Digitize & upload music library
January 6, 2017 1:46 PM   Subscribe

I am digitizing a friend's CD music collection. Once I rip it to MP3s (what she requested), what would be the easiest & cheap as in free way to send it all to her via the Interwebs as I do so?

She has an iTunes account - can I somehow upload it there? How would my iTunes be affected?

Would DropBox be a better solution? Or something similar?
posted by jammy to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I mean, if it's huge, put it on a portable hard drive for her. A free dropbox account isn't going to get you very far (2GB by default, I think - MUCH smaller than most people's CD collections in MP3 format).

If you HAVE to use the internet, look into something like MEGA - their 'free account' limit is 50GB, I think.
posted by destructive cactus at 1:53 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

You might use something like Resilio, which works to synchronize a directory via Bittorrent protocol. Usually the transfer rates are nice and quick, and set-up is breezy. Basically you just add in a directory, choose your options (like whether it's okay to just read, copying it over unidirectionally, or read+write, bi-directionally), and then share either a link, a key, or even a QR code.

When that's input on the other end, the transfer begins. I was getting around 2MB/s for 30GB I needed to transfer. It felt pretty straightforward to me, and it's more privately end-to-end than torrents are typically, given that you need to know the keycode in order to begin, and it can hypothetically just exist between the two of you. I found it to work pretty well for this purpose.
posted by a good beginning at 2:00 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

If she would trust you with her Amazon login credentials you could upload all of it to her Amazon Music, then she can download it. There's a limit to how many files you can store there for free, but she could easily delete them from Amazon Music after she downloads them.
posted by tacodave at 2:03 PM on January 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Dropbox would be easiest by far, but you'd probably need a Pro account.
posted by neckro23 at 2:05 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

She could spend $2.99 to upgrade Google Drive to 100 GB for a month, you can upload, she can download then cancel the upgrade if she doesn't need it, although I'd recommend keeping the files there as a backup because music sync services do fail in bad ways sometimes.
posted by COD at 2:06 PM on January 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

How much stuff is it? How fast are your broadband connection and hers? Is she local? MP3s are already pretty small so you don't gain a lot by zipping/compressing. There isn't a way to upload it to iTunes unless you get her credentials and use iTunes Match which is unlikely to be the best option. Me and my guy usually use Google Drive for this but he has a "business" account so he can put a lot of stuff on there. I can't. If you have access to web space, creating a directory for her where she can download it in chunks (like you have a directory and it has a zipped file for each album) might be the best option.
posted by jessamyn at 2:11 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Unless transferring these online is necessary and depending on the amount of data you're sending, it might be a combination of cheaper, faster and easier to just buy an appropriately sized external HD and snail mail that stuff. Snail mailing a HD even with all the insurance and bells and whistles is p damn cheap.
posted by furnace.heart at 2:22 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

I mean, even a hard drive is probably overkill. You can buy a 128GB flash drive for twenty bucks and that's overkill for 99.95 percent of music libraries. Also no moving platter so much easier to mail.
posted by selfnoise at 2:24 PM on January 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh my, I really should have noted the size of the library. It's not more than 250 CDs, so not that much.

But I'm mainly hearing that transporting via cheapo thumb drive is probably the best route to go - which was what I was thinking as well!

Thank you all for justifying my instincts!
posted by jammy at 2:32 PM on January 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

250 CDs is probably in the range of 15-40GB, depending on the length of the CDs and the bitrate you use.
posted by noloveforned at 2:41 PM on January 6, 2017

A USB flash drive or portable HDD is really the best solution, if you are not in a big hurry. (In some cases it's faster regardless!)

Answering the question as-written, though, or if you really need to do it via the Internet, the best way (IMO) is something that doesn't require an intermediate upload/write-to-disk step. There are a number of websites that allow direct P2P transfers via HTTP, most using either Flash or WebRTC. (They will probably work between two home computers but many corporate networks may block either or both of those technologies.) JustBeamIt is the only one I've used, and it did what it claimed. As far as I can tell it ran at the full channel capacity between the two machines.

A step above those in technical complexity would be to start up a lightweight webserver on the "sending" side, running on a nonstandard port (to get around consumer ISP's blocks on port 80), open/forward the port through your router, and then have the "receiving" side connect to [ip address]:[port] and grab the file or files that way. However even if you know how to do that, for security reasons I wouldn't go poking holes in firewalls without trying the P2P-via-WebRTC solutions first; they're pretty slick.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:12 PM on January 6, 2017

Create a shared Google account and sign up for Google Music's free tier that will let you upload 20,000 tracks. Sync the tracks from your computer to it - in the majority of the cases it will be able to fingerprint the file on your computer and add access to it without having to spend the time actually uploading it. She can then log into the account and download mp3s of everything that you uploaded.

If you're going to mail it to her, an SD card or MicroSD card will hold everything and go into a standard envelope.
posted by Candleman at 3:12 PM on January 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

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