I’m pretty much done with ripping my audio CD collection to my computer — I just have a couple of stragglers (lost, then later found in long-disused CD carrying cases) left to deal with. The final count wound up being approximately 900 CDs, with 16 cases where I couldn’t get a clean read of an entire CD (including two cases where I couldn’t rip it at all due to copy protection). I am also still missing one CD, which I hope to find after digging through some more clutter. A significant portion of my collection is actually CD singles and not albums — I might data-mine my archive at some point to see exactly what the breakdown is.
The encoding used the –vbr-new and -V2 settings on LAME (via Exact Audio Copy, which was used to rip the CDs) — the goal is to produce something that I can listen to, in a reasonable amount of disk space, not to produce archival-quality stuff.
The majority of the bad reads came from CDs that are more than 10 years old, so if you have any rare old stuff that you’d like to keep, I’d recommend ripping it sooner rather than later. One of the bad reads came from a CD that was stored in an open CD carrier thing (which straps onto a car sun shade) — not sure if it was because of it being exposed, overheated, or what, but the CD carrier seems suspect.
Here are some interesting things that I discovered or rediscovered during the project:
- A promo copy of the Trash Can Sinatras’ Cake from KHIB, which is apparently now a religious radio station.
- Two cases where there was a duplicate copy of the tray card under the CD jewel (Idlewild’s 100 Broken Windows and the single for the Bluetones’ Sleazy Bed Track).
- Lyrics to the Bill album, on the back of the tray card for I Am An Elastic Firecracker by Tripping Daisy.
- The Original Soundtrack Recording for Secret Weapons Over Normandy — AKA one of the last things Michael Giacchino did before the score for The Incredibles (AKA becoming rich and famous). Surprisingly, the track data for this was already on FreeDB.
- Most people (including me) ignore the "omit the" naming rule on FreeDB. My rationale is that by omitting "The", information is actually lost when CDs are catalogued. Some unsuspecting person might think that Editors are actually "The Editors"!
The presumed rationale for omitting "the" is that it prevents names from getting bunched up in the "T" section. My opinion is that this issue should be solved in the UI of a playback application, not by simply omitting data. (Perhaps it could be omitted from the folder name, but not the ID3 tag. However, this would require either automated support from a ripping program, or a better UI in the ripping program for allowing these changes. I don’t think this problem is important enough that anybody will really try to solve it…)
- Some of the really silly Genre presets in EAC are actually Winamp extensions to the ID3v1 genre list. I now know who to blame for the ridiculousness of Primus having their own genre…