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Best way to digitize & organize CD and DVD library?
January 9, 2013 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Finishing up a home organization project... I'm facing several boxes of (music) CDs, and one box of (movie) DVDs. What's the best way of digitizing & storing the music & movie files?

Music - I know how to rip a CD into iTunes, but how would one digitize several boxes of CDs? Any preferred/reliable/trustworthy vendors out there?

Movies - I know how to digitize a DVD, but not sure how to retain cinematic resolution, or - just as importantly - how to get a file that resides happily alongside other movies in iTunes. (Would rather not end up with a disk image of the DVD.) Once in iTunes, I should be able to get it on the iPad, stream it through an AppleTV, etc.

Looking for a fully legal solution. This is just for personal storage, to preserve these files before the physical plastic media go bad; no plans for torrenting or otherwise sharing the files.

(Previously: Yes, I've read past questions on formats (1, 2), digitizing documents, and iTunes tips.)
posted by mark7570 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
For movies: You want to rip it with Handbrake, using an AppleTV preset. Then just drag the resulting file into iTunes. Bam. (This is my own strategy.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:49 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I were you, I would rip CDs myself. I have done similar project with ~170 CDs. Ripping CD is not that a big deal but tagging is pain in the butt. I used Exact Audio Copy and flac encoder.

If you are in Apple Ecosystem, I would make separate ripping using iTunes (Flac format is equivalent of CDs, loseless and open source so you can convert it to any other formats in future)

For Videos, Handbrake, VidCoder are fine.
posted by zaxour at 1:33 PM on January 9, 2013


If I were you, I would rip CDs myself.
Ripping CD is not that a big deal but tagging is pain in the butt.


QFT. Once you know what you want and how to do it ripping is surprisingly easy.

Do you care about accuracy? If so, stay away from iTunes and use either EAC, CUETools, foobar2000, or dBpoweramp for Windows, or XLD for Mac (there might be others I don't know about). All of these can check your rips against the AccurateRip database, and all have special modes of operation you can choose to use if one of your CDs either isn't present on the DB, or can't be verified. For the latter cases you can sometimes fix your rip using CUETools.

If you don't care about accuracy, then iTunes or whatever ripper you feel comfortable with will be fine.

I agree with the suggestion of ripping to a lossless format. FLAC is the most popular one and the one I'd recommend but ALAC is now open-source as well and I suppose iTunes supports it.
posted by Bangaioh at 2:16 PM on January 9, 2013


Not to derail, but, in the US (where you're located), ripping your DVDs to another format for personal use is not legal. It's a violation of the DMCA, specifically since you have to circumvent DRM to do it.

If you're looking for a "fully legal solution" (your own words), you will not be able to rip your DVDs. Ripping CDs for your own personal use is (still) legal, as much as the RIAA wishes it wasn't.
posted by hanov3r at 7:43 PM on January 9, 2013


For DVDs, I recommend Mac The Ripper. It just straightforwardly copies the VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders with copy protection removed. So you keep menus, special features, etc., with no transfer artifacts. To play them, use VLC Player.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:05 PM on January 9, 2013


hanov3r is correct - handwringing about the legality of what you're doing is a bit pointless since it's illegal right out of the box. It might even be easier to get good rips on BitTorrent than to rip all your disks yourself, and legally it amounts to the same thing. Same thing for the albums really, it would probably take less time to download them all than to rip them all, and at the end of the day the result (a big collection of digital files corresponding to the physical media you own) is the exact same.
posted by signsofrain at 7:17 AM on January 10, 2013


it would probably take less time to download them all than to rip them all, and at the end of the day the result (a big collection of digital files corresponding to the physical media you own) is the exact same

This depends on the OP's CD collection and intentions. If he owns a lot of obscure CDs it might not be that easy finding them all, even more so if he prefers lossless versions, or if he is looking for specific editions of an album with multiple releases (for example, older masters not affected by the loudness war). Additionally, with downloaded files one can never be sure of their origin, think FLAC files that are actually transcoded from MP3.
posted by Bangaioh at 9:26 AM on January 10, 2013


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