Question New to streaming. Backing up CDs and FLAC, wanting lossless but confused by options - help!

RayP

Well-known Member
@RMCF , you could certainly use a CD player but having to get up and change the disc each time is an almighty pain. Ripping creates a perfect digital copy and once stored on a suitable medium (NAS or even external USB drive) a streamer is ideal.

With the excellent app the Bluesound Node 2i comes with it’s easy to select your next track or just build a list of favourites. Just buy some decent interconnects into the analogue inputs on your amp and Bob’s your uncle! 😁
 

Ratfink

Well-known Member
Op, how have you found the experience so far? Any more thoughts to share?

I've yet to fully play with options here, there's such a wealth of info. However, the recommendation of dBpoweramp Music Converter and CD Ripper was a great one. I got all my CDs ripped (simultaneous FLAC and MP3) in the 21 day free trial, but it's so user friendly that I will probably purchase at some point (kinda hoping for a sale on it, as I already ripped the collection!) I haven't used it since the trial expired, but I understand it still has a lot of functionality.

As for playback, had a bit of trouble getting Logitech Media Server to play nice - I'm sure it's me being stupid, but I can't quite work it out and admittedly gave up quickly. Need to look at it again. Still playing stuff through horrid Groove Music at the moment.

I haven't bought a NAS yet, but have been looking at options - there's no rush there. I have old speakers in boxes, but I've yet to bring those out as I live in an apartment, so I simply have headphones plugged into the laptop! This thread is my go to resource when I'm in the position to take the next step, though. And I'm glad my stuff is all backed up and accessible as I really am spending loads of time glued to the lappy with my headphones on now!
I've even bought a few new (used) CDs!

So yes, my next thing is looking at best quality playback (with headphones)
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
@RMCF , you could certainly use a CD player but having to get up and change the disc each time is an almighty pain. Ripping creates a perfect digital copy and once stored on a suitable medium (NAS or even external USB drive) a streamer is ideal.

Real 1st world problem there RayP, having to get out of your seat.

But surely changing one cd to another will be just as quick as finding the ripped files on a database of potentially hundreds?
 

RayP

Well-known Member
Real 1st world problem there RayP, having to get out of your seat.

But surely changing one cd to another will be just as quick as finding the ripped files on a database of potentially hundreds?
I’m simply saying what works for me. Music is stored by album but you can select or search by artist or even search for any tracks containing a chosen word. It’s not just a collection of individual tracks. That would be ridiculous. That’s the whole point of metadata. Look it up if you want to learn more.

And finding another track on another album takes seconds. You can do it whilst listening to the current track and select it as the next to be played. Try that with a CD! 😉
 

jamieu

Well-known Member
Real 1st world problem there RayP, having to get out of your seat.

But surely changing one cd to another will be just as quick as finding the ripped files on a database of potentially hundreds?

If you're only interested in playing a single CD and you know exactly where it is on your shelf, probably not much to be gained other than a bit of exercise :)

But while shelves of physical media have their own innate benefits. Digital — assuming you are using some decent software to manage your collection — also has a bunch of things to offer that you don't get with physical media:
  • Full text search across artists, tracks, albums names etc.
  • The ability to 'queue up' tracks ie. 'play this next' or after the current album/playlist ends.
  • The ability to traverse your collection based on genre, artist, composer or almost any other type of metadata/attribute you can think of.
  • The ability of the software to recommend similar music within the interface ie. 'if you like this, you may also like this' kind of feature.
  • The ability of the software to automatically select tracks, jukebox style, based on what you were listening to previously. This is fairly common within most music management software and is useful if you just want music playing in the background.
  • The ability to create and share playlists digitally.
  • The ability to only play the 'key tracks' off a particular album.
  • The ability to rate or 'star' or group music you like, to help later discovery.
  • The ability to combine or bridge a music library with the vast libraries of the various streaming services ie. you start listening to an album you already own/have ripped from CD, but then notice in the player interface that the same artists has a new album on say Quboz or Tidal — depending on your software — you can then 'add' that album to your local collection (for as long as you are subscribing to that streaming service/it remains in their catalogue).
  • The ability to play the same music to multiple music systems, even outside the house.
It's a bit like asking why do Libraries now use computers when the Librarian could just walk to the relevant shelf. It assumes the Librarian knows what shelf the book is on. Most modern library software will quickly show you if the book is in stock, what shelf it is on, all the other books by the same author, both in the branch and elsewhere, with a link to order the book from another branch if needed.

I think a lot depends on how you listen to music ie. one CD at a time or more 'jukebox style' and how large your collection is.

It obviously varies with the software you're using to catalogue and playback your music, but when well designed it can help you rediscover stuff you haven't listened to in years, as well as alerting you to new music you didn't even know existed. To give an example here are the Album, Artist and Discovery interfaces in Roon, almost every link on those pages will take you to another page of music.

In fact the question should probably be "Why even bother with a local music collection at all when you can stream 80% of it from an online service for the price of one CD per month?" ps. lots of good reasons, although I suspect that for many the Spotify library will contain all the music they will ever need.
 
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rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Haven't used cd for years, got three squeeze boxes controlled via phone app and lms on Synology
 

Flynch191

Well-known Member
Haven't decided on what to buy yet.

As above, mentioned a unit with a CD, just because you do get the odd lend of a CD from folk, would be handy to have the option of playing it without ripping.

But if I thought I could forego the cd player and get something with better sound quality that just played my flacs I'd be tempted by that.

Reading some reviews, I'd love something like the Bluesound N2i

If it was me...I wouldn’t bother with the CD player.. if a friend lends you a cd and you’re ok taking a backup for him..😉... it’ll only take a couple mins to rip before you play.. I would concentrate on getting the best sound out of the streaming. But that’s only my opinion as I have now sold my CD player and I’m 100% streaming... I’d still love to own a record player one day, if I had the space and the money.
 

jamieu

Well-known Member
If it was me...I wouldn’t bother with the CD player.. if a friend lends you a cd and you’re ok taking a backup for him..😉... it’ll only take a couple mins to rip before you play.. I would concentrate on getting the best sound out of the streaming. But that’s only my opinion as I have now sold my CD player and I’m 100% streaming... I’d still love to own a record player one day, if I had the space and the money.

I'd agree and while I'd personally stick to ripping CDs via a PC or laptop as it doesn't take /that/ long and will give you far more control of the process. You can also attach a cheap USB CD drive to either Roon and LMS and get it them automatically rip or play a CD from that drive.

A separate record player I can still see the appeal of though, if you have the space, as there is something lovely about flicking though a bunch of vinyl and carefully picking an album that is harder to recreate digitally. 'Slow Music' if you like, not as in a genre, more the process of slowly selecting an album, putting it on, listing to the whole of one side and then turning it over. Sure it's a bit artisanal bollox, but I guess if you sit in front of a computer all day, there is something nice about not having to use one when you're looking to relax. But that is a very particular way of selecting and playing music, which for me is now the exception rather than the rule.
 

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