Storage Device Recommendations

I am looking for recommendations on an external hard drive for my CD collection.  I have over 3,000 CDs and want to rip and store them in one place. I have been ripping CDs to external Western Digital HDs connected by USB to my windows PC where I am using iTunes as the software for organizing and playing music. My problem is that two WD HDs have failed in the last 18 months. Both of them glitched and failed when trying to back them up. I suspect that the volume of CDs ripped to those drives is taxing them somehow. The last one that failed was 2 TBs in size (and I believe the first one was 2 TBs as well).  Also, over the last 5+ years I have been purchasing some music in digital download form (from iTunes or other sources such as Bandcamp).

For all its faults I plan to continue using iTunes as the software to play music.  My home AV system is wired to use Apple and Sonos boxes. While it appears that many of the streamers offer better audiophile quality, I also like ripping CDs to a storage device attached to my computer (as opposed to a typical streamer device that is attached to my audio system). Most streamers also require a direct ethernet connection which is very difficult (or costly) for me given my set-up.

Any suggestions on a better storage device or an audiophile quality streamer that connects to a PC?

Ag insider logo xs@2xjdooley
RAID with hot swap worked well for me I used Raid 01, 10, 5, and tried a few others. RAID 5 offers hot swap.. I prefer a hardware based RAID product. Keep the drives smaller.  SCSI drives offer the higher transfer rates. SATA, and a few others "RAID" but normally require software to prepare the drive for the array. Memory based HDs, I'm not sure on that one.. FAST yes, reliable? It would be a great front end on a drive system.. with physical plattered HD for backup..

Playback can be quite good with a good RAID system too, high transfer rates always help.

A glitchy piece of software, is just wonderful to recover from.. like sticking a needle under your fingernail.. I've had to do it a few times from software based RAID systems.. Think on that part..ay..

Research an NAS Server.  I have a QNAP..  Synology is another popular brand. I use it to stream Music and Movies to multiple devices throughout the house.
Oldhymec, that's exactly what I am considering!  Any brand preference? 

I see WD sells these as well as TerraMaster,  Yottamaster and a few others.  
Vegasears, thanks for rec.  I have looked at a NAS but prefer for now a DAS. But I will check those brands (QNAP, Synology) to see if they have a DAS product.
Drobo Raid. I use these to store images. have 3 of them with a total of 84TB of storage lol -backups of backup
Drobo has kept updating the software so it continues to work with newer os, Promise Technology did not and I had to pitch to raiids that were only about 5 years old. I use WD Gold drives
I have the 5D series DAS easier to use than network attached drives

 I use a  Synology NAS in RAID configuration for music and movies. I also have all my music files backed up on a portable SSD. And I have them on a second drive in my laptop. Always have at least 1 backup. I lost everything once and had to re-rip all my music. A RAID is usually rebuild-able, but still it is best not to put all your eggs in one basket.
Heat is what kilt ’em. I put a nice 6T Seagate in my stupid Dell and it tried to assassinate it. No case fan, cheapskates. Luckily I got all the data off via a USB dock when the Dell BIOS couldn’t see it anymore. Try that.

Do what good ol’ hvymec said, Raid (1 is fine for me) and put them in a nice fanned Akitio case.
Man they are quiet. reliable for many years, since XP.
I also endorse putting all your hard work on the cloud for backup. I do.
pCloud is cheap, especially lifetime.

I keep most all my music on SSD’s. Can’t report on thier reliability but I have multiple backups.
OP I think you don’t want a failure, correct? AND if you do, just a drive swap and let it repopulate. The system will give an error or unhealthy FAT or what ever file tracking system you use. NTFS, FAT, Novell, ec. The fact is you keep on working BUT at a reduced capacity until a repair is done. I used the older Micropolis and Maxtor drives. Seagate had some very good drives also. You have to look at the cert for the network your using. These are fast drives, 10,000 rpm. They had auto park heads and actual drive shut down upon none use. That stuff was a dip switch or two, drive ID, and GREAT cables. PTFE and silver were the best back then..

Over 50.00 usd per foot 30 years ago..

I looked for a Novell standard.. WHY? It took days to do a low level on some drives, and then the onboard bios might just kick it out and say "TO MANY ERRORS" for novell service. WHY? That standard kept my last system going for over 10 years without drive failures. 80,000 hours last I looked a few years back 2010.. That system has a magazine tape back up, I think it holds 6 or 9. Tapes for actual Backup. Been a while, I use to be Novell and MSCE certed.. 5 drive, RAID 5 setup.. OLD!!!! It used a parity drive for correction..

BUT I stress hardware base RAID not software. LOL Just so you know.. This is really old school, but darn near unbreakable. 32 bit NT server.

Pretty cool multi boot sectors for nested NOS or OS systems.. really cool..Unix, lynex (red box), Berkley Unix, Novell, NT, OS2, la te da.. I was a weird kid...:-) My fingers are hurting just thinking about those years..

Don’t cheap out on the PS or a GOOD fan system. A great case goes a LONG ways. That is on a Topaz cleaner too..


First check your external power supply. I had same issue with a G drive external that would power on but not work just made a clicking sound. A tech told me to buy an upgrade wall wort power supply and it has worked great ever since and that was 20 years ago. WD also uses very cheap power blocks to keep cost down. I would try this first even if it does not you will have an upgrade to use on new one.
I saw something cool in my Hifi store It is the Sony server HAp-Z1es. This can rip your CDs and store them in one place. It also has DSD capabilities and balanced output. The app works awesome plus other devices like streamers can access the music from this Sony player. Also if you get an external hard drive you can go crazy with the amount. Another product is the BlueSound Vault. It is a streamer and cd ripper. The Sony is a higher grade of sound and storage. So here is a really good low cost $899 and mid cost option $1999. There are higher end ones but they are out of my budget fit now.
Taxing a hard drive with music file access? Not a chance. Music access performs very little stress to a hard drive. When I was working in the IT sector for over 40 years, I dealt with very large databases running on million dollar storage systems and the last 10 years worked for companies that sold hard drives and solid state storage products. Most of us use personal hard drives and ssd/nvme products, not the enterprise rated products and there are big differences in quality and speed. If you want redundancy, I’ve used all the different RAID configurations, and for music, I would use a hardware RAID 5 configuration in either a 3 disk configuration, which results in faster reads but slower writes. In music and video, it’s a write once and read many times environment, perfect for RAID 5. Also, I would never use personal grade solid state storage for caching or for backups. Caching will wear out a personal grade SSD much faster because of the lack of enough overprovisioning that an enterprise SSD provides and the lack of TRIM on certain OS’s.
For my Roon database, I use a standalone 5TB drive, no RAID/no redundancy, and back it up daily to a 8TB disk. I also have another 8TB backup disk stored in a safe that every couple of months, I take my current backup disk and store it in the safe and then reuse the backup drive from the safe as my current backup. I’ve had to restore my mac a couple of times in the last 20/30 years and the backups have always worked flawlessly to restore the Mac.
I also don’t use the portable usb powered disks, I use the bigger vented external powered disks. As for SSD for music, more quiet, but also overkill. I use an SSD/nvme device for my boot drive mainly to run the Roon index structure on it for faster access, but all the TBs of music files are on an external hard drive.
I made a mistake above. The BlueSound Vault is $1299 which rips your CDs. The Powernode 2i is $899? Which does not rip CDs, but has a built in amplifier. Both are available at:
Whichever way you go, if you have the choice of selecting and purchasing drives avoid Seagate unless you get the enterprise Exos, some say Ironwolfs are good but I personally won't use them, if you go WD get Red Plus (no Reds), and you cannot go wrong with HGST the best drives IMO, with helium filled He, owned by WD today.
If you go DAS is fine just be aware that when you implement RAID, hardware raid that is you are binded to the controller, if the controller dies and you cannot get an exact replacement you won't be able to read the content.

Someone suggested qnap, is a good alternative but I had my troubles with it and also with synology.

The users who suggested backups are right on track, you could use just two separate enclosures with 2 drives one active and one for backups, very simple but should work.

Unless you have a very very resilient solution with RAID 6 or something similar like Zfs filesystems RaidZ2 and such which you won't most likely don't get cheap consumer grade drives and try to stick with the ones listed above, if you are bothered by noises of the drives (don't know how close your drives are to your listening room) let me know and I will recommend something specifically to keep noise down, HGST are silent operating but tend to be "clickety" on acces, the reds plus are fine.