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Poll

What should I do with my audio CDs?

Keep them (they look lovely stacked in the lounge)
13 (56.5%)
Rip them to MP3 (think of all the space you'll save)
4 (17.4%)
Something else (comment below)
6 (26.1%)

Total Members Voted: 23

Last post Author Topic: What should I do with my audio CDs?  (Read 12845 times)

Ampa

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What should I do with my audio CDs?
« on: January 10, 2008, 05:41:05 PM »
In the corner of my lounge sits my hifi, and next to that an unstable tower of CDs (about 250 in total).

This evening when I realised that I can't remember the last time I played a CD. I don't mean the last time I listened to music (I have music playing in the house everyday), but the last time that I had played music from an audio CD, taken from my shelf. Why?

Because for several years now, all my new music has been digital, in the form of MP3s.

I listen to MP3s on my computer, in the car, on a portable player, and on my hifi. So why do I keep my original CDs?

Well...

  • At one time they were my prized possessions (though now they have little or no monetary value whatsoever)
  • Because they are physical objects it feels wrong to get rid of them (a stupid hording / saving-the-planet mentality?)
  • What would / could I do with them... Car-boot sale? eBay? Charity shop?

Of course I am assuming that I would rip anything that I still enjoyed to MP3 (I realise that we are entering the murky underworld of keeping the music having scrapped the CD :redface:)

What have other DCers done with their music collections? Do you still cherish your CDs or did you sling them years ago?

Help me decide what to do with mine.

Ampa

Deozaan

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2008, 05:55:47 PM »
I recently went through and tossed a ton of my CDs.

As to the legality of keeping the MP3s after getting rid of the physical discs, my rationalization is that who is to say you hadn't backed it up and lost the CD? Or you didn't get it from iTunes or other digital music service.

I still have some CDs, but most went in the dumpster because I'm too lazy to try to scrounge up a few bucks by listing them on eBay or going to a pawn/music shop. I'm not even sure if anyone would pay for them.

I suppose you could donate them to your local library...


f0dder

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2008, 06:15:42 PM »
I keep my CDs, since my NAD C512BEE sounds jut a bit better than my creative audigy (or was it audigy2?) soundcard (and the covers are pretty and they do represent quite substantial investment).

I do rip all my CDs though, but not to MP3 - flac :-*. Yeah it's bigger, but with the harddrive sizes of today, I really don't want to lose quality.
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app103

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2008, 06:22:34 PM »
I have taken stacks of stuff to CD Warehouse. (there is a location in my town)

They will give you cash on the spot for them. They will then re-shrinkwrap them and sell them at a lower price than brand new cd's, in their stores. How much you will get for them depends on the titles and how much they can resell it for.

Most locations will buy CD's, DVD's, games, VHS tapes, and vinyl records.

It's also a great place to buy hard to find stuff that is no longer being distributed by their labels...and get it cheap.

If you are one of those ethical shoppers that refuse to give any of your cash to the RIAA, buying from them will allow you to have what you want without the RIAA getting your money, since they already got their share when it was originally bought new, by the previous owner, and they don't get a penny from the resale of the used items when you buy it.

nosh

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2008, 07:05:56 PM »
I've picked very few albums from my collection, the ones I couldn't bear to lose and ripped them to flac. The rest are supposed to be ripped later, yet another item on a very long "to-do" list...  :) I'm certainly not chucking them away.

Pick your best and rip them to flac, irrespective of whether you're going to rip them to mp3 or not coz flac is a lossless format.

CWuestefeld

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2008, 08:13:20 PM »
I don't think you can (legally) give or sell them away. Then the music would have two simultaneous owners.

That said, it seems like the music industry wants it both ways. They want to consider that you're only buying a license, which is transferred away from you if you don't have the media in your possession. So far, I think they're stupid, but within their rights.

But there are a number of albums that I've used so much that they've worn out and had to be replaced. If the media only represents a token for the actual license, then when this happens, I should be able to replace my worn media for free, or media cost at most.

I think if they'd offer a program like this, they might make some headway into convincing people of how the license works. But their refusal to acknowledge this instead undermines their cost.

Renegade

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2008, 08:19:38 PM »
SOMETHING ELSE:

Use cutters to take chunks out of the edges, then use them as ninja stars to kill RIAA lawyers.  :Thmbsup:

Or you could rip them to FLAC, OGG, WMA, WAV and store them all on DVD to save space. Or get a Bluray burner and use that -- even better! But whatever - lossless audio is the way to go.
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mrainey

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2008, 09:05:49 PM »
I tossed my cassette tapes last year, the CD's still get played quite a bit.  Guess I'm behind the leading edge.   ;D
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Ampa

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2008, 07:56:29 AM »
Thanks for the replies so far - keep voting, I'll need a lot more opinions to sway me one way or the other...

Re: Lossy Vs Lossless (MP3 Vs FLAC)

I understand that MP3 is less than ideal where quality is concerned, but it is just so damned convenient! It is the one format that will just work, regardless of whether I am at home, in the car, on foot, at a friend's, on the PC, on my hifi etc.

I could certainly rip everything twice, once to the HD as FLAC and once to a data CD as MP3, but that is twice the work, twice the time...

In the end I suspect I (like most of the world) would end up sacrificing a small (?) amount of quality, for the sake of convenience.

Ampa

PS - I would at least do the ripping part properly (EAC, LAME, with high quality VBR), which must count for something?

CWuestefeld

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2008, 08:14:29 AM »
I understand that MP3 is less than ideal where quality is concerned, but it is just so damned convenient!
In my ears, I can easily hear a degradation in quality at 128kbps. But when listening in the car, with wind and road noise, does it really matter? Double that, at 256kbps, with headphones, I'm hearing nuances out of my Zune that I'd never noticed through my decent mid-range stereo system.

Probably a portion of the difference is that the errors introduced by MP3 are different from those introduced by your speakers, amp, etc. So maybe a 256kbps MP3 through the Zune reveals things that I can't hear from my stereo, but conversely I would hear things through the stereo that I can't hear through the Zune. I dunno.

I would at least do the ripping part properly (EAC, LAME, with high quality VBR), which must count for something?
Agreed here. You only rip something once, and then listen to the results of that countless times. May as well pay the price for that one rip. I use the same as Ampa -- EAC using the default hi-quality profile, which means hi-quality VBR (IIRC it's 192) using LAME.

Anyway, I can't see just getting rid of the old CDs. Throw them into a box in the basement as a backup, or proof against the RIAA for when they start searching houses for unlicensed music.  :o

Lashiec

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2008, 08:42:42 AM »
Rip them to FLAC or WavPack and your favourite lossy compressors at the same time. Yeah, there are programs to do that, and they integrate nicely with Exact Audio Copy or your favourite ripper (as long as you use a serious ripper, that is, not iTunes or WMP or things like that). Put the CDs in boxes and carry them to a safe place. That's what I would do in your situation.

Why keeping the CDs? If a disaster strikes, you still have your CDs and can rip them again (well, it's a nuisance for the time that takes, but it's better than buying EVERYTHING again. Or not having any music). With FLAC copies you can do everything, like backing up to an external HDD, and listen only to the lossy ones (if you used a properly configured compressor, and a good one as well). If later, you decide you want to change to AAC, for example, you can easily convert the files to FLAC to AAC in no time (if your computer is fast enough), which is way faster than ripping everything again. And with lossy, you save space in your main HDD and you can put them on your portable player.

Incidentally, now I'm the middle of ripping my CD collection to FLAC as well. For now, as I don't have an external HDD, they'll remain in the main HDDs, but later I'll convert everything to Vorbis, and call it a day :). It's going to take some time, though, I have several CDs not present in the AccurateRip database, that means I have to rip them in EAC's secure mode (sloooow).
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 05:41:01 PM by Lashiec »

f0dder

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2008, 09:30:36 AM »
You rip your CDs once, with EAC+AccurateRip, to FLAC. EAC is slow, but you only do this once, and if you have a huge CD library, you do bits at a time.

This is your loss-less storage, your sacred library of music with no quality loss, which is much easier to backup and handle safely than your CDs.

Sure, FLACs don't play everywhere, but with the speed of today's processors, it's pretty fast to export part of your media library to whatever-bitrate MP3 for your portable player.
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KenR

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2008, 09:43:49 AM »
Put them in storage (attic, garage, storage facility, etc.) for when you lose all your hard work. As John Steinbeck said "...the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry..."

Ken
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Clinical Psychologist
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cranioscopical

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2008, 10:17:09 AM »
I'd keep them.

Personally, I prefer a physical medium.
That's particularly true when I want to peruse notes, perhaps while listening.
I found it difficult enough abandoning the larger-format sleeve notes that came with vinyl LPs .

Alternatively, you could try a variant of this.

 :)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 10:21:43 AM by cranioscopical »

CWuestefeld

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2008, 10:25:54 AM »
I found it difficult enough abandoning the larger-format sleeve notes that came with vinyl LPs .
Good point, there. Back in the old world there was a lot of cool stuff done with the media and the packaging, not just the music. I can't recall seeing anything like it recently. Some memories:
  • Led Zeppelin In Through the Out Door had a b&w cel-like cover, wiping it with a damp cloth would "activate" the colors.
  • Led Zeppelin III had a wheel inside the front cover, turning it altered the image in the front.
  • The Beatles' White Album -- self descriptive
  • Styx Paradise Theater had laser-etched artwork on the LP itself

Carol Haynes

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2008, 11:21:07 AM »
I must admit I like physical media for most things (though I do use an MP3 player too). I still have hundreds, if not thousands, of vinyl discs and cassettes that I can't bring myself to part with - even when I have duplicate copies on CD !

One of the things I really hate about digital downloads is the lack of decent art work and notes. You'd think it would be possible to provide a graphic of the disc label and a PDF version of the CD booklet. I listen to a lot of classical music (amongst other things) and download sites are often more expensive than buying the CD at Amazon, and you have to put up with them getting tracks wrong that flow one to another without a break (like on live rock albums). OK there are players and burners that allow you to record without gaps but they are often global settings which are inappropriate for the whole album, and anyway often the track files are faulty at the seamless join so you can't get a proper seamless burn to CD or playback on a computer.

Question about FLAC - how big is a lossless FLAC version of a standard album? Which software supports Flac (inc. decent conversion to MP3) ?

If I converted all my stuff (including DVDs which I should ideally stick on hard disc) I would need to buy about 10 Tb of external drive space - not going to happen any time soon.  :D

Lashiec

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2008, 11:36:26 AM »
Well, is BIG ;D. Around 50% - 70% of the original size of a CD extracted to uncompressed WAV files. For example, Deep Purple's "Made in Japan" takes around 450 MB compared with 650 MB of the original CD (too lazy to go for the CD, slide it in the drive, and check it out :D)

Some software supporting FLAC and some more (scroll to 'Extras').

Carol Haynes

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2008, 12:05:25 PM »
Thanks - appreciated.

nosh

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2008, 12:08:34 PM »
Hmmm... I wonder how it would compare in size to a standard wav rip that's zipped or rar'd. Too lazy to see for myself. :)

Lashiec

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2008, 12:35:54 PM »
I'm bored ;D

So I converted the FLAC files to WAV, and "Made in Japan" takes exactly 774.5 MB. Compressed with ZIP, we take that down to 700.7 MB, and RAR brings it further down, to 506.5 MB.

It's not recommended to play the resulting RAR file ;D

nosh

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2008, 01:42:59 PM »
Interesting... I thought wavs would zip up a lot better than that. rar demonstrates its superiority once again...  :Thmbsup:

CWuestefeld

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2008, 01:51:57 PM »
From the links above, I read the 30,000 foot view of how FLAC works; very interesting. It doesn't seem like voodoo, but MP3 still does. Does anyone have a link that would help me understand how MP3 achieves it's lossy compression?

Lashiec

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2008, 04:53:14 PM »
It's all math, as always ;D

Of course :). Note that only the second article actually explains MP3 compression, but the others may be necessary to understand all the mumbo jumbo.

Renegade

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2008, 05:11:57 PM »
I'm bored ;D

So I converted the FLAC files to WAV, and "Made in Japan" takes exactly 774.5 MB. Compressed with ZIP, we take that down to 700.7 MB, and RAR brings it further down, to 506.5 MB.

It's not recommended to play the resulting RAR file ;D

Funny that you should mention that... ALSong actually plays ZIP, RAR and ALZ compressed music. :)

RAR is most certainly a much better compression algorithm than deflate or gzip, but you'd end up with about 300MB or so if you'd used FLAC. As always in IT, the answer is "it depends." ;)

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Lashiec

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Re: What should I do with my audio CDs?
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2008, 05:17:32 PM »
Yeah, actually I dropped the RAR archive in foobar2000, and waited like 5 seconds for the program to access each song (it took much more for the program to parse the file), that's why the last line is there :). Not to mention the time it takes to compress everything, FLAC is MUCH faster.