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If you've read my blogs at all, you'll know that I go to many concerts, and buy lots of CDs. You can browse my CD collection on my site, and use it to search YouTube for examples for each band. It's something I take pretty seriously. It also presents a lot of unexpected problems.

What do you rip to? Right now I'm ripping to 192k MP3, which is fine, most of the collection is 128k MP3 though, which is not fine. Since I need to re-rip anyway, I'm considering ripping it all to FLAC and then transcoding that to whatever bitrate is good for MP3 at the time.

The issue here is that CDs do die. Even when held in isolation and never played, like mine are. We currently have 8 of the big CD binders and a couple of boxes in the attic full of empty jewel cases.

Another problem I was having was that when I'd go to a record store, which usually ends up with about 20 discs at a shot, I would sometimes buy something my wife had gotten like a week earlier. This is why I wrote the collection browser above, so I could be in the middle of the store and looking at the site on my phone to verify what I already have, or to jog my memory about something I wanted to pick up. Often, I'll have a whole list of stuff to look for on the way in and then just draw a blank.

Once you reach a certain point, backup also becomes something you think about. What if the house burns down, do I really want to completely lose gigs and gigs of MP3s? Photos are the same problem, we used to just keep on buying 2GB memory cards, filling 'em, sticking them in a drawer when they fill up, and buy more. That's not really scalable either.

This is why I wrote the Backups article on the main page. It was prompted by someone elses laptop drive dying, but it was something I knew I needed to do anyway.

So now I have a NAS to do nightly profile backups for the both of us, plus CDs and other common files, then another drive to take to store in my office safe and bring home on weekends to get updated so I have an off-site backup.

Scripted backups are great for Linux and OSX, but what if I ran Windows? I guess I'd just have to kill myself, I think that's the only answer.

Why can't hobbies be easy?

Wow Chris, that's one impressive music collection. I've been an avid record collector since the 1950s. Of course starting back then it was all vinyl. My family was upper middle class I guess it was called then, and all my family members (who I ever met anyway) were white!
Back in 1957 this little newbie teenager brought home an album entitled "Here's Little Richard! I'm pretty sure my parents were horrified, but if they had any prejudices (which they probably did) they were pretty cagey about them. I played that Little Richard album to death (only figuratively speaking). I can still see myself dancing (privately) about the room screaming the lyrics to Tutti-Frutti or any other song on that LP or its successor which bore the simpler title, "Little Richard" at the top of my lungs.
I probably still have a few hundred LPs, including that original album, "Here's Little Richard".
Many of my LPs, especially those by Bob Dylan unfortunately, are in pretty rough shape because my friends and I frequently had consumed mass quantities of beer while enjoying them. Many of my albums, however, are still pristine or near pristine. It's interesting that our Library of Congress prefers to archive music on vinyl in favor of any other media.
Nonetheless, I bought my first CD player in 1983 and, like a lot of other people I quickly stopped buying vinyl. Not only that, but every time I saw a CD re-release of one of my old record albums I bought that! Soon I had several 100 CDs.
However, about 10 years ago now I acquired some really top shelf audio equipment with tube amplification. Since I was in sort of a retro mood some would say, I became motivated to acquire a good turntable (a Rega Planar 3) and I already had a highly rated cartridge, a Pickering V-15 XME.
Of course inevitably, I "A-B'd” between the CD deck and the turntable with the exact same release synched on each. I'm sure you've read it somewhere else as well, but with good equipment vinyl kicks digital's ass to hell and back. Since this revelation, I haven't bought a whole lot of music, but some that I have bought has been on 180 mil vinyl.
My son buys music from iTunes now and occasionally I have him burn a CD for me. Age is slowing me down (or something certainly is) and so I don't buy much music anymore. I don't play it as much as I used to either. I'm kind of sad about that.
Well I have to get up fairly early tomorrow morning and it's pretty late now so I'll continue my music tales some other time. Hope you enjoyed this and for all that you do for us.

Wow, one of my neighbors growing up was a huge jazz fan. He had thousands of records in his basement, and a vintage Wurlitzer. I loved dog/house sitting for them while they traveled.

I have almost no opinion on the analog/digital debate. It's almost a zero sum game, you can spend and spend and spend for the little incremental improvements, to the point that you're buying snake oil; you can buy 500 foot spools of identical spec cable for $50 at Home Depot, a box of 25 ends will cost you $7, I have two spools sitting behind me right now, yellow and blue, take yer pick Denon, hah.

I know that with my damaged hearing I wouldn't be able to tell the difference necessarily. Though I also used to say that about 128k MP3s, now it's just depressing to listen to my older collection, knowing I have to re-rip it. Sometimes it's not too bad, for something that's piano driven or otherwise has lots of highs, forget it it's trash :-)rm -rf /usr/local/apache

Several years ago I actually went pretty much completely deaf. I don't wear earplugs at shows (I know, I know...), and I went to one particular show at the Wittemore where they had fireworks, inside a hockey arena. You know the ones, bright flash loud noise. Anyway, I had a job interview like 3 days later and couldn't hear a complete sentence. I got the job somehow. Both sides were out for a couple of weeks, then it was really just my left. I had problems for probably 4 or 5 years after that, conservatively. Now 8 years on I can hear just fine.

It was in that intervening time that I ripped 1200 CDs to a low crappy bitrate. Live and learn.

My wife is starting to build up her collection of 50's through 70's now. Strangely the 20's and 30's are pretty well represented, though by no means exhaustive, along with several modern cabaret-type acts who are either playing or inspired by that era (Janet Klein, Ditty Bops, Rasputina, to a degree Dresden Dolls, among others). So now she's adding to the Patsy Cline and Andrews Sisters types. There are several groups doing that type of music too, but with a lot less originality (Puppini Sisters are basically a cover band, so why not get the originals instead?) Also forthcoming is the Rhino Rockabilly Box Set, we have developed a real taste for Psychobilly and alt. country like Reverend Horton Heat, Hank Williams III (as is so often the case, the first and third installments of a trilogy are where the action is), and Th' Legendary Shack Shakers. Because of this our collection has swelled to include more Carl Perkins and that sort of thing.

I'm sort of torn on the Rhino collections. I guess by and large you're getting "the hits", but you're missing a lot of the depth and the songs that influenced other song writers. I guess it's a toss-up.

We're both sort of all over the map. I go from Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave to Pzychobitch, GG Allin and Pete Seeger in an average hour. Natalie is the same, minus the GG Allin, since he disgusts her completely. He does me too, but I guess it's kind of a "disgusted grudging admiration".

I really think losing my hearing was a huge wake up call and prompted me to see as much live music as possible. We go to, and I take pictures of, probably one show every week and a half on average. We never want to go so much that we tire out and it becomes a drag, but we try and go as much as we can.