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Best Method for Automated CD Ripping? 133

OzPeter asks: "I have a need to rip about 200-300 CDs in the near future, and I am not looking forward to being a slave to the computer every 4 minutes in order to change the CD in the drive. I have been looking around for automated ripping systems but in general have not been impressed by what I found. This question was asked, 4 years ago, and the best advice to come out of it seemed to be to hire a local teenager to be that slave. Have things improved, or does the advice given in that article still stand? What is currently the best way of automatically ripping a significant number of CDs?"
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Best Method for Automated CD Ripping?

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  • I was expecting the software to be around the automation of ripping/encoding a CD, but this text here:

    "I have a need to rip about 200-300 CDs in the near future, and I am not looking forward to being a slave to the computer every 4 minutes in order to change the CD in the drive."

    makes me think you're looking for something hardware based? No 300 CD drives out there, sorry.
  • Well (Score:3, Informative)

    by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:39PM (#14738370) Journal
    What is currently the best way of automatically ripping a significant number of CDs?"

    There isn't one. If you were mearly duplicating, there's plenty of robotic/automated (albiet expensive) solutions, but since you're wanting to rip, you can either hire that teenager, or send it off to these people [ripdigital.com].
    • ripping.

      Check their offering out [slimdevices.com] which comes to just under $400 for 300 CDs.

    • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

      by paeanblack ( 191171 )
      there's plenty of robotic/automated (albiet expensive) solutions

      Keep in mind the hidden cost of not investing in automated ripping hardware: you need to invest in a more robust storage system or pay the ripping fee again when drives fail.

      However, if you spend a few hundred dollars on a 200 disc changer, like a Starmatix Powerfile, you don't really need to bother with a RAID. This factor needs to be considered when pricing the whole deal.
    • Re:Well (Score:5, Informative)

      by SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @09:32PM (#14738741)
      Trying reading the 278 comments when this was last discussed in December 2005:
      http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/12/16/011224 9 [slashdot.org]

      Really, that was a good discussion, and this is basically a dupe of that.
      • That discussion was about ripping services, and really wasn't that great a discussion IMO.

        I looked into those services and couldn't find anything cheaper than ~$1/disc. For the 1500 or so discs my friends and I have, that is way too expensive to be worthwhile. The submitter has the right idea with loading up a 200+ jukebox/changer a couple of times and I'm researching that now.
        • Where are you located?
          I have an 8 drive ripping RAIC setup and if you are close enough to drop them by, my system averages less than 1 minute per CD. Granted that's still a full day of ripping, but ... I'm sure we could work something out. General geography is enough to get started, I should be able to tell if you are within a few hours driving with that (no need to say city or zip or anything.)
    • but since you're wanting to rip, you can either hire that teenager, or send it off to these people.

      Or you could just do it a few CDs at a time. I've been ripping my CD collection onto my laptop over the last few months - you don't need to do it over a weekend, you know, and it's no great trouble to occasionally pop a CD in and rip it ...
      • Or you could just do it a few CDs at a time. I've been ripping my CD collection onto my laptop over the last few months - you don't need to do it over a weekend, you know, and it's no great trouble to occasionally pop a CD in and rip it ...
        No need to be a slave to your computer. It's maybe a 30-second process each time the CD needs to be changed out. When I have a bunch to process (usually after a birthday or one of my clearance-rack sprees), I just grab a good book or movie and settle down with it. Pop a
        • Even better - Read /. while ripping!

          Seriously, I just hit my normal list of geek news sites whenever I have a batch process running that needs occasional attention. Most of the time, it's a CD/DVD backup, a hard disk copy, or some audio processing. During whatever process I run, I fire up the browser and hit /. and a few other sites to get up to speed on what the world has going on.

          The basic point is that the CD ripping isn't a task that requires a constant monitor, nor is it one that needs to be Ronco si
  • I dont think Its possible. Unless there is a cd changer out there that can handle hundreds of CDs, your S-O-O-L.
  • 4 minutes? Either you're not looking for lossless ripping or my computer is getting really really old... It takes me much more that that to rip a complete CD with EAC [exactaudiocopy.org].
    • There's a difference between ripping and encoding. For a task like the poster is describing, you'd want to rip all of the discs to wav first, then encode unattended later. Depending on the drive and condition of the discs, this could take less than 4 mins each (haven't timed it in awhile).

      400 gig drives (to store the uncompressed wavs) are relatively inexpensive these days.
      • FWIW, Audiograbber does just as well as EAC IMHO. YMMV. As for unattended ripping, are you seeking accurate tags or not? Are you willing to sift through everything later if something didn't work right? As for myself, I'm in the midst of re-ripping my entire CD collection (only about 200 right now) to MP3 with LAME via Audiograbber with "V 0 --vbrnew" for near lossless quality. (all you purists can just STFU, I'm aware of compression and how it affects things. I can also tell you I'm only human and my speake
      • If I had a dime for every person that has used "ripping" when they meant "rip and encode", I'd have a lot of dimes. Apps like iTunes that do it all in one make people forget you first have to extract the digital audio (WAV or AIFF) and then compress it down to a lossy format (or a different lossless). If they rip everything to WAV first and then encode later, how are they going to populate their ID3 tags? WAV does not store ID3 tags.

        I use EAC/LAME in Secure Mode and it takes ~10 mins to rip and encode an au
        • Well, you could store your files as ArtistName-Album-Tracknumber-Title.wav
          And then just have your script slice the filenames and set the id3 based on this.
        • If they rip everything to WAV first and then encode later, how are they going to populate their ID3 tags? WAV does not store ID3 tags.

          I use the filenames to carry the information that I will later use MP3Collector to make into ID3 tags.

          Here's an example
          • Ice Cube-[AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted]-07-Turn Off The Radio.wav

          All of the information that I use (artist, album, track index, song title) are all contained in the name of the file. It's easy to extract automatically.

          I encode my music as 256kbps MP3s. Personally,

        • WAV does not store ID3 tags.

          RIFF files such as .wav files and .avi files certainly can store the information of ID3 tags and more. If your ripper or encoder doesn't support RIFF tags [queensu.ca] in .wav files, bug the developer.

    • It takes me 6 minutes to rip/encode a typical CD using FLAC on a 1.7 GHz Sempron64+, 52x CD-R running Slackware and using Konqueror to drag-n-drop the files.
  • AllOfMP3 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ahnteis ( 746045 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:41PM (#14738392)
    Download it off AllOfMP3.com.

    Probably end up being cheaper then a teenager.

    Seriously though, for such a specialized situation, there isn't going to exist any reasonably priced automated solution.
    • Unless your tastes are mundane, AllOfMP3.com is not going to have more than 50-60% of those 300 cds...
      • ok then, he is down to having to rip 150 CD's, not bad and there are other russian mp3 sites among them all he should be able to get his need-to-rip list down to 10-20
    • Seriously. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) *
      It's funny because I've done exactly that. I'll be at work and need a obscure bunch of tracks for a mix CD for someone in the office. Shit... my CDs are at home, of course. But sure enough, AllofMP3 has it. Do I pay a dollar to save the hassel of lugging around and flipping through a CD album? You bet I do, especially when I get to pick the encoding technique.
      The day is saved! Huzzah!
  • by Bios_Hakr ( 68586 ) <xptical@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:42PM (#14738401)
    The only thing better than a teenager, is to get two computers and hire two teenagers.

    Honestly, why go for an expensive, complicated solution when a simple solution is already at hand.

    5 minutes per CD gives about 12 CSs per hour.

    That's 25 hours to rip 300 CDs.

    $5 per hour comes in at $125. Buy a pizza for lunch over 3 days brings it to just under $200.

    If you borrow a laptop or two, there is no reason one guy can't swap out CDs in 3 computers; it's be done in a day. Offer a local teen $150 + pizza for a day's work, and they'll jump at the chance.

    So, unless you can come up with something less than $200, you are just shooting yourself in the foot.
    • Depending on the content of your collection and the content of your character, you could probably find a teenager that would rip those CDs in exchange for access to the music instead of cash.

      Just presenting options.... :whistles
    • Use multiple drives ripping at once. There are at least two drives in any decent machine, and probably two or three machines at least in any self-respecting geek's place.

      /heh, please type the word in this image: coaster
    • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @09:12PM (#14738627)
      Offer a local teen $150 + pizza for a day's work, and they'll jump at the chance.

      Or you could offer a local graduate student just the pizza, and save yourself $150.

    • 200-300 CDs is a big job requiring farming out to a teenager? Sheesh.

      I just ripped ~300 CDs to my computer. I offer the following observations.

      (1) Use multiple computers. I set up 4 computers, and cycled myself between them as fast as I could load/unload CDs. I ripped everything to a network share on my server, and it went extremely smoothly.

      (2) Use DVD drives if you can. My 2 computers with DVD drives ripped 4-5X as fast as the 2 with CD drives only, and I found some CDs that the CD drives couldn't re
    • The only thing better than a teenager, is to get two computers and hire two teenagers.

      Or get a video camera and two teenagers. Sell the movies on the internet, and you can afford one of those professional ripping services.

  • Outsource It (Score:4, Informative)

    by xCepheus ( 687775 ) <dntn31&yahoo,com> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:42PM (#14738404) Homepage
    Have you looked at hiring a cd ripping service like MusicShifter [musicshifter.com]? A lot of these places will rip you collection for cheap because they have massive digital libraries of pre-ripped music. Once they receive your cds instead of actually having to rip all 300 of them there is a good chance that 250 or so are already stored in their library resulting in a relatively cheap and fast service ($.79 per cd from Music Shifter).

    (I'm in know way affiliated with any cd ripping services - I've just heard good things about them.)
    • Re:Outsource It (Score:3, Informative)

      by cfulmer ( 3166 )
      If that's true, then MusicShifter is infringing copyright -- this is exactly what mp3.com got spanked for a few years ago (with mp3.com, you didn't send in your CD, you just put it in your PC to prove that you had it).
      • If that's true, then MusicShifter is infringing copyright -- this is exactly what mp3.com got spanked for a few years ago (with mp3.com, you didn't send in your CD, you just put it in your PC to prove that you had it).

        When they can actually have the physical CD in their hands, that's slightly stronger evidence that you actually own the CD than your home PC beaming a few bits over the net claiming that the disc is in your drive.
        • That still does not give them the right to copy the music from their database and give it to other people. It might be a slightly different version of the CD (released in a different country, has bonus tracks, etc.) - or the customer's CD may be scratched - meaning you are really giving them something other than a rip of that CD, but rather illegally distributing their copies.

          Do you actually have any evidence that they keep a library of ripped files and the original CDs? That seems very stupid, and very exp

      • If that's true, then MusicShifter is infringing copyright

        They're infringing copyright, period. It makes absolutely no difference what method they're using to copy the CDs. It doesn't matter if they're using a really fast burner, or a CDDB rip, or are using an advanced tachyon positronic laser to duplicate all music you've ever listened to from a strand of your hair.

        The AHRA made duplication of music for personal use on home recording equipment legal. They're not doing anything of the sort.
    • My understanding is that they hard hardware that would take the CDs off of a spindle, rip them, and put them on another spindle without any human interaction. That would make it legal and a lot cheaper then manually ripping them.
      • I know we have a robot-arm CD duplicator here at work that clocked in at about $200 that holds about 40 discs at a time. Admittedly, you'd have to get into the drivers to figure out how to tell it to just load the CD, run the ripping, then move it to the next stack...
    • ...have a warranty to cover your CD if it is damaged?

      Or is it "Even if CDs do become damaged, replacements are readily available at affordable prices." [slashdot.org].

      I mean, the RIAA might sue them for not damaging your CD's! I see a way to make a lot of money here. ;-)

    • I have been happy with Kinkos [fedex.com] for this sized runs.
    • Say I have 1,000 garage-band one-off CDs from the late '80s and early '90s I want ripped.

      They won't have any of these in their inventory, and it's unlikely anyone else will ever ask for them again.

      Will they just eat the loss/lack-of-profit or will they turn down the business?
    • Re:Outsource It (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 4D6963 ( 933028 )
      So, your solution is about getting something ripped by someone else of some other CD just because you got the same one

      If you push that logic further, you'll realize that it's exactly the same thing as downloading your 300 CD's off P2P : there's a very good chance that 300 or so are already shared in the network resulting in a relatively free and fast service.

      So don't use some cd ripping service, get em from P2P networks. What's the difference between the two? They both give you the rips of the CD's you have

    • Once they receive your cds instead of actually having to rip all 300 of them there is a good chance that 250 or so are already stored in their library resulting in a relatively cheap and fast service ($.79 per cd from Music Shifter).

      What are the odds that they'll "Cache" all of the CDs that they don't have pre-ripped?

  • My boss asked me one day what options were available for automatic CD replication, which ran through completing however many CD copies as requested, with as little human intervention as possible. After we got direction from higher, we were able to have this CD replication system [lbl.gov] installed, albeit slightly modified. It works so well, that it's definitely one of the coolest purchases we've made.
  • There are many companies that do exactly this: you ship them the CD's and they'll rip them for you. If your time is worth money, they're certainly worth Googling. The good ones include album covers, etc. I imagine they simply keep a ripped (wav) copy of each CD that passes through their hands to speed up the process for future customers.
  • I heard about a guy who made a lego/mechano robot to automatically change cds from one pile to another every X minutes, via the CD drive. If you're programming is OK I imagine it'd be a fun way of doing it. Sorry, I don't have schematics.
  • What's the rush? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by anomaly ( 15035 ) <tom DOT cooper3 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @08:46PM (#14738439)
    I was able to do this over a period of a couple of weeks with a similar number of CDs. This was not rocket science. I simply kept a stack of media to be ripped near the Mac, then configured iTunes to auto lookup, rip to mp3, then eject CDs when done. If i walked by the laptop and there was a CD sticking out, I'd replace with another and keep going with whatever I was doing.

    Didn't take *that* long, I spent no cahs, and I was not a slave to the PC, either.


    • If there's a few people around, put the system somewhere central so whoever's closest can swap to the next cd.

      If you want to make a game of it, put a jar of quarters/tokens/dollars near the system and tell people to take one for every cd they swap.

      Use iTunes with the auto-CDDB-lookup, auto-rip, auto-eject for the rest. Remember to set your file naming and other options first.
      • I agree that this is really the best solution. I ripped my entire collection over the span of about 2 weeks. Pop in a CD, fire it up, walk away. I'd be willing to bet that the original poster spends a lot of time sitting near a computer. Just load up another one and keep it rolling when it ejects.
    • Re:What's the rush? (Score:3, Informative)

      by stevenvi ( 779021 )

      I must second this statement. I, too, decided to put my CD collection (~500 CDs) on my computer in a lossless format (flac), with little difficulty.

      Your four minute estimate is incorrect if you want to make sure you're actually copying the right data. Using (in Linux) grip and cdparanoia, it was pretty easy. I just queued up a new disc each time one popped out, whenever I was in my dorm room.

      Took me a few months to finish it, and for some reason I had two albums that refused to rip in Linux. (Not DR

    • Re:What's the rush? (Score:2, Informative)

      by tooth ( 111958 )
      That's exactly what i was going to respond with. I'm in the middle of doing this right now, done about 200-250 cds so far. Slap a CD in, rips automatically, ejects. I have a stack of about 10 "to do" cds on the left and 10 done cds on the right. When the "to do" gets to zero, i put the done stack into a box and grab another 20 or so from the cd stands. I read web sites and emails while this is happening and i never rush to change a cd. like you i often wander off and when walking past i swap out the o
  • For the hardware side you could make one of these:
    http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/tech/changer.html [sentex.net]
    or one of these:
    http://www.redfrontdoor.org/cd-changer.html [redfrontdoor.org]

    Software would be some bash scripting, and a few short programs.

    On the other hand, it will probably take more time to make one of these than it would take to do the cd changing by hand.
  • Sony Makes an interesting VAIO now--it's called Sony® VAIO® VGX-XL1 Digital Living System(TM)VGX-XL1 [sonystyle.com].

    I don't have $2000 floating around, so I can't exactly test it out for ya, but there are mixed reviews out on the net [google.com]...

    It's an interesting system, actually. In theory, it's a capable media center pc with a 200 disc CD/DVD changer. The specs aren't too bad, although for a PVR, 200 GB seems low. And at that price... seems a whee expensive, but VAIOs usually are...

    Anyway, this is probably yo
    • not to troll, but you expect a Sony computer to rip CD's for you?

      I realy don't know but I would suspect they will start making firmware that will stop ripping...

      (yes I'm paranoid. I also dont like VAIO comps for a few other reasons...)
  • I was at Fry's yesterday and saw a Sony media center system that allows you to load up 200 discs in it's CD changer and have them all ripped to your PC automatically.

    I googled it and apparently it's the "Sony XL 1" media center [gearlive.com], runs Windows Media Center (and is pretty expensive). I guess if you were in the market for a high end media center system then this would be a good route.
  • I just remembered this home-made CD changer [sentex.net] that could be used to rip your CDs automatically.

    Of course it's an ugly hack and uber-geeky but hey, this is /. ;-)
  • Dunno if this is legit, but there's these guys [ipodmeister.com] who will do it for you and send everything back on a shiny-new loaded iPod.
    • That's not legal.

      To summerize what they claim to be doing: You give them the CDs to digitize, they do that, put it on an IPOD that they will give you and also burn you a DVD "back-up" of the songs. You sell them the CDs and then get your new IPOD and DVD "back-up" copy of the CDs...

      At the point you sell the CDs, you no longer have the right to keep the songs on the IPOD or to keep the DVD "back-up". You may as well just try to download the MP3 of the CDs you have, I would think that you have a better chan

      • That's not legal.

        Most of it seems structured in such a way to avoid any problems, so if by "not legal" you're referring to the act of keeping the digitised copies on your shiny new iPod, yeah, possibly.

        Then again, is "posession" really a crime? And is it worth pursuing? Seems to me the RIAA et al. are more interested prosecuting indviduals for distribution.
      • At the point you sell the CDs, you no longer have the right to keep the songs on the IPOD or to keep the DVD "back-up".

        Why not? Ripping a CD, selling the CD, and keeping the rip is 100% legal. Copyright isn't a license.

        However, any company that "professionally" rips CDs for a fee is violating copyright. Consumers have the right to copy music for personal use. There is no way in hell that any company can copy CDs for a fee.
        • And this is why it's bad to take legal advice from Slashdot.

          Where on earth do you get the idea that you can rip-and-sell? In the U.S, that's clearly a violation of S. 106(1) of the Copyright Act. You can claim fair use in space-shifting, but when you sell the original, you've gone well beyond that.

          The best I can come up with is S 1008 of the Audio Home Recording Act, but (1) your computer isn't a "Digital Audio Recording Device" and (2) when you sell the CD, that's commercial.

          • You can claim fair use in space-shifting,

            You can claim it, but probably lose. Ripping a CD is probably not fair use, no matter who owns the CD, who rips the CD (with the exception of a library), or what happens to the CD after it's ripped.

            your computer isn't a "Digital Audio Recording Device" and

            Hmm... this is an interesting argument. If this is true, then any ripping CDs is a violation of copyright. Period. Because there's no way any sane person can claim that creating a digital music collection is fai
            • I would point you to R.I.A.A. v. Diamond Multimedia, 180 F.3d 1072, noting that space-shifting is fine and that a computer isn't a Digital Audio Recording Device.

              You are allowed to rip the CD (AHRA & Fair Use) and you're allowed to sell the CD (First sale doctrine). Once you've sold the CD, though, you no longer have an original work. So, any copying that you do of it -- including the copying from your disk drive into the memory of the computer -- is an infringement. You can't claim that this copying
  • Unless you've already got all your cd's in a stack, the most time consuming part of the process is removing them from the jewel case. There's no cost-effective way to automate that without spending more time than you would just doing it. If you're doing 10k discs or more, then it's time to buy or build a robot.
  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @09:32PM (#14738743)
    Look carefully at (virtually any) CD/DVD drive designed for mounting in a half-height 5 1/4" bay.

    Now, open ANY cd-jukebox (I've got a 60-slot model; I couldn't afford the 250-slot model). Mechanically, it shouldn't be too difficult to fit the CD/DVD drive mechanism in place of the existing CD; it's a fairly simple mechanism (although hacking the cupholder will certainly be required,.

    Fix up the data cabling to support the drive (piece of cake) and hack the front panel controls to allow for inputs from some form of computer interface (serial perhaps - gotta do something with it) (that looks like the hard part, BTW, but I also know that there are /.'ers out there who will read this and say "no, that's easy!").

    I thought about building something like this for profit once, but I'll never raise the VC for it. Can Slashdot produce a hack (with free-as-in-beer instructions) to accomplish this? Or has it been done already?

  • abcde (Score:4, Informative)

    by mrfantasy ( 63690 ) <mike@[ ]irthrower.org ['cha' in gap]> on Thursday February 16, 2006 @09:39PM (#14738783) Homepage Journal
    abcde [hispalinux.es] works well. It's very configurable, rips to any audio format you'd want (I use FLAC) and can eject the CD when done. And it's written in bash.

    My blog [chairthrower.org] talks about how I used it. It can run as a daemon so I had it down to insert CD, and change it 15-20 minutes later when it ejected again (cdparanoia and flac took longer than 52x would make you think).
    • Actually, it is designed to be run with any POSIX-compatible shell. That doesn't make it any better or worse, though - it's a VERY nice tool for ripping CDDA. I dumped my collection of about 150 CDs to hdd in just under 2 days (when I was one of those teenagers you might want to hire to do it for you ;)). The only drawback with all this ripping-by-yourself-stuff is, that if you want to have your music tagged properly and consistently, you're about to re-{read,format,write} ALL of the freedb-provided info wi
  • the best advice to come out of it seemed to be to hire a local teenager to be that slave

    Assuming you have a desk-job and a machine not locked down tighter than a cat's ass...

    Take a dozen CDs per day to work. Set your preferred ripping software to automatically look your CDs up, rip, and eject. Pop one in, start your program, minimize it, and just replace discs whenever the tray pops open. Then just dump them all to a keychain drive (DON'T use it as the intermediate path, copy them at the end of the d
    • Well, I rip to flac so that would fill up a flashdrive pretty fast. But, if you use a portable music player with a hard disk you can use most of these as a USB hard drive (very convenient for making convenient sneakernet transfers when I am already at the colo!). Alternatively, if you have a DVD burner you can use that.
  • Wimp! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I just ripped - according to my database statistics - 2116 albums when I combined my wife's (she was a dj) and my collection. She had probably twice the number of CDs that I had and I spent those four minutes reviewing artists and albums I didn't know in her collection using AllMusic. I learned a lot - both about my wife and the music she likes. I'd approach it as an opportunity to figure out if you should catch-up on any artists you previously liked or maybe find some similar ones that you never heard of.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Build an android to do it for you.
  • lots of boxes! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by flatt ( 513465 ) on Thursday February 16, 2006 @10:13PM (#14739007) Homepage Journal
    I'd say buy maybe 5-10 ideally indentical Pentium 3-ish computers, perhaps from ebay (look for local to avoid shipping fees) or from college surplus auctions (a geek gold mine). Get one setup to automate the process as much as possible and clone hd's.

    Have at it. This can be done for much, much cheaper than you might think. I managed to get 12 PCs of this type for $50 at a surplus auction and I could have had about 10 more at around $2 a piece. You could be up and running in an afternoon ripping many cd's at once. Go down the line every 10 minutes or so while you hang out/read a book/watch tv and you'll be done in no time. Plus, when you're done you'll have all sorts of goodies to play with for other projects.

    Just be nice to your circuit breaker.
    • I have an operation like this. Six machines machine ripping, plus a server that collects all the files and burns the mp3 archive disks (and loads the iPod). Every now and them someone needs 500 CDs ripped and loaded in time for a birthday. (The next step is fitting them with turntables and audio processing software for converting LP collections.)
    • First:

      1) Buy as many external USB2.0 5.25" enclosures that you possibly afford. They run anywhere from $20-$40. The main thing you're getting out of this is POWER ADAPTERS.

      2) Buy an equal number of IDE CDROM drives. If you paid more than $20 for any of them, you paid too much.

      I wouldn't spend more than $50 with tax and shipping for each pair of CD-ROM + enclosure. You can do it for $40 if you buy refurbed/OEM/surplus stuff.

      If you managed to get more than 12 drives, then also buy a cheap, bus-powered 4-way U
      • That sounds like fun, but even assuming your computer can handle ripping and encoding 24 CDs at once, your plan is almost certainly more work than just spending a day with a normal 2-drive computer and a helluva lot more expensive than hiring a teenager.
  • Could you please clarify what you mean by "automatically" ripping, as opposed to "manually" ripping a CD?

    I ask merely for information.

  • While saying this might make me off-topic or flamebait, I suppose http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060215-6190 .html [arstechnica.com] would make it (ripping our own cds) moot and academic.
  • You could use a CD or DVD ROM library such as the R200ROM from http://www.powerfile.com/ [powerfile.com]. A disc library used in conjunction with software which operates it allows discs to be automatically loaded and accessed. This kind of solution is expensive though, so is best used when you will have to do this frequently. Using several PCs or a local teenager may well be faster and cheaper overall.
  • I am not looking forward to being a slave to the computer every 4 minutes in order to change the CD in the drive.

    Being a slave isn't so bad, if you're just going to be sitting at the computer anyway. Play a game, read Slashdot, get addicted to MUDs, get a job, stare at porn, etc -- whatever it is that you do with your computer. Every few minutes, change the CD. It's no big deal, as long as your CDs aren't too obscure (i.e. not in freedb, so you have to actually spend your time typing in track names). T

  • Anyone can hookup a bunch of CD-ROM drives to a PC and rip multiple CDs at once.

    The hard part is getting perfect rips with correct tags so you NEVER have to rip those CDs again.

    Perfect means EAC (Exact Audio Copy), with Secure, no C2, no buffering, and using TEST/COPY. Using FLAC (or other lossless) format. Who wants to ever do this much work again? Rip to lossless and never rip again.

    You can run multiple copies of EAC at once, it works with external USB drives. I've seen people rip 12 CDs at the same time
  • Build one (Score:3, Informative)

    by kinema ( 630983 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @12:16AM (#14739600)
    Check this [sentex.net] out. The guy built exactly what you are looking for. Here [redfrontdoor.org] is another one.
  • I ripped my whole collection (~300 discs) over the course of a week at work with a second computer in my cube. Wasn't that big of a deal, I just turned around whenever I felt like it. Even if you only get to them every 10 minutes, that's 6 an hour or about 50 in an eight-hour day. Unless you need them so soon that you feel compelled to run back and forth between an array of machines to knock it out in a couple hours, just do it at your leisure. The task will melt away before you know it.
  • As long as you have something that ejects the disc automatically and starts ripping automatically when you insert, you can get high and play a computer game while you rip.
  • Years ago, I ripped my collection of ~250 audio CDs. I used cdparanoia as software, and a little script I wrote, which made a directory on the server based on the ID of the CD (so the directories are unique), and asked me for a title. Everything as automated as possible. After ripping, the CD would automatically eject.

    Then, I gathered each and every PC in my home that still run, booted it into linux (even the windoze boxes have a minimum of linux on them just in case win f***ks up again), installed the scri
  • My dad just bought a new computer and ripped his CD collection (300?).

    No teenagers.

    While he was surfing his favorite websites, he put in discs. If he walked past the computer room on his way to the garage, he'd put in another disc.

    It took about a week.
    Problem solved.
  • Robotics. (Score:3, Informative)

    by OgGreeb ( 35588 ) <og@digimark.net> on Friday February 17, 2006 @07:35AM (#14741040) Homepage
    I've been researching this for the last several weeks because I'm thinking about offering CD ripping as an additional service. I've found that the makers of the DVD/CD robotic duplicators are just now getting the hint that these devices can be re-tasked to rip disks and make them some more sales, so they are coming out with solutions.

    For low-volume ripping, there is a device called the Baxter [mfdigital.com] that goes for about $800 from various resellers. It will hold 25 disks at a time in its hopper and comes with the excellent Riptastic [riptastic.com] software bundled. Go in with a friend to get one of these and it makes the cost cheaper. Sell it on eBay afterwards and make most of your money back.

    The biggest problem with small-capacity units is that they run out of disks too soon -- you can't load enough to let them run overnight.

    The larger capacity (250 to 600 disks at a time) robotic units come with PCs built into them (they were designed for duplicating and the software is only beginning to catch up with them). They run from $3300 up to $5500 depending on capacity and number of CD drives used. Even with the higher cost, it can make sense if you get together a bunch of buddies to chip in. Say you charge your friends $0.50/disk simply to cover the cost of the machine (you're not doing it as a business). Pooling the money of 6-8 friends and then selling it on eBay afterwards might cover the cost.

    The vendors I spoke to said that they get questions about these boxes every day. The biggest problem is making the Riptastic software (or other similar software) work with multiple simultaneously ripping drives. So we should see some announcements on this in the next several months.

    Any of the robotic devices used for ripping also have the advantage of being duplicators of course. They also help make excellent DVD backup devices, since you can start the backup and walk away, letting the robot flop the disks for you.

    Disclaimer: I don't represent any of these vendors -- I'm just doing the research necessary to purchase some to offer a ripping service. You could of course ask me to rip them for you... 8-).
  • Sounds like flac is the best lossless archive standard, then (or simultaneously) to mp3 for compact portability. iTunes won't rip to flac, nor will cdparanoia from what I can see? What will, and will get the tags as well as iTunes et al? Do any support flac/mp3 creation in one pass? I need a Mac or Windows app, although others may care about Linux solutions.

The following statement is not true. The previous statement is true.