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Help ripping ~30,000 CDs, Was “Help digitizing […]” ;)
trail
post Mar 29 2012, 19:08
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Hey! I'm a newbie around these forums, but hopefully I'll be around quite a bit. I really like the community here, and hope I can contribute in the future. But enough introduction, here's the interesting stuff:

I work for a college radio station, and we've decided to undertake the rather ambitious project of digitizing the CDs we've acquired over the years. This is a pretty monumental undertaking, so I'm looking to make this as painless and quick as possible. We have a very rough approximation of about 30,000 CDs that we're looking to convert to digital files, and it's my job to work out many of the more technical aspects of the project.

The problem with being a college radio station is that we're on a pretty limited budget. We can't afford any sort of robot or anything like that to help the process along, nor can we afford any sort of service, so we're stuck doing it ourselves. Thankfully, we have a bunch of people willing to put the time and effort in. We also aren't terribly picky about getting every rip totally 100% perfect. But I've done a fair bit of research, and here's the kind of plan I had in mind:

Ideally, we have one pretty decent quad-core desktop that we're planning to outfit with four CD drives. We have software that allows us to rip multiple discs at once to V0 MP3s which are stored on a small RAID 1 array inside the computer. I've done some informal ripping tests, and have narrowed down the two pieces of software that seem to work best to fre:ac and dBpoweramp. I have also tried EAC and simply ripping with MediaMonkey, but freac and dBpoweramp seemed the most efficient and easy to use. Now, if I decide to use one of these pieces of software (if anyone has any suggestions, I'm 100% open to them!) how can I configure them to make them as painless as possible? Would using multiple drives be an option? I found very little information about software that provided ripping from multiple drives simultaneously, so I'm assuming this is not a common feature. If not, would using different computers be our best bet? If anyone has any other suggestions about ripping multiple discs at the same time or other ways to improve efficiency then that would probably make my life much easier.

thanks for your time!
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DVDdoug
post Mar 29 2012, 23:33
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QUOTE
Ideally, we have one pretty decent quad-core desktop that we're planning to outfit with four CD drives.
Not a bad idea. But I would also consider allowing your volunteers to take a stack of CDs home. As long as you standardize on software & settings, and as long as everybody saves their logs, that should work. Maybe you can appeal to your listeners for more volunteers? The task is manageable (perhaps in a semester or two) if you get enough people working on it in parallel. You dont wan't too many people working on it, because you need to maintain standards and keep track of the CDs.

You'll need a plan/procedure for dealing with ripping errors. Maybe try a different drive/computer, maybe look for another copy of the CD, maybe just have someone "authorized" to listen and approve the file if they can't hear anything wrong...

And, you'll need tagging standards because the online databases are not all standardized or correct. With 4 drives ripping at once, I'd guess that checking/correcting tags and filenames will take just as much time as the ripping.

QUOTE
We have software that allows us to rip multiple discs at once to V0 MP3s...

After some math I figured out that I should be able to fit all of the CDs on two 2TB hard drives. I feel like using FLAC or other lossless formats would increase the number of storage space required by quite a bit...

Not all of the computers use software that play nice with FLAC, but everything will play MP3s.
Here are my thoughts... My biggest concern is that a couple of years from now, or when you get half-way through the project, somebody is going to wish you'd used a lossless format.

FLAC is going to take... maybe 3 times as much space as V0... Maybe 4 times as much... That might be manageable, and I would think about it.

You don't need a format that plays on all computers... Just the radio station's computers, and you should be able to install a FLAC CODEC on all of the station's machines that are used for audio editing/playback. If you've mostly got Macs, ALAC may be a better choice than FLAC. And, any lossless format can be converted to any other lossless or lossy format if necessary or desired.
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trail
post Mar 30 2012, 01:52
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 29 2012, 18:33) *
QUOTE
Ideally, we have one pretty decent quad-core desktop that we're planning to outfit with four CD drives.
Not a bad idea. But I would also consider allowing your volunteers to take a stack of CDs home. As long as you standardize on software & settings, and as long as everybody saves their logs, that should work. Maybe you can appeal to your listeners for more volunteers? The task is manageable (perhaps in a semester or two) if you get enough people working on it in parallel. You dont wan't too many people working on it, because you need to maintain standards and keep track of the CDs.


Unfortunately that's not an option for us. We've had problems with theft in the past and as a result many of us are reluctant to let large chunks of our library out of our sight. Having things go in parallel is a good idea though. We have multiple computers in the station that don't get much use, maybe we can commandeer them.


QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 29 2012, 18:33) *
You'll need a plan/procedure for dealing with ripping errors. Maybe try a different drive/computer, maybe look for another copy of the CD, maybe just have someone "authorized" to listen and approve the file if they can't hear anything wrong...

And, you'll need tagging standards because the online databases are not all standardized or correct. With 4 drives ripping at once, I'd guess that checking/correcting tags and filenames will take just as much time as the ripping.


I had the idea of dealing with any CD that didn't have metadata in this way: Say if working on a stack of 50CDs, the 30th one didn't have metadata. The person doing the bulk ripping would simply place a post-it or some other marking label on the jewel case and the CD would be revisited later on another computer where we could find/type in the metadata manually. MediaMonkey has an awesome Discogs tagging add-on which I'm sure will be invaluable.

Unreadable CDs and other serious ripping would have another (more angry colored) post-it placed on them for further review in the future. Honestly our current goal is to digitize as much of our library as possible but still rather quickly, so glossing over a CD here or there won't be too much of an issue.


QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 29 2012, 18:33) *
QUOTE
We have software that allows us to rip multiple discs at once to V0 MP3s...

After some math I figured out that I should be able to fit all of the CDs on two 2TB hard drives. I feel like using FLAC or other lossless formats would increase the number of storage space required by quite a bit...

Not all of the computers use software that play nice with FLAC, but everything will play MP3s.
Here are my thoughts... My biggest concern is that a couple of years from now, or when you get half-way through the project, somebody is going to wish you'd used a lossless format.

FLAC is going to take... maybe 3 times as much space as V0... Maybe 4 times as much... That might be manageable, and I would think about it.


Hm. I think you're very much right. With 3 and 4TB drives dropping in price so much, I feel like lossless is going to not be so much more of an expense to have in the near future. Some other thread I found and some pretty basic math makes me feel like we're going to need roughly 10TB to store all of our stuff without ANY data redundancy. But the problem is that 10TB is 5 2TB drives or roughly $600. This is all dependent on budget, I guess, and budget info isn't something I have at the moment. Lossless files though are definitely the best idea for a serious archival project.
But the problem is that I don't know how serious this archival project needs to be because pristine sound quality isn't something that most people care much about here at the station. Some people actually play songs posted on YouTube on air. (which I am fairly sure is a crime against nature crying.gif)

I just can't figure out if the increase in sound quality when ripping lossless is worth huge the increase in space and expense. But then there's the issue of future-proofing.

This post has been edited by trail: Mar 30 2012, 01:57
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Posts in this topic
- trail   Help ripping ~30,000 CDs   Mar 29 2012, 19:08
- - frozenspeed   I would use cueripper & foobar2000 but that...   Mar 29 2012, 19:11
|- - trail   QUOTE (frozenspeed @ Mar 29 2012, 13:11) ...   Mar 29 2012, 19:13
- - Dario   What about the dBpoweramp batch ripper? Is there a...   Mar 29 2012, 19:23
|- - garym   QUOTE (Dario @ Mar 29 2012, 13:23) What a...   Mar 29 2012, 21:50
|- - Roseval   You might try running multiple instances of dbPowe...   Mar 29 2012, 22:06
||- - trail   QUOTE (Roseval @ Mar 29 2012, 17:06) You ...   Mar 29 2012, 22:24
|- - trail   QUOTE (garym @ Mar 29 2012, 16:50) QUOTE ...   Mar 29 2012, 22:36
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE Ideally, we have one pretty decent quad-core...   Mar 29 2012, 23:33
|- - trail   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 29 2012, 18:33) QUOT...   Mar 30 2012, 01:52
- - Destroid   OP: I would concur with others to consider lossles...   Mar 30 2012, 00:08
- - dumdidum   i second the suggestion of ripping to a lossless f...   Mar 30 2012, 08:56
- - Porcus   I ripped about 7000 CDs to FLAC using dBpoweramp, ...   Mar 30 2012, 10:07
- - LosMintos   Sorry, I didn't read all posts carefully, neve...   Mar 30 2012, 14:28
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (LosMintos @ Mar 30 2012, 15:28) Yo...   Mar 30 2012, 16:38
- - pdq   On the cost of storing lossless files - consider t...   Mar 30 2012, 16:40
- - spoon   >My experience with dBpoweramp is that it might...   Mar 30 2012, 16:41
- - trail   First off, I want to say thanks so much to everyon...   Mar 30 2012, 17:44
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (trail @ Mar 30 2012, 18:44) If at ...   Mar 30 2012, 20:23
|- - trail   Bad news, our budget means we probably won't b...   Apr 2 2012, 01:42
|- - phofman   QUOTE (trail @ Apr 2 2012, 01:42) Bad new...   Apr 2 2012, 11:05
|- - phofman   My experience with those SiliconImage SATA control...   Apr 2 2012, 11:22
|- - Destroid   QUOTE (trail @ Apr 2 2012, 00:42) Bad new...   Apr 4 2012, 11:54
|- - trail   QUOTE (Destroid @ Apr 4 2012, 06:54) QUOT...   Apr 5 2012, 20:41
|- - shadowking   QUOTE (Destroid @ Apr 4 2012, 21:54) QUOT...   Apr 6 2012, 15:50
- - .hx   Little side note - CD ripping is not digitizing.   Apr 2 2012, 03:06
- - spoon   Word of advice, if you want a stress free life, st...   Apr 2 2012, 09:49
- - Porcus   Since this is turning into a discussion of storage...   Apr 2 2012, 14:57
|- - rick.hughes   QUOTE (Porcus @ Apr 2 2012, 09:57) - RAID...   Apr 2 2012, 15:40
|- - phofman   We have been using linux raid in our company for a...   Apr 2 2012, 15:57
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (phofman @ Apr 2 2012, 16:57) the r...   Apr 3 2012, 16:29
- - LosMintos   QUOTE (spoon @ Mar 30 2012, 17:41) The la...   Apr 2 2012, 15:48
- - krabapple   Nothing to add except again: go lossless if you c...   Apr 2 2012, 16:30
- - pdq   For backup I would suggest AudioSAFE. If you never...   Apr 2 2012, 16:39
|- - garym   QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 2 2012, 10:39) For backu...   Apr 2 2012, 22:25
|- - Jan S.   QUOTE (garym @ Apr 2 2012, 22:25) QUOTE (...   Apr 3 2012, 10:42
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Jan S. @ Apr 3 2012, 11:42) If the...   Apr 3 2012, 17:52
- - rick.hughes   The original CDs could also be considered the back...   Apr 2 2012, 19:12
|- - phofman   QUOTE (rick.hughes @ Apr 2 2012, 19:12) T...   Apr 2 2012, 19:25
- - spoon   Your deletions are kept on audiosafe (the last cha...   Apr 3 2012, 19:33
- - mixminus1   @Destroid: Yes, the OP's budget is limited, a...   Apr 5 2012, 21:06
|- - trail   QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Apr 5 2012, 16:06) @De...   Apr 9 2012, 04:20
- - JJZolx   If the budget is so limited that the station can...   Apr 6 2012, 01:43
- - Porcus   OK, so OP cannot afford drives enough for lossless...   Apr 7 2012, 02:58
- - gorob   I second dbpoweramp as well, it works great for ri...   Mar 11 2014, 03:16
- - JJZolx   I wonder how this project turned out. Or if it eve...   Mar 11 2014, 04:01
- - eahm   30,000 discs...I can't even imagine that many,...   Mar 11 2014, 05:43
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (eahm @ Mar 11 2014, 05:43) It must...   Mar 11 2014, 08:44
- - kennedyb4   Hi. I would like to add my advice to those suggest...   Mar 11 2014, 13:10
- - yourlord   This thread is 2 years old and the original poster...   Mar 11 2014, 18:23
- - eahm   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 11 2014, 00:44) Yep -...   Mar 11 2014, 23:46


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