the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Tag Archives: discogs

rippin’ good time!

A long holiday break and “dry January” has given me plenty of time to finish ripping my CD collection, and as of today, I’m finished. My RAID drive is now half-full of digital music – ripped, tagged, and entered into Discogs – all for Roon to play. Hurrah!

I’ve sorted through thousands of CDs; nearly all of them I want to keep, and those that I don’t I’ve piled into two: worth selling and worthless. It’s hard to define what to not keep, but you kinda know it when you see it: Todd Rundgren compilation 2CD on Rhino, French budget CD of The Moody Blues’ Go No… you get the drift.

I’ve deleted about 50% of the mp3 I’ve ever downloaded because they’ve been replaced with a shiny disc. That’s good! I regret selling some that I used to own, and I wish I would have made a FLAC copy of the ones I only made a MP3 of; yeah, I know, that’s not “in the spirit” of copyright law, but you know what? Artists make the same on used CD purchases. But I don’t want to go there…

CDs are amazingly cheap, so cheap that I find myself scouring bargain bins and buying anything under $3-4 bucks, especially of ones I already have the vinyl of. I might not keep all of them, but that digital archive is gonna be OCD complete!

rippin’ good time?

Now that I’ve started my 14 day trial to Roon, I have begun digitizing my record collection in earnest. What fun! Not really. Pretty boring to be honest. There’s no real fast way to do it; I guess I could use one of those services – pack up my CDs and mail them to someone who will rip them – seriously, no way. So it’s to the grind: take a bunch of CDs off the shelf, open the case, open the drawer, insert, press rip, get artwork, eject, repeat. About 4,000 times.

A couple of things: First, don’t use “CD Paranoia Mode” because it’s slow. Just let them rip and deal with potential errors later. Ripping is a marathon and it isn’t pretty. Second, check metadata as you rip: titles, dates, artwork, m3u file, etc. Remember, you’re building a Library, and it’s much easier to do now than later. Third, the CDs I am ripping were all entered into discogs.com. I can sort my collection by “date entered” which approximates the listing by what’s on the shelf: very convenient for collecting artwork, checking dates etc.

Finally, rip everything, even that crappy Badfinger live CD on Ryko. If you don’t want to rip it, ditch it (and delete the files, lest you be in violation of copyright laws!). Seriously, this is a good time to pass judgment as to what is “on the shelf.” It’s also a great time to look for holes in the collection, especially with that discogs page open.

This will take substantially longer than the 14 day trial to Roon!

discogs.com

I have a few passions in life: technology, food (both eating and cooking) and music. I’ve been collecting records since the early 70s and have amassed a man-cave full of them, along with CDs, DVDs, boxsets, cassettes, singles, etc. After doing this for decades, I find slimmer pickings at the shops these days; mainly, because I already own most of the records that I want, and well, people’s taste in music doesn’t really change that much over the years, does it? But I still love collecting, and I still love record shopping.

In 2005, I discovered discogs.com. It’s a website built around a user-contributed database with just about every music release ever, you know, released. Think of it as Wikipedia, but for albums. The coolest feature is the implementation of master release and subsequent pressings. For the collector, one can find the exact pressing in their collection, or the copy that they are looking for, as there’s also a marketplace attached to the site — I guess that’s how they keep the bills paid for running the website.

As with any “user-contributed” sites, discogs.com has its pluses and minuses (the minuses being users that take it upon themselves to police every last change to a listing), but overall, it’s very accurate and very robust. As a marketplace, it’s effortless to drill down to the *exact* release I want; as well as creating a want list for those that I cannot afford! Anyway…

I have a lot of records; to the point of I don’t even know what I have! On a recent record-run, I bought five records that I already owned. Not a lot of money, but it pushed me into action. Discogs.com also has a feature that allows one to catalog their collection to the website, as well as a phone app that lets one access that collection wherever they go. The trick is, you have to enter that collection into the website. Luckily, the phone app has a built-in barcode reader, so adding items to your collection is as easy as scanning them (just keep the app rotation fixed to portrait)! For records, unfortunately, this doesn’t work, as ones prior to 1980 never had barcodes. But it’s easy enough to enter the catalog number from a computer.

It’s a time consuming process, but not one without reward – revisiting items I didn’t know I had – nor one without an end. Figuring out which specific pressing I have (Monarch, Presswell, etc.) can be arduous, even to the point of who cares; but it’s a solution to a very real need, and a damn good one at that. Give me a year and I’ll have most everything cataloged.

Until then, enjoy the music.

drupal

Okay, something new to learn, the Drupal content management system. I have some help from the good people at Ajenda.com and a great incentive in the discogs module written by karlheinz. Here's to the next incarnation of progressiverock.com!