Yes to flac and I had great success using the cd-rom drive in my laptop and dbPoweramp ripping software. Super easy to use and inexpensive! Good luck!
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I'm also getting ready to rip about 2000-3000 CDs. I've built an inexpensive music streamer/renderer using a Raspberry Pi 3 and HiFiBerry DAC+ Pro and it works pretty well with an external CD containing about 1500 tracks in AIFF format that I ripped via iTunes.
How many CD's did you rip on your laptop cd-rom drive? Did you rip to an external USB driver, internal drive or NAS? What are you doing for playback?
I ripped about 800 cds to my internal drive in batches and then transferred those to an external HD via USB. I've since transferred all of that drive to a NAS and play back through an Auralic Aries Mini outputting to my AN dac. I've accumulated many more files since then about 15, 000 tracks.
I would look into the Bluesound Vault 2. It's about $1k but it's an all in one, 2TB of space, a CD player to rip and store CDs (no pc required) and a streamer. It plays and streams both ripped and Tidal music. I heard this unit recently and it sounded great. Not as good as an Aurender but better than the Aurlalic Aries. For its price and functionality I thinks a good value.
Mac or Windows? I ask because you need software to play them back and there are various platform specific solutions. iTunes won't play FLAC for instance. However, if you get started and change your mind there are programs to convert between formats.
I used iTunes on a Mac to rip, AIFF. There are various good guides on how to optimize this. There are certain settings in iTunes you need to pay attention to.
You can play back with iTunes too but a better solution is Pure Music for anything other than casual listening.
There are many, many, many opinions on what is best for hardware and software so be prepared. IMHO a bit perfect copy from whatever source is a bit perfect copy but many claim they can hear differences. Good luck trying sort the fact from fiction.
Windows-- use Exact Audio Copy, regarded as the best and can be further optimized with some settings adjustments, which a Google search can help you find. And free.
Ripping at the slowest speed possible and with an external, full size drive (not slim) can give the best results. Go with.flac.
Tag n Rename is a good app for tagging, been using it for years.
I use DB power amp that us ehat Bryston uses and turned be on to it several
Years ago. It also converts many formats and has many adjustments
Including uncompressed files which use 20% less space and pretty close
In sonics. For under $40 a excellent deal . Pretty much everyone has what they are most comfortable with. Check out s few online then make your own decision.
x2 for dbpoweramp ripping to WAV (if you have a large enough drive for all your files, or FLAC (sounds virtually identical to WAV).
It also produces bit perfect (error free files), and verifies them automatically - simliar to Exact Audio Copy (EAC). It’s very easy to use and is reliable.
Unless, you’re using iTunes and Mac - then you’ll want to use Apple format files (AIFF, ALAC, etc).
I read a review that said Bluesound Vault 2 took 15 minutes to rip an average CD using it's built-in CD drive. Is that right? If so, it would probably take me the better part of a year to rip my CD collection. Can you at least listen to the CD while it is ripping? In iTunes you can start listening to the ripped CD once the first track has been ripped.
I bought a used HP I5 laptop for $300 and use JRiver to rip to FLAC. Couldn't be happier. I can rip a CD while listening to a previously ripped CD with no sound degradation. I play the ripped CDs out of memory. There are good tutorials online for optimizing JRiver. FLAC is a lossless format. WAV is huge files with (IMHO) no sonic advantage over FLAC. Then use an external USB drive ($60) to backup both the system and myMusic.