Please recommend a hard drive

Hello, I'm beginning to start to convert all of my CDs to Apple Lossless via iTunes. My OS is Win XP. Does it matter, in terms of sound quality, that the hard drive will be connected to the PC via a USB cable? If not, can someone please recommend an external hard drive. Also, feel free to recommend any parameters and specifications that you feel necessary...

Thank you!
No - bits is bits and there is no impact on the sound whether you use USB2, Firewire 400 or 800 or preferably SATA.

That said, given drive prices I would not bother with anything smaller then 200Gb and personally buy 300 and 400Gb drives. It turns out that the extra cost of casing and cabling a drive can be more then a bigger drive. In addition, fewer drives are easier to manage on many fronts.

I would specify 7,200rpm with a 8Mb cache though 2Mb will work fine. Make sure your case has a fan and a built in power supply. Use high quality cables - eg Belkin, Granite Digital, not for sonic reasons but for reliability. The better drives will advertise ballbearings and other noise dampening technologies.

You will find excellent drives by Seagate, Western Digital, Maxtor, Samsung, Hitachi. I personally favor the premium drives that are targeted at the "near line storage" or "enterprise" market as opposed to the consumer market. always has an excellent selection with some of the best pricing on the web.

Finally buy two drives - one for backup.
No problems with external drives. I like Samsungs because they are extremely quiet. The 250GB is a bargain.
Thank you very much! I will make the purchase this week. Here's what I was able to come up with at Newegg:

Afterwards, I will being the process of converting CD's. Most likely, more questions will come up in the process...