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post #1 of 133 Old 10-06-2012, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,
My wife is "suggesting" that I need to get rid of my CDs. Reality is there is a lot of music I like there - which is prolly why I bought them! Now, I'm sure there is some way to put all of my music on the computer, and then be able to access it through my stereo, but I'm not sure how? I'm looking for advice. I do not have an iPod or iPhone. Can you all recommend the best way to store all of my music on a computer (so that I can then get rid of the actual CDs....but then be able to access and play the music on my stereo? I look forward to your suggestions!

Thanks all.
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post #2 of 133 Old 10-06-2012, 11:27 PM
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Download iTunes (PC or Mac...free), with your computer on the Internet, put a CD in your CDRom drive, and watch what happens. Simple method is just let the computer suck everything into iTunes. Or, more complicated, you can pick and choose which tracks you want first, then let it import only those. EIther way, you'll get it on the computer where you can play, create custom playlists, organize, etc..

If you want to play out to your stereo, there are several choices, some involving wires, some not. The simple way is to get a cable with a stereo 1/8" mini plug at one end, and a pair of RCA plugs on the other (Radio Shack Model: 42-495 is an example). Plug the mini plug into your sound card output, plug the other end into your stereo, an AUX , CD or similar input, not the phono input. You'll have to adjust the volume on your computer a bit. If you get buzzing or some other noise, you can fix this with a gadget from Radio Shack, their Catalog #: 270-054.

Radio Shack cables aren't the cheapest, or the best, I only mention them because they're usually handy.

As to getting rid of CDs totally, that's up to you, but since it's your only copy, and it's legal, and the highest quality you can buy, it seems a shame to not keep the for backup. What some have done is to store the disc and the booklet in a large CD binder, then toss the jewel box. That saves you the shelf space, and you keep the CDs in much less space, but don't throw them out either. That way when your computer hard drive fails and you haven't bothered to back it up, you'll at least still have all your music.
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post #3 of 133 Old 10-06-2012, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you - what if I don't like iTunes? Is there another option that does something similar? Right now, my comptuer and wireless router are in a den...my stereo receiver is in the family room.
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post #4 of 133 Old 10-07-2012, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

Hi,
My wife is "suggesting" that I need to get rid of my CDs. Reality is there is a lot of music I like there - which is prolly why I bought them! Now, I'm sure there is some way to put all of my music on the computer, and then be able to access it through my stereo, but I'm not sure how? I'm looking for advice. I do not have an iPod or iPhone. Can you all recommend the best way to store all of my music on a computer (so that I can then get rid of the actual CDs....but then be able to access and play the music on my stereo? I look forward to your suggestions!
Thanks all.

Unless you have like 450,000 CD's (or live in a 200 square foot home), they don't take up much space. Your bride needs to be real. Tell her you'll get rid of your CD's when she gets rids of every pair of shoes she hasn't worn in 6 months, every article of clothing she hasn't worn in 6 months, all of the miscellaneous creams and lotions and make up she has around the house.

That said, I don't know why you don't like i-tune. Try Media Monkey or I'm sure there are other solutions (short of getting a new wife)
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post #5 of 133 Old 10-07-2012, 08:19 AM
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Go digital, rip your cds to wav file (or FLAC), then add a Logitech Squeezebox Touch is a pretty nice solution. Box up the cds and put into storage.

Low tech solution is you could buy cd storage albums and eliminate the plastic cd cases entirely. You could use a music database program to eliminate the cd sleeves.
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post #6 of 133 Old 10-07-2012, 09:00 AM
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Logitech Squeezbox product line is now dead.
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57519226-221/logitech-leaves-squeezebox-fans-wondering-whats-next/

There's a bit more to it when in comes to what file types to rip to, like bit rate, bit depth etc. But it's always preferable to rip to an uncompressed file like .wav, FLAC or Apple Lossless.
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post #7 of 133 Old 10-07-2012, 09:55 AM
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And now I wonder what Logitech has coming too.

Didn't realise the touch was discontinued but I did some higher end upgrading recently, that highlight what a great value the Touch was.
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post #8 of 133 Old 10-07-2012, 10:02 AM
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The Dragonfly usb dac is also getting some great press in current audio magazines.

http://www.audioquest.com/usb_digital_analog_converter/dragonfly-dac
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post #9 of 133 Old 10-07-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Thank you - what if I don't like iTunes? Is there another option that does something similar?
There's nothing remotely as easy and functional for the beginner, which you are right now.
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Right now, my comptuer and wireless router are in a den...my stereo receiver is in the family room.
No problem. Apple makes a wifi device called the Airport Express. Connect it to your wireless network, then use a miniplug-to-RCA cable to connect to your stereo. Tell iTunes to stream to the Express, and you're done.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #10 of 133 Old 10-07-2012, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

There's nothing remotely as easy and functional for the beginner, which you are right now.
No problem. Apple makes a wifi device called the Airport Express. Connect it to your wireless network, then use a miniplug-to-RCA cable to connect to your stereo. Tell iTunes to stream to the Express, and you're done.

Totally agreed on both points. I have several Airport Expresses, very handy and reliable devices. One tip: buy them new or refurbed from Apple, I've had a couple of bum units from other sources, but the stuff from Apple always worked.
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post #11 of 133 Old 10-08-2012, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

Totally agreed on both points. I have several Airport Expresses, very handy and reliable devices. One tip: buy them new or refurbed from Apple, I've had a couple of bum units from other sources, but the stuff from Apple always worked.

I have been doing this for several years and it works very well

the only downside is the need for Apple stuff (eg airport express, itunes, and ALAC)
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post #12 of 133 Old 10-08-2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

Thank you - what if I don't like iTunes? Is there another option that does something similar? Right now, my comptuer and wireless router are in a den...my stereo receiver is in the family room.

There are programs (eg AirFoil) that will send FLAC to the Airport Express using something other than iTunes (eg Media Monkey), but its a couple of extra steps and extra programs to play music every time. I tried it this weekend and it didnt seem like it would be worth the trouble on a daily basis

So, I decided to RIP my CD's to FLAC using DB PowerAmp, keep a copy of the flac files (never know when someone will come up with a good flac-based alternative to Airport), and then convert to ALAC for use with iTunes. So now I have the simplicity of Apple stuff, but need double the hard drive space to store both formats. Hard drives are cheap so no big deal
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post #13 of 133 Old 10-08-2012, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input guys.

I know itunes is supposed to be easy, but I have really struggled with it. One of my daughters has an ipod...and it just does not seem easy. It is unclear to me if I can have all of my music, plus all the music for my kids...and only synch her ipod with certain songs, but not all, etc. I also don't know if itunes will allow dumping some of the songs from this collection on my wife's Android phone, or if it only works with Apple products?

Regarding the Airport Express you have mentioned - how is that different than Sonos system? Which is better?

Thanks again!
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post #14 of 133 Old 10-08-2012, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

Thanks for all the input guys.
I know itunes is supposed to be easy, but I have really struggled with it. One of my daughters has an ipod...and it just does not seem easy.
Anything unfamiliar takes practice. None of the other options are any better, they're all different. IMHO iTunes is more intuitive and therefore easier than most others. You just have to use it a little every day.
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It is unclear to me if I can have all of my music, plus all the music for my kids...and only synch her ipod with certain songs, but not all, etc.
You can sync each iDevice with customized settings. So, if you want only your daughter's music on her iPod, you just select it before you sync her iPod. You can also let her have her own completely separate iTunes library, and keep all your music separate. All this information and more is available on the Apple support pages, but you're always free to ask here too.
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I also don't know if itunes will allow dumping some of the songs from this collection on my wife's Android phone, or if it only works with Apple products?
iTunes will only sync with Apple products, but that doesn't mean you can't get music from iTunes onto your wife's Android. You can.
http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/sync-non-ipod-mp3-players-with-itunes-using-itunes-agent/
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Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

Regarding the Airport Express you have mentioned - how is that different than Sonos system? Which is better?
Thanks again!

Think of iTunes as a stereo system and Airport Express as an extension speaker. Airport Express uses an technology called AirPlay. You can have any number of devices that support AirPlay, such as Airport Express, Apple TV, many modern AV Receivers have AirPlay built it, and there are even AirPlay powered speakers. Any AirPlay device is a destination for iTunes to play to. You can select which destinations you're playing to with a little drop menu in iTunes, and you can even have individual volume controls for each device. http://www.apple.com/itunes/airplay/

Think of each Sonos devuce as a stereo system playing from one collection of music. Each Sonos device will play music independently from all others, or it can play the same music at the same time, your choice. The main advantage is that each Sonos device is a player, not just an extension speaker. That comes at a cost, and a fairly high one at that. There's a lot in each Sonos device, and many times that includes an amp and speaker, or an amp and wireless speakers. Sonos is much more expensive, but you do get flexibility. You still have to have all your music in an iTunes library, and the computer that has it must be running, and on a network.

Back to iTunes for a sec. If you set up an AirPlay device like an Airport Express, or Apple TV, or an Airport AVR, you can also play music to that device wirelessly from an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. It's kind of nice when friends come over and want to play the latest tune through your system. No cable required. Also, you can control iTunes from any of those devices using Apple's free Remote app. And, if you use Pandora, it will also play to any AirPlay device. Its pretty hard to beat. With an iPad or any WiFi iDevice, you can also play from your library independently, sort of Sonos style, using Apple's Home Sharing technology. Once you've set up Home Sharing, your library is available to any other computer on your network running iTunes, as well as any iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. That's a lot of capability for basically free, not counting AirPlay devices, and why I usually recommend a system built around it. Sonos basically gives you independent players with built in speakers (they do make a line output device too), and if you need that it's a bit more simple to operate, but lots more expensive.
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post #15 of 133 Old 10-09-2012, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

Thanks for all the input guys.
I know itunes is supposed to be easy, but I have really struggled with it. One of my daughters has an ipod...and it just does not seem easy. It is unclear to me if I can have all of my music, plus all the music for my kids...and only synch her ipod with certain songs, but not all, etc. I also don't know if itunes will allow dumping some of the songs from this collection on my wife's Android phone, or if it only works with Apple products?
You need a secondary manual. I recommend "iPod Portable Genius" (check the title), but the Missing Manual version is pretty good, too.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #16 of 133 Old 10-10-2012, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

Hi,
My wife is "suggesting" that I need to get rid of my CDs. Reality is there is a lot of music I like there - which is prolly why I bought them! Now, I'm sure there is some way to put all of my music on the computer, and then be able to access it through my stereo, but I'm not sure how? I'm looking for advice. I do not have an iPod or iPhone. Can you all recommend the best way to store all of my music on a computer (so that I can then get rid of the actual CDs....but then be able to access and play the music on my stereo? I look forward to your suggestions!
Thanks all.

Suggest getting rid of some of her things. Seriously.
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post #17 of 133 Old 10-10-2012, 06:09 PM
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I've heard good things about Olive digital music servers:

 

http://www.olive.us/

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post #18 of 133 Old 10-10-2012, 09:44 PM
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Suggest getting rid of some of her things. Seriously.

Ha. Yea, that'll work. Better put the CDs out of harms way first before you say that.

"When the wife is happy, everyone's happy". Words of truth.
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post #19 of 133 Old 10-10-2012, 11:07 PM
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The way I did/would do it is to download itunes, set the ripping options to rip as apple lossless (no discernible difference between original and this format), check to use error correction when ripping CDs, and insert the discs one by one. It will take a good amount of time to rip all of them if your collection is like mine.

Then, pickup an Apple TV for $100, hook it up to your receiver, and use it to stream your music. Easy as pie and sounds great.
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post #20 of 133 Old 10-11-2012, 11:48 AM
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I rip all my CDs to FLAC and store the files on NAS, and use a Sonos digitally connected to my pre/pro.

That said, I still keep the discs. I take the discs and artwork out of the jewel cases, put them is plastic sleeves, and store them in black boxes.

I get a lot of flexibility for playback using the FLAC files (I also rip a lot of it to MP3 to use on portable devices), and I save 50%+ space by getting rid of the jewel cases.

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post #21 of 133 Old 10-12-2012, 07:49 AM
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I rip all my CDs to FLAC and store the files on NAS, and use a Sonos digitally connected to my pre/pro.

The advantages of this for the OP are probably out-weighed by complexity. He would be better served by simplicity at this point. Ripping to Apple Lossless is the equivalent of ripping to FLAC, and I know there's a debate on that, but it's pointless because the alternative to both is a compressed file.
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That said, I still keep the discs. I take the discs and artwork out of the jewel cases, put them is plastic sleeves, and store them in black boxes.
+1, box, binders, whatever. Just get them out of sight.
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I get a lot of flexibility for playback using the FLAC files (I also rip a lot of it to MP3 to use on portable devices), and I save 50%+ space by getting rid of the jewel cases.

If you rip to Apple Lossless, you don't need to re-rip to play on an IOS device. If you need to store more music in less memory space, then my choice would be high-rate AAC, which does a better job for a given bit rate vs mp3. The point is, the bit rate and file type are drop menus in iTunes. It's easier for a novice.
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post #22 of 133 Old 10-12-2012, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Great stuff guys - thanks much.
Reality is all of the CDs are not mine...some are my wife's, some are my kids. How do I manage/handle that some of this music I want to be able to play through my stereo (via SONOS or Apple TV or whatever), some I want to put on my daughter's iPod...some I want to put on my wife and other daughter's Android phones...and some I want to put on my Blackberry (I know, I know...hope to change soon). If I use iTunes, am I limited to Apple products only?
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post #23 of 133 Old 10-12-2012, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

If I use iTunes, am I limited to Apple products only?

Not at all. I'm all Apple at home but PC at work and transfer stuff back and forth via a portable hard drive. I also have about 1,000 songs on my Blackberry.

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post #24 of 133 Old 10-13-2012, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

Great stuff guys - thanks much.
Reality is all of the CDs are not mine...some are my wife's, some are my kids. How do I manage/handle that some of this music I want to be able to play through my stereo (via SONOS or Apple TV or whatever), some I want to put on my daughter's iPod...some I want to put on my wife and other daughter's Android phones...and some I want to put on my Blackberry (I know, I know...hope to change soon). If I use iTunes, am I limited to Apple products only?

It sounds like you have two "users". One is you, who wants to play music via stereo or Sonos. The other is your daughter with her iPod. The first question is, do you both have separate iTunes accounts? If so, you'll be working with two iTunes libraries. If not, and you just use one iTunes account, you can have separate libraries or one big one.

Separate libraries: When you launch iTunes you can pick out a library by holding down the "Option" key on a Mac, or the "Shift" key on a PC, then launch iTunes, which will ask if you want to choose a library or create a new one. Once the library is chosen, it will launch with only the music in that library. If that's your daughter's library, she can plug in her iPod and sync the whole thing. If you re-launch and choose your library, her music won't be there and you can play your music to any AirPlay device. The advantage of separate libraries is you can plug in an iPod and sync without worrying about what's being synched. When a user buys new music, it's automatically synched when the device is connected. The disadvantage is you have to switch libraries when you switch devices, and you'll have to import music twice, once to each library, it identical music is to appear in both libraries. Having two libraries is like having your own stack of CDs, and your daughter having her own stack of CDs.

The second option is to keep one library, then take advantage of selective syncing. This assumes you use one iTunes account, though. When you plug in an IOS device, you can choose what you want to sync, from playlists, to albums, and down to the song. It's all done with check boxes. Your daughter's iPod will only sync her music if that's all that's kept checked. If she adds music, she'd have to remember to check that album too, or take advantage of their automatic sync to straighten it all out. The advantage with one library is no library switching, and everything is always available to play to an AirPlay device. The disadvantage is all your daughter's music and yours will be in the same library. This may not be a disadvantage in the long run, though. Having one big library is like you and your wife and kids all having one big stack of CDs. However, since you can make playlists and sort by artist or album, you can find the things you want anyway.

Non IOS devices are handled outside of iTunes, or with a third-party tool.
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post #25 of 133 Old 10-13-2012, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by has7738 View Post

It sounds like you have two "users". One is you, who wants to play music via stereo or Sonos. The other is your daughter with her iPod. The first question is, do you both have separate iTunes accounts? If so, you'll be working with two iTunes libraries. If not, and you just use one iTunes account, you can have separate libraries or one big one.
Separate libraries: When you launch iTunes you can pick out a library by holding down the "Option" key on a Mac, or the "Shift" key on a PC, then launch iTunes, which will ask if you want to choose a library or create a new one. Once the library is chosen, it will launch with only the music in that library. If that's your daughter's library, she can plug in her iPod and sync the whole thing. If you re-launch and choose your library, her music won't be there and you can play your music to any AirPlay device. The advantage of separate libraries is you can plug in an iPod and sync without worrying about what's being synched. When a user buys new music, it's automatically synched when the device is connected. The disadvantage is you have to switch libraries when you switch devices, and you'll have to import music twice, once to each library, it identical music is to appear in both libraries. Having two libraries is like having your own stack of CDs, and your daughter having her own stack of CDs.
The second option is to keep one library, then take advantage of selective syncing. This assumes you use one iTunes account, though. When you plug in an IOS device, you can choose what you want to sync, from playlists, to albums, and down to the song. It's all done with check boxes. Your daughter's iPod will only sync her music if that's all that's kept checked. If she adds music, she'd have to remember to check that album too, or take advantage of their automatic sync to straighten it all out. The advantage with one library is no library switching, and everything is always available to play to an AirPlay device. The disadvantage is all your daughter's music and yours will be in the same library. This may not be a disadvantage in the long run, though. Having one big library is like you and your wife and kids all having one big stack of CDs. However, since you can make playlists and sort by artist or album, you can find the things you want anyway.
Non IOS devices are handled outside of iTunes, or with a third-party tool.

Thanks - this helped a lot...I think I get it now. My only question is about your last comment about non IOS devices. Do I need to rip the music they want (onto their Android phones) a second time with seperate software? So I would essentially have those songs stored twice, once in itunes and a second time in this other software?

Actually - similar question about itunes - if I choose to do the seperate libraries...and there are some CDs that we want to have in each library, am I essentially storing that music twice, taking up additional storage space? It's sounding like one big library might be the best way....as long as I can really choose song by song to synch to a particular device (not whole albums).

Thanks again!
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post #26 of 133 Old 10-13-2012, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

Thanks - this helped a lot...I think I get it now. My only question is about your last comment about non IOS devices. Do I need to rip the music they want (onto their Android phones) a second time with seperate software? So I would essentially have those songs stored twice, once in itunes and a second time in this other software?

No, one library for IOS and Android. From my earlier post:
iTunes will only sync with Apple products, but that doesn't mean you can't get music from iTunes onto your wife's Android. You can.
http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/sync-non-ipod-mp3-players-with-itunes-using-itunes-agent/
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Originally Posted by Wheels_32 View Post

Actually - similar question about itunes - if I choose to do the seperate libraries...and there are some CDs that we want to have in each library, am I essentially storing that music twice, taking up additional storage space? It's sounding like one big library might be the best way....as long as I can really choose song by song to synch to a particular device (not whole albums).
Thanks again!

No, you can rip a CD once and still have more than one library with that file in it. iTunes can handle two different kinds of libraries, one where everything is included inside the library, and another where files are left in their original location, and "linked" into the library. I'm short on writing time this second, if someone else doesn't post the details, I get back to it later.

When you rip (actually called "import" in the iTunes world), you can choose to do the whole CD, or pick out specific tracks.
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post #27 of 133 Old 10-13-2012, 08:21 AM
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It's sounding like one big library might be the best way....as long as I can really choose song by song to synch to a particular device (not whole albums).
It's definitely easier this way, though it works as has explained, too. To sync to your daughter's iPod, you create a playlist with just the songs she wants. When you plug her iPod into your computer, you will be able to specify which playlist(s) sync.

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To sync to your daughter's iPod, you create a playlist with just the songs she wants. When you plug her iPod into your computer, you will be able to specify which playlist(s) sync.

You certainly can, but don't need to create playlists for the music you want sync. When the device is connected, and you select it, iTunes presents several tabs for sync preferences. Under the music tab you have choices as to how and what to sync. You can select playlists, albums, artists, and songs. Playlists is only one way to handle this. Selecting songs is dumb. But albums and artists works well without the need for playlists.
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post #29 of 133 Old 10-13-2012, 11:03 AM
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But albums and artists works well without the need for playlists.
True, but he said he wanted to pick individual songs, not whole albums. The best way to do that is to create one or more playlists of the songs he wants.

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post #30 of 133 Old 10-13-2012, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

True, but he said he wanted to pick individual songs, not whole albums. The best way to do that is to create one or more playlists of the songs he wants.
Agreed, of course. I suspect, however, that his desire to pick individual songs is partially due to not being familiar with how iTunes can work in other ways. I started out with iTunes years ago by creating a playlist for every CD I'd import. That was dumb, but I was naive. At the time I thought it made finding things easier. Now I used playlists for what they do best, creating a list of songs to play that all mean something together. And recently I tried something that I thought was completely illogical before. I tried playing the entire library with shuffle turned on. I discovered stuff in there I didn't know I had! And some of it needed to be deleted. It was interesting to hear what I've accumulated in the library over the course of many years. My main library is well over 120 gig, but that's not an indication of number of tracks, there's a lot of high-rate and uncompressed stuff.

For the novice or uninitiated, iTunes is actually quite deep, has lots of capability and features, but on the surface is quite easy to learn and use. Some of us never use the full capabilities. I don't find too much out there that is easier or more complete. The nice thing is, if you do something one way, like creating playlists to sync, you can always change the way you sync later and do no harm.

One additional comment, regardless of what method is used to create and maintain libraries, back them up. You'll find the iTunes folder(s) on the drive somewhere. Dump them all to another HDD somewhere every so often then physically remove the drive to another location. It saves your bacon if you ever crash your main iTunes library, because as iTunes, or any music system is used, it gets progressively larger and more complex, and much harder to replicate from scratch. Backup, backup, backup. Might initially be to a thumb drive, whatever, so long as it happens regularly.
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