b) has some audio out to the audio in of your HiFi-system would do

How about a basic netbook with Windows Media Player or so or the Linux equivalent? Of course your PC would be fine also, if you can connect it to your audio system or a high-quality speaker system.


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Even better...

Bob's suggestion to use CDEX could be paired with the free FLAC decoder to reduce file size on the disc and retain the original source quality. 30-50% more space is gained by using FLAC instead of WAV.

To the OP> Look at the squeezebox touch. That may be what you were looking at. Your budget probably won't be able to absorb a device that does the actually CD ripping too. Much cheaper to stick with a PC for that.
There's also the Western Digital Live TV Hub-

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"Sony 5-disc player which is absolute garbage"

What do you mean by that? Poor fidelity or not enough discs? The do make a 300 discs unit. As for mp3, the quality is determined by the person who do the converting unless you have such a system that only the original cd will do. You system designed for hi-def audio?

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Sony 5 disc

As you probably know, the Sony 5-disc player uses a rotating horizontal platform, made of plastic, with shallow depressions into which the discs fit. The problem is that the heights of the depressions vary, or perhaps it's a minute difference in the shape. In any case, one or more of the CDs will fail to play; the player won't recognize the disc and skips over it. It's not the disc; I've tested that several times by playing it on a different machine --my car, the PC, a small portable CD player-- so it has to be the unit. I've had two of these Sonys and they both did the same thing. Annoying as all get out. I finally reached the point where I played only four at a time, always leaving #2 empty, as it was the one that was sure to fail. The others might fail occasionally; this one almost always.

Yes, I had a 300-disc unit, a Pioneer. Liked it at first; once you went through the drudgery of loading it you had well over two hundred hours of music. But the program on it went kaput after a couple of years; it went into permanent random mode and so I could never listen to a complete CD. I called around and finally went to the store I'd purchased it from and they were candid in telling me other similar units had had problems also. I've downsized my house considerably since then and don't have the room to use it.

It doesn't help that I now live a small town in eastern North Carolina and there's not much in the way of electronic equipment around here. In any case, I want to get rid of the CDs, or at least put them in storage, becasue small as they are, and despite the fact that I use cabinets specifically made to hold them, a thousand CDs take up a bit of room.

Thanks to you all for your anwsers.

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You only need one or two porfolios to hold..

...1000 CDs, FWIW. That's how I cleaned up my media/family room space a few years ago. Ripped most of them to a couple of external hard drives (one's a backup), and 'downsized' the original discs into several portfolios (~$10/each). I recycled/gave away all of the bulky plastic jewel CD cases. This is similar to what I bought for storing them all-

FWIW, I've started getting the 'E27' error code on my dated five disc Sony DVD/CD carousel. It is quite the annoyance, but luckily I have other options too. I inherited a 200 CD Sony changer with decent support for CD-TEXT. It's sometimes a nice break from the large MP3/FLAC libraries.

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I have one of those 500+ disc things in the safe. It's in a bag with desiccant for good measure.


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iTunes Tips

A couple of suggestions for iTunes:

1. You don't need to ingest everything as mp3 files. Go into preferences and you have options as to the format of files you want to keep in iTunes, and you have choices for very high bit-rate files. The files will take up more space, but this is the trade-off for better quality audio.

2. When you insert a CD into your computer, iTunes asks if you want to import the songs. Click "No", then create a new playlist and name it the same as your CD. In iTunes, go back to the left-side column and click on the name of the CD that you just put in and the window will open in iTunes showing the songs on the CD. Select all or select only the songs you want. Click and drag these tunes over to the left column over the name of the new playlist you just created and those songs will now be in that playlist. There is no end to the number of playlists you can make, so make one for each CD, or make a new playlist called "Favorites" and drag select songs from each of the new playlists into it to make your custom music list.

3. You have options for playing iTunes wirelessly into your receiver and there are Apps to control iTunes from your iPhone or iPad or other smart devices.

What more could you want? iTunes is great if you spend some time to learn how to use it. It is not Windows Media Player.

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