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CD tally

Okay, so I just counted up my CD collection. (I think I found them all, and if anyone has borrowed CDs from me, well I've forgotten about it.)

I have 317 classical CDs, 40 jazz CDs, 25 musical theater CDs, and 193 other CDs, for a total of 575 CDs. (This is counting actual discs, not albums, since the purpose of doing this is to figure out how big an external hard drive I'm going to need.) Of these, 3 of them (Samuel Barber's The Lovers, Boston's Greatest Hits, and Disturbed) are duplicates. I also have a case that's been missing its CD (Saint-Saëns' Carnaval des Animaux) ever since I moved out of keyasau3's place in Revere. Additionally, I have 39 borrowed CDs (38 classical from Ellie).

I would like to copy the 355 classical CDs in .wav format to preserve everything. Same for about half of the jazz CDs, a couple of the musical theater CDs, and a handful of the other CDs. The others can go in compressed formats. All the rock, country, and salsa for sure can be recorded as mp3s.

So, any guestimates, based on these numbers, as to how big an external hard drive I'll need for my music?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)
A 'full' CD is roughly 70 minutes of audio or 650MB of data. If you go with uncompressed .wav files, the size on disk will match the size on CD. (355 + 40) * 650 = 256750MB.

I would suggest a lossless encoding like flac for the things you want full quality on, to cut down on disk usage vs. leaving them uncompressed. Expect close to a 50% size reduction for FLAC compressed music, so you will end up with roughly 350MB of files per source CD. 355 * 350MB = 124250MB for classical, 40 * 350MB = 14000MB for the Jazz, 138,250MB total for the lossless compression.

Encoding to MP3 @ 256kbps will yeild about 130MB of files per source CD. (25 + 193 + 1) * 130MB = 28470MB. I would recommend ripping in VBR with a max bitrate of 320kbps, which will yeild better quality at similar sizes. Worse case number is 164MB per CD ripping to MP3 @ 320kbps, which only bumps it up to 35916MB for that set.

So, with FLAC and high-bitrate MP3, your collection will be somewhere in the area of 174166MB. A 200GB drive will give you a little room to grow, but you probably will want to keep other things on the drive too. I would buy the largest capacity available for reasonable cost in a reasonable form factor, to allow for data growth.
Jan. 3rd, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)

Are there any specific drives (brand name, model, etc.) you recommend?
Jan. 3rd, 2006 04:14 am (UTC)
remember to to get a disk drive that spins in the opposite direction so it'll work in the UK.....
Jan. 3rd, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
Wouldn't that be more of a concern in Australia? Or were you being serious?
Jan. 3rd, 2006 04:38 am (UTC)
In Australia the southern hemisphere effect counteracts the roundabout effect so there would be no problem there.
Jan. 3rd, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
No, these days my storage is almost entirely large arrays on the SAN, except at home where I just have a file server with a bunch of big ATA disks in a local RAID.
Jan. 9th, 2006 09:02 am (UTC)
Do you think something like this would suit my needs?

Thanks for all your help with this stuff, btw. It's an area I know practically nothing about, so I've really appreciated your help. Thank you!
Jan. 9th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)
Probably, yeah. I have no personal experience with LaCie products, but they have long been a favorite in the Mac community.
Jan. 3rd, 2006 12:47 am (UTC)
Or you could get a Google mail account and store as much as possible there with the http://www.filequota.com/ Memorial program, getting new mail accounts as you fill each old one. The program simply uses any IMAP/POP3 mail account as additional system storage -- available anywhere.

Jan. 3rd, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
Re: storage
(1) This would require having an internet connection when I want to listen to music, something that might not be readily available.

(2) This would force me to rely on someone else for my storage needs, not at all ideal.
Jan. 3rd, 2006 08:50 pm (UTC)
Re: storage
No, it would only require a connection when you need to download music to local storage. Yes, you would be relying on somebody else to pay for your storage.

The multi-gigabyte free email accounts do provide much more storage than you need for email. It was bound to generate applications to take advantage of it. I rather like the concept even though, like you, I have little use for it.
Jan. 15th, 2006 06:09 am (UTC)
So I have my new hard drive installed and formatted. I've downloaded WinAmp Pro so I can rip my CDs. I've installed FLAC Frontend. I'm trying to figure out how to do this. Do I really have to rip my CDs into .WAV first and then convert from .WAV to FLAC? That seems so needlessly time consuming. (I imagine it's easier in Linux, but alas I'm running Windows 2000 on my laptop.) Help?
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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