Huge music project

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Jasonbot, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. Jasonbot macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2006
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    I've got this task next week to transfer all my grandad's music into some digital format. He has Thousands (maybe just about 1000) of CD's and I need some sort of plan for all of this.

    Here's what I'm thinking:

    • Buy a 250Gb HDD (I think thats all I'll need)
    • Set up an account on my mac and use a new iTunes library for all the music
    • Transfer music using an automator action in which I'll only need to change CD's

    The problem is I know it won't go that smoothly. Does iTunes automatically get track names from gracenote? The problem is those CD's that it can't get track names for, how will I deal with them.

    Also, what quality should I go for. I was thinking 320kbs AAC as my grandad is quite the audiophile.

    He also has some records. Whats the best solution for these? I'm thinking to hook up a record player to my mac, record and entire record with quicktime using audio in and then split it into the tracks and convert it.

    Any other ideas welcome.:D
  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    Hmm - I did the exact same thing a few months back for my own CD collection (which is of similar size). I didn't use Automator, so can't help you there - I just stuck CD after CD in the machine while I was working; did a few each day, and it got done eventually. To be honest, I'm not sure that automator would have speeded the process up to a noticeable degree - very little intervention was needed.

    CDDB: iTunes looks up each CD at the beginning of the rip process. I had a couple where it alerted me that there was more than one option available, but other than a few disks that I'd created from LPs it caught everything else. Unless your grandfather has some really obscure stuff, you'll probably get away with it.

    Quality: 320kb/s AAC is a fairly decent compromise, but doesn't sound as good as the original disk. It does, however, depend on what he's going to be replaying them on (and how fussy an audiophile he is).

    Personally, I have a Roku Soundbridge with the optical output plugged into a top-of-the line Denon A/V amplifier, and thence through some fairly serious loudspeakers. In that instance, the only way to go was lossless. If, however, his audio system is fairly basic or he's playing via a Mac and some decent speakers, then 320 AAC should be more than satisfactory.

    Oh - and for records, the method I used was to plug turntable into phono preamp, then plug the line-level output from that (you can use the tape output on an integrated amp the same way) into the powerbook. I used Roxio's CD SpinDoctor for the actual recording (part of Toast). It worked well, but was a long-winded process...
  3. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    I say rip them as lossless--your grandfather's got to be happy with that. I'm not sure, but for 1000 CDs you might want to get a 320 or 500GB drive.

    Doublecheck the playback environment, though: I know Apple lossless will play through iTunes and on an iPod, but I'm not sure about other software/hardware.

    Regardless, get a second drive to keep a backup on--you don't ever want to have to rip those CDs again. Your grandfater's bankrolling this, right? ;)
  4. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    I've recently done my father's classical collection, about 800 odd cds, and i'd seriously recommend doing lossless. You can always the weak link will be the audio quality before the link to the hifi/separates/speakers. You really want to play it full blast once in a while, and indulge in the quality of the music, and not be reminded of the fact it's a lossy recording. I chose apple lossless in the end, so i could give him the iTunes library like that, and he could easily sync down to other lossy mp3/aac formats for his ipod / burning an audio CD etc.

    You only want to do it once. Seriously. you don't want to have to rerip a cd collection as big as that twice. Do as many as fills the drive, pass it on, and if he enjoys it, you can always do more. You'll need a break after doing some. A plus side is you could always sell on the copies/ gift people with the music once you've ripped them (though i'm obviously not recommending that for IP law reasons...)

    I'd also recommend Mediamonkey (having done a few 1,000 wav to flac conversions to create a flac library, i've got to know it). It can, with an add on, play and convert apple lossless afaik, and then you can use it's decent conversion/burning properties, and if you want, play the library through that instead. Once you've done that, you could use Picard Music Brainz or similar to tag anything missing, artwork etc. To be honest, if they're not on Gracenote CDDB, then rip them, add a Cd name, etc, and a number, and come back to them later on.

    As far as ripping, I'd recommend running iTunes as a tab/background program. Use lossless as the setting, and also save the setting as automatically import to the database on the external drive. When you're using the computer, just keep on in the back ground putting cd's in, and when it goes ping to show complete, pop the next one in. No need to rush, and you can always do the collection to lossless in segments. Any more help give me a shout.
  5. Jasonbot thread starter macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2006
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    I don't think a second drive would be a viable option. I think I'll just hope for the best. Unless I can get some seriously cheap drives. Can time machine backup from one external drive to another?

    About the quality: How big is an apple lossless file compared to a 320kbs AAc file. I need to know how big a drive I need to get.

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