Now That You've Ripped Your Entire Collection...


So, you've ripped your entire collection of CDs to the hard drive, and you're blissfully streaming music for hours without having to fetch the silver discs. Everything was transferred with 'bit perfect' perfection.

What did you do with your collection of physical media?

If you've kept the CD collection, why?

If you got rid of the collection, why?, and what did you do with it?

Trying to make a decision here.
My CDs are now in boxes in the garage. My CD player used to be on 24-7. A few weeks after I put the CDs in the garage, I noticed the CD player was on. I turned it off.
I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you considering tossing your CD collection to garbage? You might consider giving them to your local library.
As already suggested, you can just trash it, or give it to the local "Good Will Store". But if there is any monetary interest, it would be helpful posting your entire collection in detail somewhere, so the interested parties can see it and eventually purchase it.

In any event, you are doomed. If you have already decided to get rid of it, consider the fact that, if you like more your computer audio copy of it, please take in account the inferiority of your previous CD playback.

Bottom line, keep your CD collection because you never know what the future will offer you.

Best wishes,
Alex Peychev
I'm in the process of ripping my CD collection. I don't think I will ever part with the physical discs though, for a number of reasons:

i) If I ever need to rip them again for whatever reason, they are there.

ii) I still need the physical disc if I want to play it in the car, portable player, etc.

iii) If you rip a CD to your computer then sell it, it raises the question of whether you still legally own it.

Plus I just feel more comfortable if I have them. They don't take up that much space and they wouldn't fetch much if I sold them.
Mabonn - funny.

Kijanki - Of course I wouldn't just toss them in the garbage!

I wouldn't mind keeping them -- you never know when you might need them again, such as if better tech for ripping comes along -- but I don't know where I'd put all the boxes. I'd sell them, but it would have to be in lots, 'cause there's no way I'm going to sell them one-by-one. Or, donate them.

I suppose another way of asking the question is: Once you ripped your entire collection to disk, did you ever find a reason to have the CDs around?
I've kept mine, partly because of the odd copyright law in the UK. Here it is legal to rip CDs you have bought, but you have to then keep them. If you get rid of them, the rip breaches copyight law. I don't think that applies in the US.
Mine are all boxed up in the basement. I am a bit bereft without the daily chore of ripping another 20 or 30 cds, it gave my dull boring existense some meaning, only kidding
A lightning strike, fire or robbery could take out all your hard drives.

If you're going to sell them, I'd do it now. I don't think they are going to appreciate in value.
Keep the wheat and sell the chaf.

If selling, eBay one-by-one? Lot sales? Here on Audiogon?
I put mine in plastic containers and put them in the garage. If I ever lost my drives for some reason I would want to be able to burn them again. And the future is the future, you never know if you might need to burn them again a better way or onto another format of some kind.
You folks are burying CDs, like others, in the past, buried the LP. Mark Twain comes to mind.

Not quite sure what you mean by that, Rok2id.

I didn't think burying them was an option, but now that I consider cash and precious metals, I could see how that might work out. Should keep them nice and safe. Now, what's the best way to waterproof them?

Rok2id is referring to the famous but somewhat inaccurate attribution to Mark Twain of the statement that "reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated." In other words the CD medium, like the LP, is not yet dead.

-- Al
I still buy and trade used cd's and will undoubtedly do so for several years to come. Take them to your local record/cd store and they'll give you a buck or so for the good ones....or keep them around for the cd revival of 2033, right after the Great Cloud Collapse of 2029. LOL
Have u seen some of the prices their getting on eBay ?
Mine are still on the shelves. Think I'll keep them for a while as there's no good alternative.
The Compact Disc will make a resurgence in the year 2031. Tens of thousands of CD's will be re-issued at which time you will be able to sell your "original" 1st editions as "Hot Stampers" in the CD format and make a killing. This will allow the funds necessary to buy you that $100,000.00 system you always dreamed of way back in 2013.

Congratulations on your awesome system!
I will go ahead and make the offer to keep any and all of yours, or anyones cd's in a safe place. I will even mail them back to you if the time ever arrises that you need them back. Just saying :)
US copyright law also stipulates continued ownership of the physical originating copy.
+1 Davt. Not only legally, but ethically.
+1 Davt
I don't have any music.
Traded most of mine to Amazon. They give you varying value based on marketability of the performer, release year, and title. They also include for the shipping back to them. So all you need to do is pack them, and drop at the post office.

You may not get top dollar, but its a lot less hassle than selling individually, and you get credit to buy more music.
One day soon enough people will look back on today's computer audio systems with fond memories and some of the hardware will be in landfills along with the older yet disc players mouldering away into antiquity. Hopefully our kids and their kids will do a better job of recycling than we have though.
Backup, backup and totally more backup, to many different hard drives. Be sure to have rented a safe deposit box to store one of the backup copies. I am sure your house will burn down one day and all, including the CD's themselves will be lost. No, the cloud is not as safe.
I know it is a pretty low priority to most people, but, it is illegal to rip CDs and then sell or give away the same CDs --that violates "fair use." If you sell or give away the collection a second (and later, third, fourth, etc.) purchaser will be acquiring the music without the original license holder getting any royalties.

I am in the process of ripping my collection (currently up to 2100 CDs ripped. I will be keeping the original CDs. Given how much work is involved (A LOT--to correct/complete metadata for classical cds), I expect to never have to re-rip the CDs (the NAS is backed up). Aside from security issue, I am not convinced that current ripping is "bit perfect" so that once ripped, one has all that can ever be extracted from the CD (as the original source). Not that I trust "Absolute Sound" (certainly not absolutely), but they did publish a "study" that showed differences in the way the files were ripped and stored (FLAC vs. WAV) and between the software used to do the ripping. I have heard a FLAC vs. WAV demonstration where differences could easily be heard (in favor of WAV), and quite a few users have reported that CD playback through a particular DAC sounded better than playing back a ripped file of that CD through the same DAC. This suggests another reason to hold on to CDs for at least a little while longer until one can be absolutely assured of perfect retrieval of what is on the CD.
Larryi --

You and another poster bring up a good point with respect to copyright infringements. I had not considered that at first.

Between that, and wanting to have the CDs around in case better ripping technology comes about, I'm deciding to hang onto the CDs.

Thanks all,
Read the Computer Audiophile site on backing up your data - you need at least 2 backup copies and a CD is sure handy as one of those.

I read about audiophiles dispensing with their CDs and I am puzzled by the excessive amount of confidence they have in their physical harddrives and the ability to decode them.

Who's going to know if you ripped the CD's?
"Jult52: I read about audiophiles dispensing with their CDs and I am puzzled by the excessive amount of confidence they have in their physical harddrives and the ability to decode them."

Last year I had 2 laptops and a backup drive die within a few weeks of each other. People need to learn the hard way. I did.
My brother and two other hobbyists has a full copy of all drives, all my CDs are in storage bins. I don't sell my music, just listen.
I'm at roughly the halfway point in my ripping program. I am keeping everything. First, I still use CDs in the car. Second, I haven't yet been able to fully trust hard drives, even with backups. Even when I eventually upgrade to a solid state drive, and even if I start using SDcards or USB thumb drives in the car, I will keep my CDs as the ultimate backup. Of course, it's not much reassurance: It's taken me 18 months to rip half of my CDs, so it's a 3-year project (accurately tagging my CDs, especially the home-made ones and needle-drops, is very time consuming). I don't think I'd ever want to do this a second time. I am seriously thinking about a second backup hard drive.
Bondmanp, I have second hard drive backup just in case of controller failure (or my mistake) during backup process, that can damage both drives - source and backup. I also keep second drive at my work (fire, theft). For these reasons I don't believe in RAID drive mirroring. In addition I keep original CDs.

Pardon my ignorance, but, how do you actually work the second drive at the office approach? I have a NAS at home with mirror drives, but, of course that is hardly protection against something really bad (like someone stealing the whole unit). I would really hate having to re-rip my collection (I am currently about half way through 4,000 cds, and this is turning out to be a LOT of work).

Do you somehow stream the data to your office hard drives or do you take the hard drives out of your home unit to take to the office, or. . . . As you can see, I am someone who needs an idiot's guide to how this is done.
I bring drive home every time I feel it needs to be updated. I alternate drives remembering which drive was updated last. I decide to update when I add more than 10 CDs. In worst case when I loose original drive and one backup I can be 20 CDs behind but that's not bad.
Larry, just buy an external hard drive having an interface that can connect to one of your home computers, such as USB, Firewire, or eSATA. Connect it to one of those computers, that can access the NAS, and use the computer to copy the files from the NAS to it. Then simply store the drive at another location, such as your office, and bring it home from time to time to copy newly ripped files onto it.

One caution in selecting the drive is that older operating systems, such as Windows XP, will have problems working with drives that are larger than 2 TB (or more precisely, larger than 2.19 TB). Before you finish ripping your 4000 CDs you'll probably find yourself exceeding that size. If you are using XP, or a Mac OS that pre-dates Tiger (which was released in 2005), you would want to get multiple external drives that are each 2 TB or less, rather than anything larger. is a great place from which to buy these and other kinds of computer accessories and parts. Here is a link to their listings of 300+ external hard drives, which you can narrow down to suit your requirements using the guided search feature at the left of the screen. Be sure to note the "More Options" link in that feature.

Best regards,
-- Al
Thanks for the advice. I have an external hard drive with 4 TB and another 4 TB for the mirrored backup (4 slots holding 2 TB hard drives). I actually quite a bit of storage because I am ripping everything to WAV files.

It looks like I will need another such unit to keep in the office.
I had initially picked up a 2TB Raid-1 (redundant) drive for the music library, but I moved it out for two reasons: First, the fan was too noisy for a music system, and as Kijanki mentions above, the redundancy won't help if you have a fire, theft, or other calamity. Raid-1 only helps if your 'primary' drive in the cabinet goes down; that's when the mirror will kick in.

So, I bought two identical 2TB drives that I knew were very quiet. I'm ripping my collection to the 'primary' drive, and I occasionally use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone that 'primary' drive to the 'secondary'. I do this whenever I've ripped enough CDs that I wouldn't want to lose the time and effort.

The second drive, once cloned, goes down the street to a friend's house. Then, of course, there's the hardcopy backup in the physical CDs. I just don't know where I'm gonna put the darned things... square footage is hard to come by around here.
Should have mentioned in case anyone's interested:

The quiet drive mentioned above is an OWC Mercury Elite-Al Pro, available from It's about the quietest drive I've ever heard.

Carbon Copy Cloner is a great program that allows you to clone exact copies of one drive to another. It's great for the music libraries, or routine system maintenance. It runs on a Mac... don't know if there's a PC version, or not.
Rhanson739, redundancy won't help in case of controller failure that can make both disks unusable not to mention Windows itself (known to go crazy) even without viruses. That's in addition to overvoltage, lightning, fire theft etc. Another advantage of separate disk is the fact that it is unpowered. MTBF is rated for working HD and not for one in storage.
Kinanki --

A controller failure? Where's that point, in the PC/Mac itself, or in the drive(s)? And are you referring to a single RAID-1 drive, or my solution of two separate and distinct drives?

If the 'controller' is in the drives, then two physical drives plus the CD collection should be adequate backup, I would think, given that those represent three separate copies. If the 'controller' is in the system... I have any number of Macs in the house that I could swap in and out, simply connecting the live drive to the machine. (My current box is a Mac Mini with 16GB of memory, SSD drive, and software stripped to the essentials. I can move a Macbook Pro back in without flinching.)

Hope I'm not missing something. In my view, redundancy and off-site backups are goodness. Is there something better, or more secure that I've neglected to consider?
Regarding my earlier point about drives that are larger than 2.19 TB, I should emphasize that the caution about using them with older operating systems only applies to drives that are directly connected to the computer, such as via USB, Firewire, or eSATA. I'm pretty certain that caution does not apply to networked (NAS) storage, assuming that the design of the NAS enclosure supports larger drives.

Regarding cloning programs for Windows, IMO it is generally simpler and better to just copy the files, rather than creating a drive clone. Under some circumstances allowing Windows to "see" both a drive and an identical clone of that drive can result in problems, caused by inconsistencies in the drive letters that Windows assigns.

-- Al
Thanks, Al. Seems that there are some significant differences between Windows and Mac... but we knew that. ;)
Rhanson739, I was talking about interface chip on computer motherboard. People often believe that Raid mirroring gives them 100% protection while in reality they are subject to computer hardware failure, viruses, overvoltage, operating system software failure and even static electricity. The safer solution is unpowered drive in a storage. One I have at home resides in fireproof safe. Am I crazy?
Crazy? No. Careful? Yes.

That's a good thing to keep in mind about RAID-... As long as all your data is in one physical location -- even on different disks -- you're still at risk.
Tomyc6 is right on. You need redundancy for your electronic files. Keep your redbook cd's in a different location in case you lose all your hardware
I have a raid system with four 2 Tbs each. One is not kept in my home. Two are in the raid and the final one is in a special case in another room. Much of what I have is from HD downloads and much is from SACDs in DSD format that is irreplaceable.

I have all of my discs stored in boxes or in slip folders.
Tbg- My server (Music Vault) includes 2 tb drives in raid with one having the purpose of being a source for the player and the other 2tb as back-up. I would like to do what you did and back up my servrer with another hd that I can keep in another location. Any recommendations on a good back-up drive to use?

I have kept my CD's which account for most of my collection, and do not expect to dispose or sell them. That said, re-ripping would take a long time...
Coressence, my music server's raid is the TuneBank from Empirical Audio. Actually, it is from their Legacy division which is for pro audio. The drives can be hot removed and replaced. I really don't have any good ideas about backing up yours. Where you computer a Mac, you might inquire about using Time Machine. I know nothing about Windows machines, however.

I would talk with the Music Vault people about this.
Coressence, it appears that unlike the RAID array Tbg uses your Music Vault server does not utilize drives that are mounted in readily removable trays. So I don't think that his approach is applicable to your situation.

If that is correct, I would simply select a 2TB USB external hard drive from among those listed by at the link I provided earlier, taking into account the user comments that are provided there. Although keep in mind that those comments inevitably reflect a disproportionately high percentage of negative experiences, and comments that were not posted fairly recently may not be representative of currently manufactured product.

Also, I note that some and possibly all of the Music Vault models can accommodate direct connection of a USB external drive, which may prove to be more convenient than the usual approach of copying via a computer.

-- Al