Trying to wrap my head around ripping CDs and any loss of data that occurs...

Trying to figure out how to get the 'most' data from a CD ... is there a tried and true way of getting 'all' the data from any CD ripped to a hard drive? I have several hundred CDs I ripped to a hard drive years ago - at 320k - is there a 'better' way today - to reduce any data loss?

Which software is best used for this purpose?  What hardware is required? Can I use a cheap CDR drive connected by a cheap usb cable to a PC to get the 'most' out of ripping a CD to a hard drive?  Or do I need to spend 'bucks' to get all the CD has to offer?  If so - what do I need?

Also - are digital only versions 'better' than ripping an equivalent version from a CD better? Just wondering if its worth the time to rip what I have vs just using streaming services in lieu.

Thx in advance.

I'd start with ripping the CDs with zero compression.  That means either as uncompressed FLAC files or as WAV files (which by definition are uncompressed).   My preference is FLAC because it provides for better handling of metadata.  For software, recommend dBpoweramp which will run on PC or MAC.  How good a CD drive you wish to use is up to you.

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I use foobar2000 to rip CDs, using FLAC, Level 0 (no compression).   It give you the option of checking the output with AccurateRip (  

I copy them so they are available on my network for streaming after I listen to them.  I have a lot of CD's that I haven't copied from before I started doing this and probably never will due to the time involved.  If I listen to them again, then I'll rip them.

Streaming is a great option and very convenient.

Lightfighter what are your priorities, better sound quality? or just convenience of managing your music or both ?