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Converting a HUGE collection

Reply #75
Is my understanding correct that this process (EAC, etc.) involves the creation of multiple files per CD, which is NOT what I want. A single file image is my goal, which the Nero Imaging process currently gives me.

EAC is pretty flexible: you can create one file per CD *OR* one file per track.

You can use EAC to rip an entire CD to a single WAVE file plus a cue sheet, then compress that single wave file losslessy to a single FLAC file and import the cuesheet (which essentially stores the CD's table of contents in the FLAC metadata).  Then you will have a single FLAC file that can be used for playback in Foobar2000.  If you also are OK with keeping the separate cue sheet file you can play the single FLAC file back with winamp + mp3cue.  There are a few threads here on how to do this, I would try searching for "+eac +flac" to find them.

You can also burn a CD directly from the FLAC file with several compatible tools; see the FLAC download page for some options.  The CD will be the same as the original, same audio data, same track and index points, same lead-in/lead-out, the resulting disc will yield the same CDDB id in players, etc.


Converting a HUGE collection

Reply #76
Yes, I am still around. We did just have a long holiday weekend, so I'm sorry for lack of response. However, in a discussion this large I am hardly needed!

In fact, after reading everything very carefully, I still don't have much to say really. I'm sorry if you think "Thanks for all the info" is a lame response. But it's true: Thanks for all the info. There are other forums where I hang out that I am more of an expert in the subject, where I proceed to divulge facts all day long to those asking. But in this situation, I am the one asking. So I will continue to mostly read and digest all the great info here. Thanks.

There have been some questions about cost of the original collection, ability & time to encode, or listen to, or enjoy life, or a sanity check. I could go into those, but I think it would be off topic, and we wouldn't get to focus on the storage question.

I will mention however that the quantity wasn't a typo. It's actually even a little more than that, but math works out better with that number. Also, the collection can grow at any time. Also, there is always the potential for encoding DVD's and shows I own in the future... although I'll admit that queuing up all the Sopranos and putting it on shuffle doesn't have the same necessity as 5 minute songs.

Also, there is a home-made automated system I've built that can handle the CD's without my intervention. So the encoding process isn't as scary as it would be manually. (That may sound impressive, but think tinker-toys & gears).

Vangelisv, thanks for finding the thread. Your real world example is interesting. Good luck with your problem/solution. I have also thought about making sure all my hard drives are encased in removable caddies. This would provide easy swapping between machines, easy RAID swapping due to failed drives, and most importantly: for offline storage. Having 1TB online and 2TB offline actually solves some of the logistic concerns that I've been trying to work out. I also agree that spinning up drives can be as much wear and tear as letting it run for many days. However, the larger the collection, I suppose the less need there is to have everything online. I would hazard to say that having a drive sit on a shelf for a month at a time _would_ easily prolong its life.

I guess I had more to say than I thought

Converting a HUGE collection

Reply #77
I've read about problems with using typical CD image programs to backup audio CD's--they don't do the double-checking that EAC does to make sure the audio is copied properly. They use something akin to burst mode, from what I've heard, which should work well for pristine CD's, but won't notice some errors that EAC can detect and correct. For CD's with some scratches, a burst-mode copy can be fraught with pops and clicks. There's a bit of talk about the subject in this thread, and if you search around more, you might find some other good threads. I'm pretty sure the other threads exist, but I'm having an awful time trying to sqeeze relevant results from the new forum search engine.

vangelisv, if you haven't experienced any popping in your ripped audio, then either you have well-maintained CD's or Nero's CD copier has decent error correction for audio CD's. But just to be sure, you might try ripping a heavily scratched CD with Nero just to see how it handles the errors.

Converting a HUGE collection

Reply #78

I undertand what people are saying about scratched CDs. All my CDs are in pristine condition with no scratches, not even a single fingerprint.

I will try to image a CD that is scratched and report back. However it might be difficult to find such a CD, since I never borrow nor lend CDs.


Converting a HUGE collection

Reply #79
I've come to a decision, and am going to go with lossless archiving.

After looking at the prices of DVD burners, I realized that a 50-pak spindle of Princo 4X DVD-R's costs $60. That comes to about 215GB ($0.27/GB). Much more affordable than hard drives at the moment.

Considering how long it will take to encode all the albums, the cost of these spindles can be spread over time, driving the cost down to a perceived zero (well, at least down to affordable hobby expenses)

Maybe by the time the project is finished, the cost of hard drives will be more reasonable, and I can start buying them, transferring the collection to them.  And since the files will already be on DVD-R, that means I have an instant backup. This means I wouldn't need to mirror the hard drives, infact maybe go with RAID 0 for speed.

As previously mentioned, the amount of time to do the archiving will be immense. Might as well do it correctly.

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