Storing CDs In The Cloud.
March 23, 2017 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Time to free up house space, so time to get rid of my CDs. Please help me sort out my options. Details inside.

Must have: Music stored in cloud only, not on my computer. Apple hardware access.
Nice to have: Access from Android phone and Fire HD 8. Willing to pay. Willing to spend the time loading my CDs into computer. Thanks.
posted by DanSachs to Technology (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Two things:

This may not matter to you, but: if you sell the CDs, you no longer have a legal right to the music you ripped from them.

I'm looking into archival storage for my not-inconsiderable collection, and that may be offsite, but I'll still own them.

Having ONE copy of anything, even music, is a bad idea. If *I* were you, and I wanted to pursue cloud-based access to my collection, I might look for an online storage solution in addition to a local option. When it comes to data, one is none and two is one.

Basically, assume at least one storage location for anything you have that's important will suddenly and randomly vanish at some point. Even if your cloud storage vendor has redundant drives and backup systems and whatnot, the provider ITSELF could go away or malfunction or be compromised, so you have to consider their storage as a single point of failure.

It could be that, if you elect to box up and store your CDs in binders or whatever, that's a sufficient backup for you, but I sure wouldn't want to have to rerip my collection because of a cockup at Amazon S3 or whatever.
posted by uberchet at 11:24 AM on March 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

How big is your collection? Cloud storage pricing will depend on that. Also affects your choice of file format.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 11:32 AM on March 23, 2017

Access from Android phone and Fire HD 8. Willing to pay.

It won't have everything, but for $120/y, you can wipe your hands of any other concerns with Spotify Premium. For that matter, free Spotify might even fit your needs.

There are also ways to load in external tracks if you do have a few items not found on Spotify.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:42 AM on March 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

A few years ago, I ripped every single one of my CDs and uploaded them to Google Play Music. Works like a charm.
posted by jozxyqk at 11:58 AM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

How many CDs are we talking about?

I did this about 8 years ago and had a few hundred CDs if I recall. I sold the CDs to various online sellers. I did not make a lot of money on them, but I felt good that I got a little bit and opened up some space. In 2017 I do not know if anyone is buying used CDs anymore.

As far as the process, consider how likely it is that you will listen to this stuff and how. Just about any song you want is available to you, possibly for free, RIGHT NOW if you're online. If it is very important to you to have the music available to you offline, then you might want to consider other options. Ripping the CDs was incredibly time consuming. I did it while I was sitting at my desk anyway but it still sucked and took a few months. You might consider paying a neighborhood teenager to do it for you. But instead of ripping the CDs, you may want to look into some of the various music match systems - Amazon Match and iTunes Music Match.

I kept the CDs from local bands and a few favorites. I haven't looked at them in years.
posted by k8t at 12:03 PM on March 23, 2017

Google Play Music is great, but it may not meet your required "play nice with Apple" rule. It can also do a thing where it replaces whatever you've uploaded with their on-file version of the track, and I've ended up streaming some clean versions of explicit songs in my library with no foolproof way to switch them back.
posted by papayaninja at 12:36 PM on March 23, 2017

These are CDs that I never listen to because they are sitting in boxes taking space in my garage. If they are accessible online I may listen to them. Once loaded they go to Goodwill; no great loss to me if something happens in the future and my cloud floats away. Don’t want to search Spotify or a music match library to find my stuff. Don’t worry about quantity; I will load and, if necessary, pay as time and interest permits. Not interested in off-line access; in fact need a solution that leaves minimal footprint on my drive.
posted by DanSachs at 1:27 PM on March 23, 2017

All my CDs have been ripped. I backup to Spider Oak for $5 a month, and I also sync with Google Play Music for free, so I've got two cloud backups plus my local music directory.

I still have all the CDs (about 500). They are stored in those CD books that hold 100 - 200 CDs in plastic sleeves, so all the jewel cases and inserts are long gone. Works great and is worry free.

Another issue with Google Play music is that it limits the number of times you can download your own music. That is the main reason I double back up to Spider Oak.
posted by COD at 1:32 PM on March 23, 2017

If you do significant ripping it'd be nuts not to dump it all to an external drive and toss it (gently) in a closet, just in case preferences change someday.

For long term cloud, amazon glacier is really cheap, but it's for archival only, S3 if tuned is perhaps complicated but can be flexible, not sure the exact cost.
posted by sammyo at 3:53 PM on March 23, 2017

Sorry folks, I wasn't clear in my question. My priority isn't archiving files; I want these stored so I can easily access them and select what I listen to.
posted by DanSachs at 6:32 PM on March 23, 2017

So I've done this several times. I think the first time was when I got a nomad in 1999 or so? It fell in the water so I ripped them again onto a laptop in 2001-ish. It filled up so I put some on a hard drive too. Then about 2003 I got an ipod and ripped my whole collection again, in earnest and sorted them out using itunes. I still have that ipod, which is nice as I can no longer get songs off that ipod as it's so old the software isn't supported anymore and the laptop and the hard drive I had stored some of the music on as a back up both failed circa 2006-7. Oh and my boyfriend downloaded a virus and corrupted my itunes library and ipod so when he reloaded it some stuff never made it back on. So no we're up to about 2008 or 9 and I have a ton of music on an ipod I can't get it off of, a failed hard drive and a backup on my boyfriend's desktop with all the memory. We break up. I still can't get the music off my ipod and he corrupted the stuff I had stored online on some fledgling cloud program with that virus. This is around the time that itunes gets impossible to use too so I go ok, and I try out four or five software packages, buy one and it goes out of business 9 months later. I get my first smartphone and buy some other software. Half my stuff won't play because it's the wrong format but that's OK, I'll fix it later. Then it goes out of business or stops supporting Android or something. Rinse, repeat 4 or 5 times. I break down and buy Amazon Music. It sucks for a variety of reasons I won't get into for my sanity. I've given up on my own music and use Spotify. A lot of the time I even listen to the radio. I haven't done that since 1991.

What I'm saying is that there is no one best solution and it's frustratingly high maintenance to manage your music. If possible I'd recommend ripping in a couple formats and storing online in a non-proprietary way. Make your own file system. Then you can pull from that into whatever media player works and is still being supported at any given time. And that changes a LOT.

ps, I still have my CDs and I've actually started carrying a wallet in my car and listening to them again. The sound is better and the frustration level is lower.
posted by fshgrl at 8:32 PM on March 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

My priority isn't archiving files; I want these stored so I can easily access them

I don't think you can easily split apart these two things, CD's stored in a compact format are pretty much the gold standard for archival storage, once you get rid of that, you do have to consider what archiving strategy will replace it or you will end up with nothing. This is not some rare event that hardly ever happens, a lot of people have lost large music collections just by trusting the wrong company/technology and failing to have a backup. Also in most juristictions, if you give away the CD to goodwill you are also giving away the licence to play the music.
posted by Lanark at 3:36 AM on March 24, 2017

Can you tell us a little more about " need a solution that leaves minimal footprint on my drive.?

Music files are tiny. For instance, suppose you have 1000 CDs... you can fit those all on one of these, which is the size of your thumbnail and costs $20.

Or do you have a HUNDRED THOUSAND cds? In that case, you could store them all on one of these, which is the size of a small paperback book and costs $120.

I'm just saying the requirement is hard to understand without more context. I'm not saying it's not a good idea to also store in the cloud, but not having it locally is kind of ... weird.
posted by dmd at 6:31 AM on March 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

you want Apple's iTunes Match.

First, subscribe to Match. It's ~ $25 USD a year.

Then, rip your CDs into iTunes. It will then upload them to "the cloud". After they have been uploaded you can delete the copies of your local hard drive.

You can then turn on the "iCloud Music Library" on your iOS device to get access to the songs.
posted by osi at 10:00 AM on March 24, 2017

osi: That sounds like what I'm looking for. I'll check it out and see what I think.
posted by DanSachs at 10:03 AM on March 24, 2017

Is it clear how to delete the copies off my local hard drive after they're uploaded?
posted by DanSachs at 11:18 AM on March 24, 2017

Thanks for everyone's attention and advice; I marked osi's response as best answer since it seems to be exactly what I was looking for but upon further reflection I really don't think I'll ever listen to these again so the CDs are going to Goodwill.
posted by DanSachs at 1:15 PM on March 25, 2017

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