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Discussion Starter #1
42 year old techie here, listen primarily to streaming music (pandora, spotify, www.di.fm etc), but have a legacy collection of about 500+ CD's that I would like to rip and make accessible to my networked AV stuff. Several of my components offer a 'network' option, which will let me browse to a file location.
NOTE: I don't care about streaming video, this is JUST for music streaming.

Hardware I have is: Pioneer 1225 A/V receiver (this was the Costco deal from a couple years back). XboxOne, Panasonic BDT-215 Blu-ray player, Oppo BD83 DVD player. Speakers are a mixed bag of hardware. Nothing worth getting excited about. All works well.

So onto my Questions:

1. What to rip the music with? Itunes and Windows media both offer 'lossless' options. I have a bunch of music in Itunes already. Stick with what I have or is there a better tool?

2. Should I be using a NAS or stick with the PC I have? My PC has lots of space, as I have a drive (not primary, just a tertiary storage drive) with 1TB of space available.

3. Should I be using a software to serve up the music? I have seen alot of noise about PLEX.

Other suggestions?
 

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1. What to rip the music with? Itunes and Windows media both offer 'lossless' options. I have a bunch of music in Itunes already. Stick with what I have or is there a better tool?

2. Should I be using a NAS or stick with the PC I have? My PC has lots of space, as I have a drive (not primary, just a tertiary storage drive) with 1TB of space available.

3. Should I be using a software to serve up the music? I have seen alot of noise about PLEX.
If you are going to spend the time to rip 500 CD's, you are going to want to do it right and never have to do it again. With that in mind...

1) Use dBpoweramp CD Ripper for ripping. It supports AccurateRip so you are sure the rip was as good as it can be and good metadata lookup so you don't need to type it all in. Rip to FLAC (any compression level; it all sounds the same so I use the highest compression level). If you have devices that don't play FLAC then you can also use dBpoweramp to convert to any other format. I keep an identical tree of all my music transcoded to WMA for use with my phone (only).

2) I just use my PC. It's on 24/7 anyways. I have all my music on an external USB 3.0 drive (4 TB Western Digital black). I also have backup drives. It would be a shame to have just one copy and have the disk fail. Besides, disks are cheap and your time is precious. As soon as I rip or update any music, I power on a backup drive and synch the two. I keep a second backup in a safe deposit box and rotate them every couple of months. (Of course, these backups include everything, not just music.)

3) I use Asset UPnP from the dBpoweramp folks. Works like a charm, and can transcode on the fly to support devices which won't play FLAC, or can't handle other bit rates etc.

Before you start, I recommend you spend some time considering what naming convention and metadata you want. It's best to figure that our early and get it right so you only have to do this just once.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is perfect... Exactly the kind of advice I was looking for!

So I suppose I need to research what kind of formats are supported by my network receiver (or other components).

Backup, yeah I think I should probably invest in that. Any recommendations on what the best/easiest backup solution is?

I already have one disk that has failed in my PC already... Now what is on it... I don't recall :(

Its an older custom (I built it) quadcore Q6600 processor, 8 gb ram, rocketfish case, dual CD/DVD read writers, 2tb space), running (gasp!) Vista 64bit.

I'd like to move up to a i7/current OS system with SSD drives, but thats more $ than I want to spend at the moment.

What do you use for playback? Plex? something else?
 

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That is perfect... Exactly the kind of advice I was looking for!

So I suppose I need to research what kind of formats are supported by my network receiver (or other components).

Backup, yeah I think I should probably invest in that. Any recommendations on what the best/easiest backup solution is?

I already have one disk that has failed in my PC already... Now what is on it... I don't recall :(

Its an older custom (I built it) quadcore Q6600 processor, 8 gb ram, rocketfish case, dual CD/DVD read writers, 2tb space), running (gasp!) Vista 64bit.

I'd like to move up to a i7/current OS system with SSD drives, but thats more $ than I want to spend at the moment.

What do you use for playback? Plex? something else?
Most Blu-Ray and media players should handle FLAC just fine (although gapless support seems less common -- so your live albums will have short gaps between tracks).


For backup, I've been using a very old product called FileBack PC, but it hasn't been updated in years (15-Apr-2009) so you'll probably want to find something still supported and updated. Anyone?


For playback on my PC I use foobar2000. It's free, well supported, and does just about everything. Very highly recommended.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
dBPoweramp CD ripper is the best!

Was futzing around with Itunes and it made me furious trying to use it. You can't find meta data for Bonnie Raitt and Bryan Adams? Seriously?

Happily ripping away now.
 

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I second the motion to use FLAC.

I also recommend that you buy a basic dual disk NAS that you can set up as a RAID mirror to protect against disc failure. Get something that will run the server software you are going to use natively. Most have DLNA built in. I like NAS appliances because they are stable and trouble-free. I also don't like a lot of background crap running on my PC. I also do not like having my streaming interrupted when the PC is under heavy use.
 
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