Ask Unclutterer: CD storage

Reader Christy submitted the following to Ask Unclutterer:

I use iTunes and have burned all my CDs to iTunes. I also have a huge box in my basement of all the hardcopy CDs.

Is there any reason I would need to keep them (computer crash or something), or am I safe to start giving them away?

Christy, the idealist in me says that if you have burned all of your CDs in a lossless format and you have your computer backed up to a secure online location, you should be fine getting rid of your physical CDs. However, the pragmatist in me has to admit that there is a box of CDs in my basement and I wouldn’t even do what I just suggested.

Also, from a legal standpoint, you aren’t supposed to have a digital copy of a CD without also having the physical copy.

I guess when it comes down to it, my official advice would be to simply get rid of the jewel cases (they can be recycled in most communities) and store all of your hardcopy CDs in a CD Notebook. If you do this, you won’t have to pay the fees to store all of your lossless music data online and you’ll cover your arse if the RIAA ever comes knocking at your door.

Thank you, Christy, for submitting your question for our Ask Unclutterer column.

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61 Comments for “Ask Unclutterer: CD storage”

  1. posted by Geoff on

    I struggled with this as well. If you decided to go with a notebook, get a good ring binder or it becomes very hard to get to the inner envelopes.

    That being said, having moved all 500 or so of my CDs I would have done it differently.

    The notebooks really don’t save much space (about 1/3 of the jewel box volume). You can’t got back and alphabetize if you get new CDs. They get harder to fill as they become filled.

    I would suggest that you purchase boxes that are designed to hold CDs. Throw out the jewel cases and either put the CD and jacket directly in the box or in a zip lock bag. Occasionally put in an alphabet divider for easy sorting. This method takes less space.

    If you plan to throw away the jacket information and keep just the CDs you can put them on spindles. Either the spindles that come with burnable CDs or make something fancier.

  2. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Geoff — Your spindle idea is great, it is how I store all of my data CDs. Thanks for suggesting it here!

  3. posted by Lose That Girl on

    I’m a CD purist in that I cannot part with the booklet – just can’t do it! I have a ton of CDs, easily 1,000 or more and what I’ve done is pack them away in the white cardboard, metal-tipped boxes from Ikea. I have them fit under my bedroom furniture. They are out of the way, neat & clean and I can always pull them out if I want to physically play a CD instead of my iPod system.

    The CD booklets aren’t pretty to look at and take up almost as much space so I’d rather keep the integrity of the CD/booklet/jewel case in tact and store them in a much more esthetically pleasing manner.

  4. posted by Mike on

    Erin,

    I’m not sure what you mean about “fees” to store your lossless music online? Unless you’re just talking about the basic cost of a cloud backup service. I’m guessing this is different from just storing your music on a local drive digitally.

    Agreed about hanging onto the CDs. I had to learn this the hard way: when mp3 was new technology and I was a poor grad student, I ripped every CD I had and sold off the physical copies. (This is, admittedly, not legally advisable.) The problem was that I ripped at 128k with the roughshod encoding software of the day. Every cymbal hit sounded like it was soaking in a flanger. I regretted so cheaply selling away all my perfect lossless music CDs once equipment and software got better and I was able to hear what was missing.

    These days it’s simpler for new music: iTunes or Never Mind. If I can’t easily buy it digitally, I don’t waste my time with it, unless it’s a very highly coveted new release that is somehow unavailable digitally. But over the last decade, I’ve had to scavenger hunt for used or discounted copies of all those CDs I so hastily sold off, so I could actually re-rip and re-encode at higher bitrates and with better software. And this time, I’m hanging onto those CDs (in a closet box, like other commenters) in case the future allows an even better rip to be made.

  5. posted by Kathryn Fenner on

    I dunno–I like being able to grab the CD in jewel case and take it to the car and put the CD in the player sometimes. I don’t take my iPod with me everywhere—too likely to lose it or have it stolen–don’t leave it in the car and my purse gets heavy. I just got a whole bunch of folding clear plastic lingerie (bra) boxes and put the CDs in them on a closet shelf.

  6. posted by Jon on

    It isn’t cheap by any means, but I put my 3000 CDs in individual sleeves (there are two competing brands – I went with jewelsleeve because I prefer the top loading system to their competitors side load). I have the booklets and tray cards in the sleeves and house them all in 24 6″x6″x3′ open top boxes on a half of a 6’x3’x3′ wire shelf. Easy to access all the CDs, but very compact. Takes up far, far less space than with the jewelcases and it’s still easy to add/arrange them (unlike notebooks). (In a somewhat related note, the top half of the shelf is occupied by a few thousand 45s, which I put in 8″x8″x18″ boxes I got at Ikea).

    Like I said though, it’s not cheap. The whole project cost around $1200.

  7. posted by knitwych on

    My boyfriend, Mister Audiophile, has a *massive* CD collection (plus over 4K vinyl LPs and 1K 45s). Seriously, when we bought him an iPod, the joke was how stressful it would be for him to limit himself just the 7K songs it would hold. To store his CDs, he opted to purchase a yard sale chest of drawers and several cases of paper CD envelopes. He removed the CD and liner notes from the jewel cases, placed those inside the envelope, and put them in the dresser drawers. The jewel cases were then discarded (I believe he got rid of some on freecycle, and then donated others to used record/CD shops). His audio collections are alphabetized by artist, then filed according to date of release. (Yeah, dude is serious about his music.)

    He did keep the boxes and jewel cases from the special boxed set collections. These are kept in the bottom drawer of the 5-drawer unit he bought. The other four drawers are filled w/CDs, with a few inches of growing room in each one. Obviously, one needs a sturdy chest of drawers for this type of storage, but it was a fantastic solution for his storage needs.

  8. posted by Joshua Banker on

    I have been doing the notebook for my CDs for years.

    For all my Jazz CDs that have great booklets I keep the booklets. For Pop/Rock stuff I decide per CD if I keep the booklet. If it is one of my favorite bands I keep it; if it is a special greatest hits with the band’s history I keep it. The thing is with the internet I could easily get some of the credits or album info using sites like allmusic.com.

    The reason why I keep the CDs is you never know when there is going to be a better compression out there. I used to compress all my music at 128aac but then I got good headphones and noticed the difference so I had to pull out 400 plus CDs and re-rip all of them!

  9. posted by Steve on

    I place all my CDs and their booklets into paper CD sleeves. The booklet goes in first with the front of it facing the clear window of the sleeve. The CD goes in next followed by the back insert. The back insert sticks out of the sleeve so I can identify it when stored in a box. The jewel cases go on Freecycle. I consolidated 3 business storage boxes of CDs into just over 1 box. Rather than buy custom CD boxes, I cut the height of the storage box in half. You can fit two rows of CDs in them and still use the lid.

  10. posted by Elaine on

    “Also, from a legal standpoint, you aren’t supposed to have a digital copy of a CD without also having the physical copy.”

    Can someone explain this to me? I have a lot of songs and albums that I downloaded from iTunes and I don’t have a physical copy. Am I supposed to buy the physical copy as well? Just wondering how this works. Thanks!

  11. posted by Juliana on

    My husband I have this issue only our hard copies take 7 medium size boxes to hold them all (around 2000). :o( He’s a musician and a DJ and I’m just an appreciator. We put all the booklets into 8 leather looking cd storage boxes for display and the hard copies just sit taking up space in the attic waiting for the next moving day when they’ll be touched again. Seems like a waste not to have a solution for those. I guess at least tossing the jewel boxes would help.

  12. posted by Justin on

    I am a long time reader who recently started decluttering. I had about 400 cds with jewel cases in my closet on a bookshelf – and the cds took up a majority of the bookshelf. I recently got rid of all the jewel cases and it felt great – I put all the cds into cd binders in ABC order at the time..and when I buy new cds, I will just put them at the end of the last one. I plan on making a list on my computer of all my cds so I can find them if needed.

    What is so great is the 400 cds now take up maybe half of one shelf, as opposed to the 6 shelves they took up before.

    And I’d hate to move the cds with jewel cases again – it’s just not worth it (to me) to keep anything but the CD.

  13. posted by Greg on

    @Lose That Girl-

    You can get rid of the booklets. Toss them out and after a day you’ll forget you ever had them.

    Failing that, there are some CD notebooks that allow you to store the disc & liner notes side-by-side like this one: http://www.caselogic.com/120_c.....elid=56390

  14. posted by Kim on

    It seems like this “must keep the physical copy” business is keeping many of us in clutter. Or at least, at this point that’s the only reason I keep the discs. I have a backup hard drive, so I feel some peace of mind with that. I sometimes feel like I should have two though… located in separate places… though that makes updating backups a pain.

    Thanks to this post I am definitely thinking about whether I feel like I can support the spindle theory of storage or boxes… I’m glad my collection only reached about 700 albums before it started to be primarily digital.

  15. posted by Kim on

    I bought some super cheap sleeves from Univenture (the XG) and with that I get to keep the tray card and booklet. Univenture sells simple black boxes that fit about 70 sleeves. I’m sure you could find boxes at IKEA, too. 100 sleeves is about $25

  16. posted by Anne Louise Bannon on

    My husband loves the liner notes – it’s the only reason he’s not sold on buying music online. However, I hate the jewel cases – they’re so brittle, they break as easily as looking at them. But we keep them because of the liner notes. Wooden wine crates – the kind used to ship bottles of wine to retailers – make excellent CD/DVD storage cases and they’re attractive.

  17. posted by Paul on

    @Elaine: You’re okay on what you’ve downloaded from iTunes as you have a license to those songs. The physical copy requirement would be for songs you make a copy of from physical media (i.e., songs you’ve ripped from a CD). Separately, I thought I was the only one who actually cared about following this rule of retaining the media (and only ripping CDs that I own).

  18. posted by Tom on

    suggesting storing in CD wallets is NOT a good idea. those things are notorious for collecting dust, dirt, whatever, and thus, scratching the CDs, very often the label side, which completely ruins the CD. i once bought a CD, which ended up becoming very rare and worth about $150, that i ruined within ONE week because i put it in a wallet so i could easily take it to work.

  19. posted by RV on

    1000+ CD’s? What happened to the concept of minimalism?

  20. posted by D on

    @ Elaine

    If you are downloading from iTunes, you don’t have to worry. You have a legal digital copy of the song in your possession.

    “Also, from a legal standpoint, you aren’t supposed to have a digital copy of a CD without also having the physical copy.”

    I can only speak to US law, but this statement is slightly incorrect. Under fair use, you are allowed to make copies for personal use (for example: ripping to your computer or making another physical copy for your car). Under the first sale doctrine (17 U.S.C. 109) you do not have to keep the physical copy of the CD- you can destroy it if you want.

    Think of it as buying a book from Barnes & Noble, copying the pages you want, and then tearing up the book (my inner librarian just died a little). No copyright violation here.

    The problem comes in when you want to resell your CDs. If you sell the physical CD, but retain the digital files from when you ripped the CD to your computer, you are technically violating copyright. If you resell the CD, you should delete the digital copies or pass them along with the physical CD. Now, is the RIAA going to knock down your door if you don’t? That’s the question.

    Think of it like buying a book from Barnes & Noble, copying the pages you want, then returning the book to the store/reselling it to Borders.

    From the RIAA website:
    “Record companies have never objected to someone making a copy of a CD for their own personal use. We want fans to enjoy the music they bought legally. But both copying CDs to give to friends and downloading music illegally rob the people who created that music of compensation for their work.”

    Also, the U.S. Copyright Office website is a great resource.

    Please don’t rely on this post for legal advice. I’m just posting what I know because I have an interest in this stuff.

  21. posted by Loren on

    I’m not an audiophile by any means. I usually keep my CD’s for a couple months, rip them to my computer, and trade them now an then for something new. So I only keep hard copies of the things I really love, and things that I currently love. If you do have a BIG box you might consider purging some, (I think we all have somethings like the ‘Shrek II’ soundtrack that you really don’t need).
    If you think you will NEVER sell the CD’s you can get rid of the jewel cases but if you are ever going to trade them in you’ll need the cases.
    But if you are planning on keeping them forever and want to get a CD Binder, try looking for ones with addable/removable pages. I bought one of the ‘stationary’ ones and it drove me crazy that every time I bought a new CD it couldn’t be near the others from the same band.

  22. posted by Simpler Living on

    @Elaine: The Star Tribune’s technology columnist explored that issue after he used iPodmeister and readers told him he was violating copyright law.

    He wrote about it here:

    http://blogs2.startribune.com/.....t-in-jail/

    A regional archivist in Albany is a regular commenter on my blog and well-versed in electronic storage and preservation. She recommends using an external hard drive and making sure you back up anything of value (digital photos, music, etc.) in more than one way. “Having copies on more than one type of media greatly improves the chances of it surviving,” she says. Of course, you may not want every CD 10 years from now, but if you do, better safe than sorry.

  23. posted by Michael Kaply on

    I apologize for the product plug but I love these.

    DiscSox:

    http://www.mmdesign.com/cd-storage-sleeves.php

    They are a little pricey, but they store the ENTIRE CD intact (including the tray card).

    So I put all my CDs in these and then donated the jewel cases to the library.

  24. posted by chacha1 on

    I have several solutions to CD storage, none of which is perfect! 1) a DJ case for discs/liner notes of danceable music we have ripped to our main computer. 2) half a dozen of those notebook thingies. 3) a tower of new CDs on the desk top waiting to be reviewed/ripped. 4) a small CD storage tower that looks like a pagoda, pretty but only holds about 18 discs in jewel cases. 5) nearly 200 CDs in a jukebox which need to be unloaded and ripped and stored some other way since we learned we never use the jukebox for music, only for movies (why turn on the whole entertainment system for dinner party background music?). I love the spindle idea but it requires separate storage for the liner notes. This is a dilemma!

    @RV, this isn’t a minimalist site – it’s about uncluttering. The two often coincide, but not always!

  25. posted by Lose That Girl on

    Some may see 1000+ CDs as clutter but those of us who live and breathe music see them as a necessity.

  26. posted by Mary on

    What about donating the CDs to your local library? You aren’t profiting off them, so you can have your digital copies and sleep at night, plus they’re right there if you ever want to reburn them. And you get do-gooder points to boo.t

  27. posted by Katie Alender on

    We have several CD notebooks, but I prefer to use spindles. Come to think of it, you could easily make your own taller spindle. I guess that wouldn’t do for people who like to have easy access to the disks.

  28. posted by tinygreyhound on

    We have been doing the CD binder thing for a while, but have yet to find any kind of label that will stick to our fabric binders. Everything seems to fall off after a while and we’re left with a wall of black binders (now which one has the C-D artists in it again…).

    Does anyone have a suggestion as to labels that will STAY??

  29. posted by Brenda on

    “Also, from a legal standpoint, you aren’t supposed to have a digital copy of a CD without also having the physical copy”

    Glad to see you put a legal standpoint with your answer.

    I heard some organizing advice (can’t remember where) awhile back where the home owner was told to make copies of all their cd’s and SELL the origional on ebay. I was really bugged by that advice.

  30. posted by Morydd on

    I use binders, and keep a database on my computer so I don’t have to worry about alphabetizing. I can open the file and see that “Rattle & Hum” is in binder 3 page 46. It takes up a bit more room, but I keep the booklets in the pocket next to the disk. The folder holds half as many CDs but the info is right at hand. The binders are numbered (in roman numerals, because it’s easier to draw straight lines on the binders) with a silver paint pen.

  31. posted by Karyn on

    I always thought that as long as I had paid for the CD in the first place, it was OK to make a digital copy for personal use, regardless of what I did with the physical CD at a later date (tossed, gave away, kept, sold for a buck at a garage sale). I’d never heard that one has to keep the physical CD if a copy’s burned to one’s computer. What’s the point of making a digital copy if you also have to keep the physical copy on hand? It’s not as if I didn’t buy the thing in the first place!

  32. posted by kitryan on

    @ tinygreyhound
    I wrote on the spines of my binders with metallic paint marker, it fades a bit, but has lasted over 10 years (you can also just touch it up if need be) It is fairly permanent, but it works.

  33. posted by Chris I. on

    First of all making a digital file on your computer from a music CD is called ripping the CD. Burning is the exact opposite – making a new CD.

    @Karyn
    When you sell (or give away) your copy, you are also selling any limited rights you have related to that copy. If it was legal to rip the CD because you bought it, but then sell the CD and keep the digital copy, then the person you sold the CD to could use the same logic to do the same thing, and so could the next person he sold the CD to, and so on. In the end everybody would have purchased a copy, while the producer would have only sold one copy.

  34. posted by fausto on

    All who use notebooks for storing their CDs: Be careful of high temperatures and humidity, as the top of the CD (the label side), where the actual music is stored physically will tend to stick to the case so when you remove it, pulls it right off the CD destroying part of the music.

    This happened to the majority of my collection back in high school, and am still kicking myself for doing it.

  35. posted by Erin on

    Wow – this really was a biased post. Get rid of the CD’s. Keeping them goes against all of the advice you’ve ever given in this blog. They are in the basement (hence not being used I imagine). There will never be an agency going door-to-door to see if you have the CD’s for the music you’ve ripped/downloaded. Imagine the cost of doing that. This falls into a category of something you are not using or displaying – get rid of the CD’s!

  36. posted by Sooz on

    No one has mentioned this aspect yet:

    I always hold onto CD booklets, not only for the information in them, but also because over the years, I’ve gotten many CD booklets in my collection *autographed* by the singer(s)/artist(s) in question.

  37. posted by RighteousDork on

    Michael Kaply:
    Thanks for mentioning DiscSox! I was getting ready to bring that up. I haven’t bought any yet, but as soon as I can afford to do it, I plan on getting sleeves for all of my media (DVDs, Games, etc.)

  38. posted by gypsy packer on

    Most of my vinyl and CD’s were purchased secondhand, I ripped everything to computer, then to iPod, then to a portable hard drive, then I sold about half the hard copies, donated half to the local charity thrift store, and am waiting for a buyer to contact me on the other half.
    I had no idea it was illegal. I have a dust mite allergy and digitalization is a blessing to book and music lovers in this condition.

    If the %&*#’s send me to prison, I’ll get my teeth fixed at state expense and study for additional degrees. The powers that be will find it expensive to hassle me for a housekeeping coup.

  39. posted by gypsy packer on

    Excuse my mathematical frailty. I was furious when I wrote the post. Half the vinyl is gone, in two segments. The remainder molders in the closet.

  40. posted by joe g on

    A great way to save your cd’s, artwork, and inserts is the Jewelsleeve. You can get rid of all those clunky breakable plastic boxes and save a boatload of space.
    Joe G

  41. posted by Alisa on

    We don’t even have a stereo anymore. We burned all our CDs to itunes and bought a Sonos (www.sonos.com) player (& speakers). We also subscribe to rhapsody (www.rhapsody.com) so we don’t have to buy CDs anymore. We store all our CDs bought prior to digital music availability in two giant CD notebooks. It’s been a long time since we bought an actual CD.

  42. posted by Anca on

    500, 1000, 3000 CDs cases?! Wow. How can you even manage to listen to that much music, let alone organize/store physical copies? Rip them, back it up digitally, get rid of the CDs, and move on.

  43. posted by Mary C. on

    Anca, I was pondering those numbers myself. I don’t even have a hundred CDs, and I thought I had too many. LOL! However, I have a lot of books, so I can’t say much!

    I have some little wooden crates that I store my CDs in. I just shelve them like that. That works okay, if you don’t have a huge amount. I’m a visual, sort of ADD person, so if I have them where I can see what they are it works better for me.

    I need to upgrade my computer, before I do the digital thing. I’m looking forward to it.

    Thanks for a good post, Erin!

  44. posted by Kara on

    “There will never be an agency going door-to-door to see if you have the CD’s for the music you’ve ripped/downloaded”

    So your argument is it’s ok to break the law, because no one will ever know? Remind me not to invite you to my house so you can steal from me. God knows you might take something I didn’t notice, and so that would be ok.

  45. posted by Sky on

    I’m with RV and Anca, what’s up with 1000 CD’s? Even my teenage grandson doesn’t have that many. Seems excessive.

    My CD’s are in one CD notebook and I tossed the plastic cases and paperwork. Mostly I use my ipod because it is small and convenient.

    I agree this isn’t a minimalist website but it’s impossible to declutter until you purge.

  46. posted by Rue on

    @Tom I put all my CDs into a notebook with sleeves to keep in my car. Never had any problems with them being scratched.

  47. posted by Lola on

    Slappa hardbody cases can hold up to 600 cds without covers or 300 with covers:

    http://tinyurl.com/ybu7tk2

    I like the fact that they’re portable (in case of emergency) and easy to store in a closet or under a bed. Someone upthread made a very good point about hanging onto your physical copies because technology is always improving and you may want to re-rip at a later date. I agree with this.

    You may also find, as we did, that some of the rips we made had errors in them (due to the software used) and, had we sold the cds, we wouldn’t have been able to re-rip them correctly later. Food for thought.

  48. posted by Steve on

    Thanks for adding the legal advice in there – many people do think that it’s ok to rip the CD and then sell the physical CD and keep the copied tracks. This is a breach of copyright. Will the RIAA find out? The music industry is making massive pushes to stop illegal downloading AND copying. You would be surprised what legislation will appear because of lobbying and pressure from the Music companies and I wouldn’t want anyone to be faced with the out-of-kilter fines pirating racks up (in comparison to more serious offences such as drunk driving for example). As other commenters have stated, if you purchase and download from iTunes you have a license to those tracks and do not need a physical copy as well.

  49. posted by Mike on

    @Sky – Thousands of CDs may seem like a lot, but as @Lose That Girl said, to some, music is a pretty big deal, and thousands don’t seem like as much when you’ve been accumulating them over decades.

    I got my first CD player in 1989 so this is a great comparison point. I have about 300 gigabytes of digital files, many of which were bought from iTunes and never owned as a physical CD, but if I had to estimate, I would say I own the equivalent of 2000 CDs. Over twenty years, that’s only 100 CDs per year. Many acquired used, or as part of a multi-disc box set, so the total expenditure on music is probably $4-$8 per disc, or around $600 per year. That’s $50 per month.

    While that may seem like a lot to the average consumer, it’s not much for someone for whom music is a main hobby. Compare it on either a yearly or monthly cost for someone who is into bowling, bicycling, video games, cuisine, or golf — let alone more expensive hobbies like travel — and it’s not very different.

    And unlike the dusty old snowboard in the attic or the archery equipment in the closet, a person’s music collection tends to get used fairly often — even if that person is only a casual listener. Unclutterer isn’t about minimalism, but about getting good value out of what you have and discarding the things that aren’t proving as worthy.

  50. posted by JRE on

    @ Steve – This is, at best, a gray area of the law. But if any activity is illegal, it is simply *making* the digital copy (which is what copyright law restricts — *copying*), regardless of whether you have a physical product around.

    Also, everybody would be wise to learn from Mike up at the top, if you care about music. The compression algorithms used now will someday be obsolete. Better compression will come about and even you’re 320 VBR MP3 files will sound horrible by comparison. You also may be ripping your CDs in a semi-proprietary format that won’t play on future media systems.

    But if you still have an uncompressed audio CD around, you can re-rip it in a new, better format. If you don’t, you’ll be like Mike, kicking himself and spending time and money trying to recreate what you already had.

  51. posted by Erin on

    @Kara – I think all of the posts preceding mine made it very clear that as long as you aren’t selling the CDs you ripped, you aren’t doing anything illegal by converting them to an electronic format and getting rid of the boxes of discs people have in their basement. The only thing you are doing is uncluttering.
    And judging by your snarky comment, I’m guessing I’d have declined the invitation had their been one.

  52. posted by Stephanie on

    I burned all my CDs onto my computer last year (and then sold them, yes). But earlier this year my computer crashed, and I lost everything. As much as I liked having the space freed up, oh how I wish I’d kept them for a year in a box somewhere. Rebuilding the whole thing has been a pain in the ass.

  53. posted by milos on

    Hello everyone, what format you use for ripped?

  54. posted by Karyn on

    @ Chris I. – “If it was legal to rip the CD because you bought it, but then sell the CD and keep the digital copy, then the person you sold the CD to could use the same logic to do the same thing, and so could the next person he sold the CD to, and so on. In the end everybody would have purchased a copy, while the producer would have only sold one copy.”

    As the original purchaser of the CD, I’m the only one whose money went to pay royalties to the artist. The artist still has my money, whether I keep the CD in perpetuity or give it, trade it, sell it, or burn it in a fit of This Music Is EEEEEVVVVUUUULLL madness. Hence, I’d think whatever rights I “bought” with that money would remain mine, and not that of subsequent buyers.

    Of course, in practice the whole business is (as others pointed out) rather gray-area and not particularly practical to enforce. Also rather difficult to demonstrate, short of keeping all of my receipts, that one paid for the album as a new item and thus is the one who gave the artists their due. I’m by no means an advocate of mass pirating and sharing of files, but making a digital copy for personal use only should not be a problem.

    What I’m objecting to, mainly, is the bloating ad absurdum of legitimate interest in preventing illegal distribution of content. It’s bad enough I have to keep tax forms and other documents for-freakin-ever; do we REALLY have to start documenting every aspect of our lives, birth to death, right down to proving that we really really did make a purchase of that CD back in tickety-two?

  55. posted by lurker on

    I have looked at this problem too for some time.

    I have also put everything on the harddisks.
    As i want to keep the discs in good order indefinately i store them in the safest possible way:

    1. Vertically
    2. In Amarax boxes (they’re patented locking system puts just enough balanced stress on the hub to prevent warping)
    3. In a closed larger box, kept at the same temperature/humidity level all year long.

    The recommended CD notebook method will slowly kill the discs over time(warp and pressure damage).

  56. posted by DJ Cubishe on

    hello wveryone i need help with something that it might be easier to do than i think it is the deal is that i have burned all bunch of cds and i want to know what is the easiest program to make the jewel information just for me to know what is in each cd such as title of the song plus artist, i know i can do it manually but really? i mean it will take forever is there any program that i can pop my cd on my computer and just drag whatever information ?????. thanks

  57. posted by Maggie on

    I am ready to give up all of my cd’s, period. Don’t need them in a notebook, don’t want them. I put them all into a notebook awhile back, and now am ready to be free of that as well.

    There is a local record store that buys used cd’s but will not take them without the jewel cases.

    What is a girl to do now? Is ebay my only option? I have over 500 cd’s that I don’t want, sans jewel cases.

    (And if anyone thinks I can just give them away they’re nuts, we’re in a recession here people!;))

    Please help:)

  58. posted by Doug on

    A few people above are worried about better formats in the future. The keyword from Erin’s post was LOSSLESS. Lossless formats, such as FLAC, APE, and Apple Lossless, will keep the information exactly as the original. You can keep the lossless format files for storage purposes, and also have MP3 versions for your iPod. If there’s a newer, better MP3, you can make new MP3s (or other new format) from the lossless files. You can even change one lossless format for another without losing any audio information.

    The downside of lossless formats is the size. They take about 5 times the hard drive space of MP3s. Although, one CD will be about 350 MB in a lossless format. For 1000 CDs that’s about 350 GB. Not bad now that TB drives are out there.

  59. posted by Robert on

    The RIAA? Really? If all you’re doing is ripping CD’s to your computer, there’s no way that The Man is going to find out about it. There’s no reason for the RIAA to start suing the crap out of you if all you do is rip your own CD’s.
    Now, if you’re illegally downloading music and they find it out from your ISP, then that’s a different story… but the RIAA doesn’t have an X-Ray telescope that tells them exactly what’s on your computer’s hard drive, nor do they come knocking on random people’s doors. That’s just paranoid.

  60. posted by Herb on

    What about this – I have several hundred CDs, mostly classical and opera. When I play a CD, I often want to read the sleeve note or follow the (Italian, German, whatever) libretto. How do I do that when I’ve put all my music on Sonos? It seems to me that until someone invents a simple way of allowing me to do that electronically, I’m better off keeping my CDs in their fragile jewel boxes… unless you know different?

  61. posted by Jess Q. on

    Herb – What I would do is scan those sleeves front and back, and save them as a PDF. (Or some other file format that won’t degrade, such as PNGs, BMPs, PSDs, etc.) A PDF seems like the best solution because it can have multiple pages. Then I’d save all those PDF files in a folder (probably a subfolder of my Music folder) and reference them as needed.

    I’m pretty sure you’d even be able to print those booklets again directly from the PDF in almost the same quality as the original, which might be useful. Good luck!

    ——

    The wannabe minimalist in me wants to buy all music off iTunes (or digitally, anyway) from now on, to avoid anymore space conflicts. But the music/art lover in me wants to continue buying select albums from artists I really like in a physical copy so I can feel closer to the music and art. Such a dilemma!

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