I’m finally taking the plunge and have decided to digitise my CD collection before storing it. I’m after a system or components that will easily rip and store about 2,000 CDs, make it easy access the library of music (by using a phone or tablet hopefully), lets me download stuff to an iPod and gives storage for any future purchases (I still buy a lot of older and obscure stuff from charity shops and so on)
Is the answer a laptop with an external storage device? Do I connect directly to an amp or Bluetooth? Is there some other solution? I’ve looked at the Brennan system but can’t see a physical stockist where I can see one and ask questions so am a bit nervous about it.
I’ve got decent speakers and don’t want to change those and a budget of around £800.
Great question(s) you're going to get a lot of different answers, here's a few thoughts ...
1. you will need a computer and decent broadband, i would suggest a laptop. Purchase an external cd drive and good terabyte hard drive to reduce wear on the laptop.
2. for digitising and storing your collection online ... itunes or google music, there will be a monthly charge. the itunes will also work with your ipod.
3. you can buy bluetooth adaptors that will connect your phone/ipad to your existing amp.
4. uploading that much music is a massive time consuming project. i would suggest you only upload the rare stuff and also use a service like spotify for the rest, again there will be a small monthly charge.
5. other things to consider ...
a second external hard drive as a backup.
try out spotify for free to see what the service is like (link).
logitech sell a good bluetooth ipod/ipad/phone to amp adapter (link).
try google music free trial (link).
i don't like itunes maybe have a look at musicbee it's free (link).
To add to the below: I’d use Airport Express to stream - it’s got a really decent internal DAC and far superior to bkuetooth for streaming music at home. As for music storage - I had a locally stored library for years, went to Apple Music and have never looked back.
Many thanks J and Kotkas. You’ve given me a lot to chew over.
I recently treated myself to an Onkyo R-N855 receiver/amplifier - well within your budget. It happily takes an external HDD - 2TB will probably do the trick. It also has the usual HiFi inputs plus FM/DAB/Internet radio.
You can make up a 2TB external drive for peanuts.
Use a good CD ripper(if you want decent sound quality steer clear of MP3)that rips to .flac - plenty of free ones around - I use Exact Audio Copy.
At its best paid-for Spotify is well short of CD quality.
But be prepared to spend a looong time transferring the CDs!
But if you like the CD sound quality it will be worthwhile.
Leave out laptops/PCs/tablets/phones(except for the ripping) - at best their sound quality isn't much better than a kitchen tranny!
Thanks for that David. I’m a complete novice at this so, excuse what is probably a rather basic question about how it all works.
Does play back happen without the need to have a laptop/pc in the middle of the process? I was thinking the music files would need to have a music library of sorts like iTunes somewhere?
A decent and easy to read display and ease of finding the music files is important as one of the users will be someone with poor eyesight (this is one of the problems with my bog standard Denon at the moment, it’s quite hard to see track numbers to read that against a track listing on a CD).
I’ve seen the amplifier you mention on sale a Richer Sounds so am very tempted!
I’ve already got a few hundred CDs ripped and siting on an ancient laptop (did it so I could listen to stuff on an iPod) so I’m geared up for the long process to get the rest done. I have to admit to being very old fashioned with regard to the actual source of the music. I like to have the cds stored in the loft somewhere in case the digital version takes a funny turn.
I have been doing this sort of thing for a long while - and am rather fussy about sound quality.
I don't want to bore everyone else on HOL with a long screed on this subject, so send me a connection invite and I will give you all the gen in a PM.
Cheers David. I’ve sent you a connection request.