Help me store my sizeable CD collection
February 9, 2004 12:57 PM   Subscribe

CD Storage [MI]

I have a ridiculous number of CDs, probably around 900 or so. What's the best way to store them? Right now, most of them are on spindles, which isn't that great.
posted by graventy to Grab Bag (16 answers total)
You mean blank CDs, yes? Or do you mean that you actually store recorded CDs on spindles?
posted by jdroth at 1:04 PM on February 9, 2004

Response by poster: Recorded, I'm afraid. Music, data, whatever.
posted by graventy at 1:16 PM on February 9, 2004

I've used CDProjects stuff for years (recently bought by Targus), and it's great. They use individual vinyl sleeves, which are of good quality. The sleeves fit into any of their binders for optimum portability, and you can organize/re-organize to your heart's content. Also handy for loaning them out, since you can just pull out the individual sleeve and give that.
posted by mkultra at 1:25 PM on February 9, 2004

For audio CDs, I use three 400-disc Sony megachangers controlled by my computer through a Nirvis Slink-e and the insanely great TitleTrack Jukebox software for OS X. The system catalogs your CDs using CDDB and downloads CDs covers, so you can either browse your collection by cover art or search by particular artists, albums, or songs.

You can daisychain two megachangers from a single analog input, and the system will automatically crossfade. (You don't need the computer setup to do that.) Or you can use optical connections, if your receiver has enough inputs. The setup isn't completely seamless (you have to run a serial cable to the Slink-e, although I'm hoping to find a reasonable Bluetooth RS232 adapter), and the software isn't quite as elegant as iTunes, but it's a great way to organize and manage a large CD collection.
posted by subgenius at 1:40 PM on February 9, 2004

If you're serious about reducing space, archive them as MP3s and burn those to CD. You'll reduce the number of CDs you have, and as long as you are able to organize/store them in an efficient, logical way (alphabetically?), you'd be in pretty good shape.

Then you can sell the originals for big money.

But if you want to keep them, I'd recommend going with mkultra's suggestion.
posted by rocketman at 1:45 PM on February 9, 2004

Speaking as a former used record store clerk, be wary of plastic sleeves. They tend to scratch CDs over time. Also, if you do opt to go that route with your store-bought CDs and you think you might want to sell them down the road, hold on the jewelcases. Most stores won't buy 'em back without 'em.

If you're gonna rip 'em and sell 'em, do yourself a favor and rip them to a lossless format like SHN or Ogg Vorbis. Personally, I'll never git rid of my CDs.

And for what it's worth, I don't think you can go wrong with a big rack of jewelcases dominating the room.
posted by keswick at 1:51 PM on February 9, 2004

I second the "big rack of jewelcases dominating the room" theory. I have about 1500 CDs. They're all in alphabetical order in the living room, in a huge set of CD shelves that I built from wood and cinderblocks. The total cost for the shelves was maybe $90 at Home Depot and ten minutes of work, for an entire wall worth of storage. Plus, it's easily expandable, very sturdy, and it looks pretty nice.
posted by vorfeed at 2:09 PM on February 9, 2004

Alphabetical order by artist and then by release date for me, thankyouverymuch.
posted by keswick at 2:15 PM on February 9, 2004

I take the MP3 + binder approach. This seems to be the best compromise on space-efficiency and accessibility.

You're going to need a lot of binder pages--shop around the Internet. Don't make the mistake of getting the most ginormous binders possible and cramming them full of sleeves--I get 4 CDs and their paper collateral on one page (there are 8 pockets); about 25-35 of these pages per binder is about right. My guess is that if you just leave the CDs in there--not frequently inserting/removing them--that they won't get scratched.

Get a big hard drive--they're fairly cheap--and rip all your music at a high bitrate with software you find convenient (I use iTunes, YMMV). When I want to take a CD with me somewhere, I burn a copy.
posted by adamrice at 2:16 PM on February 9, 2004

If you're gonna rip 'em and sell 'em, do yourself a favor and rip them to a lossless format like SHN or Ogg Vorbis.

Good call, but Ogg Vorbis isn't lossless. I use and recommend FLAC.
posted by duckstab at 3:14 PM on February 9, 2004

I just bought five of these for less than $250CAD. They'll hold exactly 900 CDs in regular jewel cases in surprisingly little room, and it's easy to add more as needed.
posted by timeistight at 4:07 PM on February 9, 2004

They'll hold exactly 900 CDs in regular jewel cases...
The item description says it holds 180 CDs.

We store our few hundred CDs in those huge cases.
posted by rhapsodie at 4:17 PM on February 9, 2004

180 * 5 = 900
posted by timeistight at 4:38 PM on February 9, 2004

Keep 'em on spindles and rip to a hard drive. They're getting so cheap now.... I know it's going to be more expensive than CD folders, but consider the value of having any file format at your fingertips for high-bandwidth, indexed random access all the time, plus the freedom to stick your CD spindles in the attic and reclaim all that shelf space.

(not necessarily my real personal opinion, but it's one POV to consider)
posted by scarabic at 5:24 PM on February 9, 2004

*Seconds timeistight's suggestion, having the same in his lounge*
posted by dg at 10:31 PM on February 9, 2004

I have found these to be useful, I store about 4500 Cds in them
with boxed sets and strangely packaged stuff along the top row.
They survived two moves and are easily expandable

Also, I second SubGenius' suggestion of the Slink-e and Titletrack
combination if you are into that sort of thing, although the fact
that they charge full price to upgrade to the OS X version is
posted by milovoo at 11:18 AM on February 10, 2004

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