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I have a good-size CD collection (4500-5000 titles) that I would like to rip and store digitally (most likely using either high quality MP3 or WMA).


But I need an excellent jukebox/database piece of software.


It would be nice to have a single software solution that would do all the following:
  • Automatically recognize each CD once inserted into a drive and in one easy step, rip every track & download all the titles/info along with all available cover art into the database.


    Be able to list/organize music files in the database by artist & album, artist & song titles (i.e. all albums together), genre, date, etc.


    Generate & retain playable playlists of all audio files.


    Burn playlists to CD/DVD & automate track lists into printable templates for CD cover art/track listings.


    EQ/"normalize" audio tracks to level out CDs that are higher or lower in volume.


    Blend/mix tracks for seamless listening (i.e. no dead air/silence). It would be nice if this was "tweakable" as far as time span & effects.


Does such an animal exist?


Can anyone recommend the best way to do something like this???


I'm getting ready to build a new robust PC with large hard drives that will connect to my HT system. But I'd like to get some suggestions before starting.


Thanks!!!
 

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It would be nice if there was a cheap automated hardware ripper sold on the market. If I could only load 300 cds in a stack and let it run for a day that would be a dream! When you finished you could put it on eBay and get most of your money back!
 

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Do you have TiVo?


I ripped my 1000 CD's and put them on my PC. Tivo, with Home Media Option, serves as my jukebox. It's definitely the easiet way for me to go. Even my wife likes the interface.


And I will never have to touch a CD ever again - only once, when I rip it.


Simplicity rocks.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by glen tivo
It would be nice if there was a cheap automated hardware ripper sold on the market. If I could only load 300 cds in a stack and let it run for a day that would be a dream! When you finished you could put it on eBay and get most of your money back!
Hard to see any company producing a product like that for consumers. One innovative solution I've seen in this area is a product aimed directly at dealers. The solution is for use with AMX's MAX audio/video server. That system stores both audio and video content onto a multi-drive server. The dealer solution is a 200 disc changer with specialized software that connects to the server via firewire. This allows the dealer to load a customer's collection prior to delivering the MAX system. It's aimed at dealers because after the initial load, most consumers would have little further need for the changer. Of course, this solution is by no means cheap.


There are some music only solutions like Escient's FireBall music server that can import CDs en masse directly from commonly available consumer changers (Denon, Sony, Kenwood, Pioneer). However, the recording is done in real time so if each disc's average length 60 was minutes long, the total time needed to record 300 discs would be 300 hours. Of course, the FireBall isn't cheap either at an MSRP of $2K (not including the changer cost).


One of Escient's competitors, ReQuest Multimedia also offers there own service to import your collection for you. Basically, you send them your CDs and they rip them onto one of their music servers for you. They check to ensure that all songs are imported accurately with correct metadata. Turnaround time is 5 or 10 days. Options include choosing the bitrate, having your collection backed up to MP3 CDs and having them create playlists for you. No idea of price but based on the fact that their hardware is more expensive than Escient's, the service could be several hundred dollars.
 

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iTunes does most of what you are looking for. I'll comment this out below




It would be nice to have a single software solution that would do all the following:
  • Automatically recognize each CD once inserted into a drive and in one easy step, rip every track & download all the titles/info along with all available cover art into the database.


    This one is easy, most good media servers do this, Windows Media, RealOne, iTunes. The exception is that iTunes does not pull down album art automatically, but you can add it.



    Be able to list/organize music files in the database by artist & album, artist & song titles (i.e. all albums together), genre, date, etc.


    itunes autopopulates all of this via CDDB like most of the other sophisticated media players



    Generate & retain playable playlists of all audio files.


    Check


    Burn playlists to CD/DVD & automate track lists into printable templates for CD cover art/track listings.


    Playlists yes, templates, no


    EQ/"normalize" audio tracks to level out CDs that are higher or lower in volume.


    yep


    Blend/mix tracks for seamless listening (i.e. no dead air/silence). It would be nice if this was "tweakable" as far as time span & effects.


this is one of the things that WM and Real do not do as far as I know.


Does such an animal exist?


Can anyone recommend the best way to do something like this???


I'm getting ready to build a new robust PC with large hard drives that will connect to my HT system. But I'd like to get some suggestions before starting.


Other features of iTunes that I love include the smart playlists, network integration and the visualizers. Smart playlists allow you to set up certain criteria for playlists, ie music i've added from the last 3 months, jazz from 1965, top 50 played, etc. If you have other computers on the network, you'll be able to see and play your songs on that computer as well.


I'd suggest doing it little by little, as I imagine most of us have done. One big decision to make it is what format and bit rate to rip at. I'd suggest biting the bullet and ripping at 320kbps MP3 as that is what I'm re-ripping my collection at. it takes up more space, but is more compatible (read: it will work with an almost all media players out their portable, home or software) and is practically indiscernible from the real thing (i know there are those that can tell, but there are some practicalities to consider here)


Good luck. It sounds like you have quite a collection.

 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rstewar


I'd suggest doing it little by little, as I imagine most of us have done. One big decision to make it is what format and bit rate to rip at. I'd suggest biting the bullet and ripping at 320kbps MP3 as that is what I'm re-ripping my collection at. it takes up more space, but is more compatible (read: it will work with an almost all media players out their portable, home or software) and is practically indiscernible from the real thing (i know there are those that can tell, but there are some practicalities to consider here)
Have you tried using VBR (variable bit-rate) MP3? I find that 100% VBR it saves about 25 to 30 percent of the storage space compared to 320 Kbps CBR (constant bit-rate) MP3 at the same level of sound quality. That's what what I used for converting about 30 or so of my CDs several months ago.


Lately, I am starting to think that lossless audio compression is the way to go for archiving CDs. The FLAC format seems like the best choice, and it is completely royalty-free. There is also the APE format, although that is apparently tied to the Intel x86 assembly language, which means it will be supported natively on fewer devices. The lossy MP3 format is fine for portable players, but for home listening I don't want to sacrifice sound quality. I think I read that JRiver Media Center can handle conversion from FLAC to MP3, so that is something to consider as well. There is lots of information about FLAC and devices that support it at http://flac.sourceforge.net .


Brian
 

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I would second the opinion that you should rip to FLAC (if you have the hard-drive space). Then you could use the FLAC files to convert into the format of your choice. This would make it possible for you to take advantage of any new formats that come down the road, without having to worry about re-ripping the CD.
 

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Well, there are apparently some companies which will import your CD collection for you to a variety of output types as a fee service. Here are a couple of links:

http://www.get-digital.net/

http://www.shiftmusic.com/


The first one offers quite a few options in the way of import and output formats with the latter including things like DVD, HDD, direct to your MP3 player, direct to your MP3 server (Escient, ReQuest, Xiva, etc).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rgbyhkr
Well, there are apparently some companies which will import your CD collection for you to a variety of output types as a fee service. Here are a couple of links:


get-digital.net


The first one offers quite a few options in the way of import and output formats with the latter including things like DVD, HDD, direct to your MP3 player, direct to your MP3 server (Escient, ReQuest, Xiva, etc).
I happen to notice this and thought I would weigh in. I had a friend who actually used the Get Digital cd ripping service. I was a bit skeptical thinking it didn't make sense, but he had about 600 CD's and didn't feel like doing it himself. Anyway, he used the service and it worked great, they were quick and no problems with shipping.


The most interesting thing that I hadn't thought of before was the organization of the information. I've done quite a bit of ripping and a big problem is getting the album and artist information not only accurate, but spelled out in a way that allows you to organize it so you don't have half of your Who albums in "The Who" folder and the other half in "Who". Freedb just isn't that orgizanized, not sure how they do it. I guess they have to do this also due to the index they provide, due to the detail of the index, it would be pretty obvious if they weren't in order.


Anyway, it's not a super cheap service but it was very good. Just my 2 cents since I knew someone who did it.

lanny
 

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By all means J Rivers Media Jukebox...the basic (free version) will do what you want. BTW, there is a monkey audio (.ape) plug in for it. Without a doubt I would only store the audio in a lossless format.


As far as getting it all in, well Sony does make a jukebox (200 disc) that has a pdif interface and a bidirectional data interface. A friend has 4 for them full of discs and we will soon be ripping all of them. One problem seems to be that the drive will only read the disc in real time, so it is going to take FOREVER. As he has about 1500 cds and I want to rip another 1000 of mine.
 

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If Ronshock were to take the Sony jukebox approach which requires real time encoding, one disc at a time, it would require....


5000 CDs x ~ 45 min per disc = 225000 minutes


or 3750 hours


or 156.25 DAYS of continuous ripping! Of course this doesn't take into account loading the 200 disc jukebox twent-five times, or the delay between flipping discs, or the time needed to editing the tag data to ensure it's all correct! Needless to say, I'd strongly suggest you find an alternative method to rip your music. LOL :)
 

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5000 cds??!! Wow! I give another vote for using "Get digital" and choose the format of your choice. For any additional CD's you purchase in the future I would recommend J.R. Media Center and then use a nice front end such as Xlobby, MyHTPC, or Music Lobby. I currently have about 400 albums ripped in the APE format via J.R. Media Center and front end it with Xlobby. Good luck!


P
 

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epshih, your right. I didn't think about that until later. Another possible solution came to mind.


I called a couple of the companies which make autoloading cd/dvd duplication systems. In these systems there is a robot that picks a dics off a stack, places it in a burner and then places the burned disc into another stack. I discussed the idea of using this for archiving. I am awaiting a call from discrobot to see if there is a way to do this. Even the smallest capacity robot (25 discs would work. Just load a stack and come back in an hour and do it again.


The least expensive robot I saw was about $1300. But to us it might be worth it to not have to wait till the second comming to get all the cds into the server.


BTW, what is it worth to have someone put 1000 cds onto a hard drive? I think I have to look into the legal issues of doing this more. If I do it for myself, I can argue fair use.


Well I looked at get-digital.net and they seem rather expensive. With their tiered pricing, the 2500 cds we want to do will cost well over $2200. I could buy a really good robot for that.
 

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Just to chime in....I have some ripping experience (A lot)


Here is my time tested solution.....

SCSI is where it is at.


Get a SCSI Card....get as many Plextor 40x SCSI drives off ebay as you can.

I have 6.

Get a very large hard drive.


Find LameB --- batch process WAV-> Mp3

look on google and read the instructions.



Use EAC to Rip (6 at a time, about 4-5 minutes each)

Rip to Wav files to a directory.

Rip as many as you can to fill the drive.

Use LameB and go about sleeping or whatever


Output....lots of MP3's



Your biggest consumption of time is flipping CDs around...so that is

why I like to batch them up...spend more time flipping instead of waiting

for EAC to take care of cueing and stuff...plus if the box goes down

you have all the waves and can continue on.


Pratice with EAC and LameB a few times to get it down pat before

starting the whole process.

Watch the Various Artist CDs


Make nice sub dirs for the mp3's

genre\\artist\\album\\(nn) tracks.mp3
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by holthaus


Make nice sub dirs for the mp3's

genre\\artist\\album\\(nn) tracks.mp3
Holthaus - Hope this question isn't hijacking the thread too much, but it doesn't seem to warrant a separate thread...

Why, in your directory structure suggestion, do you suggest putting the track number in front of the track name? I can think of a couple reasons (some software doesn't keep the album's original order?), but I want to make sure I don't make a big mistake by not ripping to this format in the first place. TIA.


Dave
 

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Some players do not keep track of the Order of the songs from a CD.

I hate my Ipod when I tell it to play something and it does it by

Alpha....who the heck listens to an album in that order?

The track numbers are in the Id3 tag...use them please but it does not.
 
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