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Looking for Advice on Ripping my CD Collection (1 Viewer)

theJman

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But, man, these past couple of days I've got lost into a deep hole of audiophile websites/forums/etc and I read the most different opinion and advices. Turns out it seems like audio ripping peaked in 2009 since a lot of the chatter about it are dated around those years. I could find some forums with recent stuff from 2019 but people don't seem that concerned about it anymore. Are we the last generation that will care a bit about ripping CDs?
It's a generational thing it seems. I notice a lot of people today are all about streaming, as if they don't want to possess anything (that trend is similar with housing and vehicles as well, with individual ownership of both dropping in recent years). There also seems to be a lot of people who simply don't want to pay for songs, instead choosing to download them from pirate or warez sites. Maybe we're just the honest ones? :P
 

Guardyan

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It's a generational thing it seems. I notice a lot of people today are all about streaming, as if they don't want to possess anything (that trend is similar with housing and vehicles as well, with individual ownership of both dropping in recent years). There also seems to be a lot of people who simply don't want to pay for songs, instead choosing to download them from pirate or warez sites. Maybe we're just the honest ones? :P
I dunno. I'm not even that old. I'm a millennial. I have some DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs but not all the things I'd like to have. Part of that was caused due to DVDs releases in early 2000s that were kinda annoying with different screen formats (standard/widescreen) and some other BS that seem to have been fixed ever since with editions that more satisfying. Now you buy a 4K Blu and you get regular blu + DVD + digital, etc. That's awesome. But I always loved owing what I like watching often. And if there's one thing this pandemic has taught me, is that having your own copy is the best thing ever. When internet companies started slowing speeds during the pandemic to avoid interruption or bandwidth issues, I was home watching my stuff in HD and listening to my music stress free.
 

David_B_K

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Does anyone know if there are easy ways to batch convert flac files to mp3s?

I'm surprised Abobe Media Encoder doesn't do this. It doesn't recognize flac files at all.
I have used Switch Audio File Converter from NCH. I bought their entire Audio suite and it was included. I used it to convert folders of FLAC to mp3 or wav. I don't use it now because when I updated to Windows 10 the software no longer worked and I would have had to buy it again. I think I'll try the VLC suggestion.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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AccurateRip is highly dependent on knowing the correct drive offset.

Otherwise there is no easy way to do an apples-to-apples comparison of ripped files.

dbPoweramp can determine the offset of the drive using a common commercial CD.
 

Mike Frezon

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I didn't mean it in a "I love blowing money" way. But you seemed to not mind making an investment if the results were beyond satisfactory. Plus you said you were close to buying it, so I figured you had the means.
If money wasn't an issue, this thread wouldn't have been necessary. I could have just ordered a Bluesound Vault ($1300) and been done with it.

As it is, the B2 is way above (in cost) what I would expect to pay to accomplish my desired task.

While I understand that there is just a niche market for the service that is at the heart of the task, I am surprised there is not a less costly alternative designed to rip CD collections and allow for playback.

And while I have settled on the answer that the B2 is probably the best option I have, it is, in fact, the cost that is the only thing in keeping me from moving forward and starting the project.

Don't make assumptions--whether about someone's means--or about how you think forum etiquette is designed to suit only your needs (especially when you've been a member here all of one week).
 

Guardyan

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If money wasn't an issue, this thread wouldn't have been necessary. I could have just ordered a Bluesound Vault ($1300) and been done with it.

As it is, the B2 is way above (in cost) what I would expect to pay to accomplish my desired task.

While I understand that there is just a niche market for the service that is at the heart of the task, I am surprised there is not a less costly alternative designed to rip CD collections and allow for playback.

And while I have settled on the answer that the B2 is probably the best option I have, it is, in fact, the cost that is the only thing in keeping me from moving forward and starting the project.

Don't make assumptions--whether about someone's means--or about how you think forum etiquette is designed to suit only your needs (especially when you've been a member here all of one week).
I agree about the 'don't make assumptions' thing. Super confused about the "forum etiquette" bit tho. But I guess that's off topic.
 

ArnoldLayne

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Well I've missed this entire thread, so let me just give the best advice to the OP.
dBpoweramp CD Ripper to FLAC
Plex
Go to the plex website and follow the guide for media organization.
Easy peasy and awesome.
 

Scott Merryfield

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As it is, the B2 is way above (in cost) what I would expect to pay to accomplish my desired task.
Mike, I watched part of the Youtube video for the B2 that you posted, and that device is really a combination music server, CD player and music ripper / compressor. So, while it will accomplish your desired task, the device more than you may need -- hence, it's higher cost. It actually looks like a pretty cool device, although I doubt I would pay the asking price for it (but I already have all my music collection ripped and encoded).

For me, the most time consuming part of the process is getting all the meta data exactly how I want it after the ripping / encoding is completed -- I can do other things while the CD is actually being ripped & encoded. I will usually edit the artist to be "lastname, firstname" so that everything is properly alphabetized, make sure there are no typos in the data (happens occasionally in song titles), add the production year, add album cover art, and use MP3 Gain to normalize the volume. I am not sure how much time something like the B2 would save over just using a PC to do it at no cost (probably very little).
 

DaveF

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I am giving this some serious thought:

If you haven't, you should inquire:
* Are they using a drive meant for constant use, long life, like a server drive?
* What are your options to backup its data?

You don't want to spend days ripping all your discs, only to have the drive die a year later and have to do it all over again with a new gadget.
 

DaveF

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The device you found might be the right combo of easy and price for your tastes. But if you're still hunting about for options...

You can rip all your media on your PC, then store it on a standard NAS, and use a variety of software options running on the NAS to play the music to your home stereo system.

You can also then use the NAS for home data storage for whatever: photos, personal files, personal business, etc.

 

JediFonger

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hey mike, have you tried to test rip using eac, itunes, db etc? most are free and accessible. just curious
 

jcroy

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If you haven't, you should inquire:
* Are they using a drive meant for constant use, long life, like a server drive?
* What are your options to backup its data?

You don't want to spend days ripping all your discs, only to have the drive die a year later and have to do it all over again with a new gadget.

Very good point here ^ !!!

In terms of "industrial caliber" hard drives, I would look for something which is commonly used in cable service DVR type machines. Basically something which can withstand the punishment of being written to for hours and hours every day, from folks who record tons of daily tv shows to their DVR.
 

Mike Frezon

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Decisions have been made. And, triggers have been pulled!

After so much time spent researching the various options currently on the market, I had really landed hard on the Brennan B2 as the product that was the best fit for my needs to rip a rather large CD collection. Besides ease-in-ripping, it also doubles as the source for me to playback my collection in my HT when the process is done. And what I've seen of the software looks good to me.

The problem was price. I wasn't sure the B2 with the 480GB SDD was going to be big enough for my collection. And I felt the B2 with the 2TB HDD was overkill and cost way more than I wanted to spend. I also really wished the 2TB drive was an SDD.

I learned that it isrelatively easy to swap out the drives in the units (and the Brennan company even encourages such activity!), From their own web site:

We are hobbyist friendly so if you want to open up your B2 and replace the hard disk--that's OK. You might need to use Settings->Maintenance->Format HDD after installing.

So...in a rare stroke of genius, I was able to find a much lower priced B2 with a 240GB SDD. I also have purchased a 1TB SDD which I will be swapping into the B2. The 1TB drive will still give me plenty of head room in terms of storage of my music (and, if not for some reason, I will just make hard decisions on which titles to excise from my collection. But I doubt that will be the case.)

Since I just swapped out the cooling fan in my HP Pavilion laptop I feel highly-qualified to take on the task of swapping out the drives in the B2. Plus, Brennan provides plenty of documentation to assist in the task!

The combination of the B2 and the 1TB drive allowed me to save more than $100 from the cost of the 2TB HDD B2. (I am left to wonder why Brennan isn't using SDD 2TB drives in the B2s they sell...and why they stopped producing their own 1TB B2s. But as long as my project works, I don't mind being left with those questions. :D )

My plan will be to rip my CDs onto the B2 in FLAC format for playback on my HT. I will (as I go) make a backup onto a separate external back up drive. And I will then offload whichever music I want to have in my car onto my laptop and convert those files into mp3 and load 'em onto a flash drive.

Fingers crossed that this plan works out.

I had sadly gotten away from listening to music (like I used to) over the last 10 to 20 years. It just became easier to me to flip on the radio and listen to sports or news or talk.

Just during the time I have been doing this research, I have already found myself listening to more music and enjoying things in my collection that haven't seen the light of day in years. I am champing at the bit to get started!

=====================

MAJOR THANKS to everyone who has participated in this thread to help me organize my thoughts and push me toward a solution (even if its not the one you may think is best for me). But all contributions were much appreciated and, I believe, helpful in terms of me having a better understanding of what I was looking at in terms of this project.

Once the products arrive and the work gets started I will be sure to be reporting in with progress reports and inevitable questions that arise. :thumbs-up-smiley:

B2RoundTable.JPG
 

Peter Apruzzese

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If I hadn't done the whole ripping thing on my PC a few years ago I would certainly have considered a unit like the Brennan. Glad you came up with a solution that works for you.
 

Malcolm R

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I know I loved the heck out of my 6-disc Pioneer changer (with the weird cartridges) but don't know if I ever really used the 100 disc version.
I have one of those (holds 18 discs in three 6-pack cartridges). I thought it got fried by a power surge a few years back, but I guess it just needed a rest as I plugged it back in a couple days later and it seemed to power up again. Of course, I don't think I've actually used it since. :huh:
 

BobO'Link

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I'd not heard of the Brennan B2 before reading about it in this thread. Since you made it your device of choice I just looked it up. It looks to be a nice solution. A custom box and interface built on a Raspberry Pi platform. It's also reasonably priced, IMHO. Yeah, you'd really expect it to use SSD instead of spinning platter drives but since they encourage "tinkering" (aka replacing drives yourself) it's not bad.

For me the main downside is the slot loading disc player. I just don't like those but it's use is temporary so there's that. And it looks like "banana plugs" for the speaker connections. That's an interesting choice.

Anyway, I think your choice of base platform and adding the larger drive was a good one.

As I've had a handful of discs that were "troublesome" I'm curious about how it handles that aspect. Basically - how does it handle those odd discs - either scratched or small irregularities in the surface or otherwise clean looking but that don't like to be ripped easily. A recent rip took 36 hours due to my drive not liking the last 3 tracks of the disc - that's a record for me. I let it go just to see if it'd complete as every time I checked there was a *bit* more progress. Most rips I've done take 5-10 minutes.

Keep us posted on your progress and opinion as you work through your collection.
 

Mike Frezon

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If I hadn't done the whole ripping thing on my PC a few years ago I would certainly have considered a unit like the Brennan.

If I was still using one of my self-built desktop PCs of many years ago, I might've considered doing my ripping that way. But my last couple of PCs have been laptops. And even if I stripped bare my last laptop and dedicated it solely toward this project (which I strongly considered), I just didn't think a lightweight laptop optical drive would be the right tool (I find them very awkward and delicate units). Also I would still be left with the issue of playback. I know I wouldn't want to use a laptop to source the playback.

And those are actually a couple of the major factors which pushed me to the Brennan B2.
 

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