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Your Advice on My Library Scenario


I'm on the verge of rearchiving my collection AGAIN, so I turn to this excellent group for advice before I spend any $$ and invest a lot of hours...

My music library is currently housed on my MCE2005 computer in my family room. Several years ago (long before I discovered this excellent forum) I ripped about 1500 CDs to WMA Lossless using WMP, since most listening happend via the home stereo attached to the MCE box. At that time, I also had a Rio that relied on transcoded lossy WMA for portable use.

Here is my specific usage scenario:

1. I have replaced the Rio with an iPod - primarily for business travel and for use in my car via an iPod-ready Alpine car stereo (and it's VERY nice having a large portable collection for the car!).

2. I am about to move to a new home, and the home theater will have to go in a non-central area. So I am considering a Squeezebox or two to pipe music from my home network to the common areas. (Music everywhere!)

3. I will also have two office computers on the network and I'd like them to access the library for when I'm working at the desk.

4. Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to re-archive my collection to an image format for the common reasons - backup, future-proof, tyranscoding options, etc.

I've done a bit of research on the Squeezebox, and spent a lot of time reading in the lossy and lossless forums, and now I am working on a "rip once" plan to try and fulfill all of the usage scenarios and allow me future flexibility.

I am thinking I will use EAC + REACT to simultaneously rip to FLAC and to LAME MP3. I settled on FLAC over WavePack because there are Directshow Filters that will allow my MCE box to see the FLAC files for use in the home theater; FLAC will supported by the Squeezebox; and I can access the FLAC files with foobar on the office computers. The MP3s will be used exclusively with my iPod.

My questions:

- Should I consider a different network audio devices? I considered the Roku, but I liked the look of the Sqeezebox features & software.

- Are my format choices smart? I selected MP3 as the lossy format over AAC just in case I ever add or change portable players. One option is to go MP3 for everything, but that won't give me the backup and futureproof options.

- Assuming FLAC is the right lossless format, should I go individual FLAC tracks, FLAC image + external cue, or FLAC with embedded cue? I did some research on the Squeezebox forums and it looks like there are some challanges in the cue sheet scenarios. I am leaning to image + embedded cue.

- Should I consider a different toolset to rip/convert?

- What have I missed. I always miss something

I know, a lot of questions, but I want to make sure I get the plan RIGHT this time. Thanks in advance for any advice.


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