Need Help Ripping My CD Collection


I want to get rid of my CD collection but I would still like digital copies of certain albums for when I can't stream Tidal. I was going to purchase an external SS drive to store them on. Can someone recommend a program intended for this application. Is FLAC still the recommended format for storing standard CD quality audio? I'm looking for the easiest solution that will give me CD quality files.Thanks for any help.
mkaes
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!
Hey jond,

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? 

reubent,
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.

http://www.musicservertips.com/how-to-articles/ripping-cds-to-itunes/

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.


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Audacity.  Period..  VERY flexible.  Converts formats.  Great software without a big learning curve.  And it's free.  And it can edit tunes.  And do playback.  It will not do the dishes or make your bed.
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).
dbpoweramp also has a file converter program you can convert files between various formats as your needs change. Super fast easy and convenient.
@nycjleeThe Bluesound Vault 2 does sound good but it has digital outs so it can be used with a better DAC.  It can also be used as part of a whole home system  

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 second dbPoweramp.  Great program.
I use free XLD (Mac), ripping to ALAC.
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. 

Thanks for the input. I used Bluesound equipment throughout my house but don't want to spend that much on the Vault at this time. I'll check out Audacity, dbpoweramp and JRiver.

Should I spend the additional money on a SS drive or will a quality traditional drive work just as good?
It depends.  Some people claim that it makes difference for S/Pdif while it should make none for networking (Wi-Fi, Ethernet etc.).  
I use traditional external HD and it is very quiet.
Once ripped, please donate your CD's to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift store. There are those of us who really love great music for under a buck. 
NOBODY would actually be able to "hear" (pick out in a listening test) the difference between hi-res files coming from a std. HD vs. a SS HD
Exact Audio Copy.  I was able to rip about a 1000 cds rapidly by adding 2 additional rom drives to my computer.  EAC allows you to have 3 instances running so one could rip 3 discs at a time.  
I used dbPoweramp and I am quite pleased with it. I only have about 400 cd's so I didn't spend half my life ripping them. I would take time and do them in batches.
didn't count on this much input did ya? lol

if Mac = rip with itunes with Error correction enabled in preffs. Use AIFF or ALAC. It will contain the metadata… track names, album art, etc.

if PC = rip with DB power amp. Simpler than EAC, does better job acquiring metadata. Lots more feature set than EAC.
Might as well figure on using AIFF or ALAC (apple lossless) here too. Why? Apple is a real !@#$!@#%^!%@#$ with their proprietary file type support. So if you ever decide at some later date to go all in on Apple, you’ll be just fine. If you reamin with PC and are all in there, you’ll still be just fine as AIFF and ALAC are always gonna be supported.

The playback software you use will tend to favor one or more file types. Try whichever playback app FUBAR 2000, J RIVER MC, AMARRA, ITUNES, ETC., and see for yourself.

Although, with a couple thousand discs to rip, I’d try to make a really thoughtful decision now on what file format I’ll use. Rip into FLAC and check it out. WAV has issues retaining metadata so be wary.

Lastly, when ripping, rip only a bundle at a time. Don’t rush. Or…. Go buy yourself a few CD ROM Drives, cause you’ll burn ‘em up by ceaseless loading and ripping. They are mechanical remember that. Moving parts. Lasers! Heat! Heat kills. Don’t get in a hurry. Do 50 or so per day.

As for storage… before you get to getting, get a 2TB external drive. NAS or USB doesn’t really matter though USB will be simpler to incorporate initially. Once plugged in, you can tell DB power amp or itunes to send the ripped files right to the ext drive so it will be a more seamless and easier process..

If you get a few USB drives and load the same software on a few personal confusers in the household, with the same settings, and have each unit doing all of that artitsts CDs, it will sure take less time to accomplish.

This is important. If two are ripping the same artist to different folders on different drives, compiling their results together later on can provide unwarranted and unwated suprises. No auto copy and paste action will work well then. Because you’ll have two of the exat same artists folders, but different content inside the parent folder which could pose issues collating everything later..

Best tact… do each artist all at once. Regardless.

Another item to look out for is when ripping check to ensure compilations are indeed compilations, and not merely greatest hits of the exat same artist , but a various artist disc.

In fact, I don’t care to see search results for an artist come up showing one of his or her or their songs on one album. Its really hard to get around it though.

Thereafter, assimilating the aggregate data will be an easier task.
Then naturally, back up those files you just spent a month or two ripping so you won’t have to do it again..

Very good luck.

dbpoweramp. JRiver, Flac,
I do everything with foobar, including using it as nothing but a DSP stack for my back-end 'crossover PC', and as a source (plus some DSP) on the front-end machine (I use 2 machines since the soundcard has to be close to the speaker array which is a distance from my listening area). Foobar2000 has excellent rip options, fine results. Use FLAC if you want lossless.

Back things up. I use a 1TB USB3 hard drive for music and occasionally back up on my C drive. I've already lost one USB flash drive (it was backed up though). BTW I've seen no speed issues with any of the above. Both machines are inexpensive desktops, somewhat optimized but with full functionality. Else I wouldn't be able to safely download new apps/plugins to try.

ok. stop.

find one of these, which will rip 50 Cd’s at a time.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00065DGBO

try ebay and be patient. it’s a commercial quality device built for Kodak Photo stores to copy picture discs for customers. but works great for audio CD’s and is compatable with db Poweramp -ripping software.

I have one. takes about 6 hours to rip 50 CD’s, then unload and load another batch.

2 years ago I ripped about 2500 CD’s over 4 weeks of loading a batch at night, then another batch before work.....5 or 6 days a week.

it will prevent insanity. when I get in the mood again I have another 1500 Cd’s left to rip.

You can rip just one CD you want to listen to at given moment.  You can start playback just after ripping first song.  That way you'll eventually rip all of them and it won't be a huge chore.