● Music files for your Music
There are several ways to get music into
your music server. Two ways are relatively simple: You can buy and download files from various
websites. Or you can transfer by simply dragging the files from a disc such as a DVD data disc
to your hard drive or SSD. (Note: The latter is how the Reference Recordings
HRx files are handled.)
Alternatively you can rip music files from your
CD collection. In addition it is possible to get music from other disc
types such as DVD Video, DVD-A, SACD, or Blu-Ray. Note that some of
these discs are copy-protected so they are not supposed to
be copied. The lawmakers and lawyers can debate the fine points of "Fair Use"
and this has already been going on for decades. However for personal use
many people are taking their library of silver discs and attempting to get their
music into their music servers with varying degrees of success in terms
of file music quality as well as metadata accuracy and completeness.
Additional aspects that some may consider to be of importance include
the size and quality of cover artwork as well as the inclusion of liner
Note that copyright laws for music
recordings vary from country to country. Here in the US the copyright
for a music recording extends to 70 years from the copyright date
whereas it is 50 years in some European countries. Also here in the US
you might be interested to know that Section III of the proposed 2007
Use Act, which would amend the DMCA, allows for circumvention
for the purpose of storing or transmitting media over a personal
network, but explicitly prevents the uploading of media “to the Internet
for mass, indiscriminate redistribution."
Transferring Music from CD's to a Music Server
Extracting music from your CD's and transferring the files to your
computer or music server can be very time consuming,
assuming of course that you care about sound quality and you wish to do a
good job—and if you listen to classical music it can be especially
time consuming. So if you would like to set up a music server but don't want
to spend the time necessary to get your CD library transferred you can
simply call us and we will take care of getting it done for you. The
cost for professional music transfer from CD to hard disk is delineated
However if you wish to devote untold hours to doing so yourself
some suggestions follow:
Inspecting your Discs
First it is recommended that you inspect
the playing surface to see if there are any dirt, scratches, or plating
defects. Even new CD's can come out of the box either with minor
scratches and/or with dust particles on them--and occasionally you will
see plating defects where the plating didn't cover 100% of the playing
surface. Obviously if there is a plating defect you would need to return
it and get a replacement.
Cleaning your Discs
If your CD's are new then you can simply blow any residual dust off with a
photographer's bulb-type air blower. But if you CD's have some
fingerprints and/or dirt on them you can run them under water and use your fingers
to sweep them radially. Then use a smooth, soft, clean, lint-free cloth to dry them by
sweeping radially from the center to the edge.
Note: It is important to always use a
radial motion rather than going around in a circular/circumferential
motion when moving across the playing surface.
If you can't get them
clean that way then there are commercially available CD cleaning kits
that you can obtain.
What about any scratches on your Discs?
If you have scratches they might or might
not interfere with the laser properly reading the data. Radial scratches
or deeper scratches of course can indeed be problematic. You can tell if
there is a problem if you are doing an EAC-type of ripping if there are
synch errors during the transfer process.
If you are having your CD's ripped by a
top-notch professional ripping service they will undoubtedly have a
special resurfacing machine that buffs the CD playing surface.
Alternatively if you are transferring your CD's yourself then you can
ship your CD's off to a company that performs CD resurfacing.
Alternatively you can try doing it yourself
as follows: Noxon metal cleaner applied with a lint free cloth, and in
this case a small circular motion works best—then wipe clean from the
center out. However this may or may not produce the desired results. And
if in doubt we would advise don't do it!
CD/DVD Computer Drives for Ripping
Unfortunately there are no high-end CD
drives for computers that we are aware of—though
obviously some drives are better quality than others. We have had pretty good luck with
a Plextor PX-880SA drive—although
there certainly could be some unit-to-unit variability so YMMV (your
mileage may vary). Once in while though you may find a CD that won't work in
the Plextor PX-880SA, or whatever drive you are utilizing—so if you
have an older CD-ROM (not DVD/CD combo drive) you might find that though
it is slower it might work on those problem CD's. If you have more than one computer of course you can try
ripping on each of them and see which one has the drive that does the
best job reading the CD's. You will also find that some drives rip more quickly than
others. Sometimes a Blu-Ray drive will work well too.
Computer Hard Drives and SSD's for Music Storage
For SSD's (Solid State Drive) we are
currently using the Intel MLC versions with good results. The data that
we are aware to date has shown that the Intel SSD's
are the most reliable and so that is the brand that we have been
utilizing. The Intel SSD SLC versions, while longer lasting, are quite a bit more expensive so
for most people they aren't cost effective for storing music files at this time.
However as of late 2011 the SLC versions of the Intel SSD are being
discontinued and have been replaced by HET MLC drives. However these are
still more expensive than the Intel consumer level MLC SSD drives.
With every passing year hard drives are continually getting larger.
Already in 2011 there are 4TB drives—with 5TB and larger drives on the
horizon in 2013 and beyond. However you should know that drives larger than 2TB should only
be used in the newest, most up-to-date hardware/firmware/software configurations i.e. UEFI-based motherboards, etc.
we are recommending enterprise grade drives such as either the Western Digital 1TB RE3 WD1002FBYS hard disks
or the Western Digital 2TB RE4 Western Digital RE4 WD2003FYYS hard disks for storing music
files with good results. [Note: RE stands for RAID edition and that is
one of the reasons why we are utilizing these two particular models.
They also support
(Time-Limited Error Recovery) and
(Rotational Vibration Safeguard) which may be worthwhile for
RAID arrays in a NAS.]
We have also had good success with the
consumer grade 3-platter Samsung F4 2TB hard drive. However because this is a 4K sector
drive you should know that there is a firmware update for it if it was
manufactured in 2010—and there is no way (that we are aware of) to tell
what version of firmware is installed without going through a somewhat
convoluted process of re-flashing the firmware.
As of 2013 we have had good luck with the
4TB Hitachi drives. Both consumer and enterprise versions are
available—with the enterprise versions being more expensive of course.
But if you don't wish to fool around with replacing hard drives that are
either about to fail or have failed the enterprise drives are
RAID is an acronym for "redundant array of
inexpensive disks". We recommend using some sort of redundancy on your music server
such as RAID 1, 5 or 6. Note that RAID 0 is not redundant so is not
recommended. Alternatively if you are using a Netgear NAS (network attached storage) unit then we recommend using
either RAID 1 or xRAID. If you are using a Synology NAS, which is what
we are using currently here in the store, you have the choices including
of RAID 1, SHR-1, or SHR-2 (Synology Hybrid RAID). Here in the store we
have opted to use RAID 1 which means all data is "mirrored" on a
dedicated matching drive.
This brings up a potentially important
consideration and that is if a drive drops out of a RAID 1 array
(meaning it stops working!) it will be easiest to get at your data
immediately without waiting potentially many hours, or even a day or
longer, for the RAID array to rebuild. In fact you can pull a RAID 1
drive out and use it in a non-Linux operating systems such as a Windows
computer by adding in the ability to read EXT3 or EXT4 formatted drives.
(This can be achieved with a small download.) Because most NAS boxes
today are using Linux as an OS (operating system), EXT3 and EXT4 are the
most commonly used file systems in most commercially available NAS
systems—although a few NAS do use Windows NTFS.
In our listening tests so far we have found that both
and AIFF files sound slightly better than
Uncompressed FLAC. However these results may be a
function of the hardware/software combinations that we have
been listening with. In the future we will continue to do
some more listening comparisons in this regard.
WAV is the logical choice if you are only considering sound quality.
And, between file naming and tagging, WAV can be made to work in terms
of metadata. In addition our experience has been that WAV is the most
consistent when it comes to getting good rips that actually work, i.e.
the music plays! After all the type of file that is on a CD is WAV so
there is no conversion process. Whereas to utilize either AIFF or FLAC
the file must be converted from WAV—which can be done in realtime in
dbPowerAmp or other ripping software during the ripping process.
Tip: You can check on whether the
rip of a CD works or not by viewing the album tracks in Tag&Rename. If
you see that there is a "stream reading error" you will know that you
have to re-rip those tracks. Each track that doesn't rip correctly will
pop up that "stream read error" when viewed , the track(s) will be
highlighted in pink, there will be no metadata, and there will be no
track time as it will report "00:00" for track time. For whatever
reason, we have seen tracks that would not rip in AIFF then work when
ripped to WAV.
However WAV is still not as good as AIFF in terms of metadata.
Occasionally you might find a disc where the WAV metadata doesn't work
well but ripping the same disc into AIFF does.
So either WAV or AIFF
can be made to work quite well depending on the type of music you listen
to and the software/hardware that comprises your music server. That
being said FLAC may be preferred for its robust metadata support—plus
downloaded high resolution files are usually in this format. Of course
downloaded FLAC files can always be converted to either WAV or AIFF if
Testing the various file types on your music server of
choice in terms of sound quality, rips that function, and metadata is of
course always recommended. And for your testing purposes
dBpoweramp can rip a CD to all of the following formats: WAV, AIFF, Uncompressed FLAC, and Compressed Lossless
FLAC. That way you can listen for yourself.
Note: If you are going to use FLAC, we would recommend Uncompressed FLAC
Compressed Lossless FLAC.
Note: AIF is the same as AIFF. WAV is the file extension
used for a Wave file.
Storage Space Requirements for Various File Formats
Because storage is quite inexpensive there really
is no reason to use lossy or lossless files anymore for home
use. For high end
audio playback we recommend the WAV,
AIFF, or Uncompressed FLAC formats
which are highlighted in bright yellow below:
The table below shows approximately how much storage
space is need for 1000 CD's in various
Bit Rate kbit/s
Storage Estimate (GB)
- lossy compressed
- lossy compressed
- lossy compressed
1411 - Uncompressed
Variable Bit Rate, typically
650-1100 - Lossless Compressed
1411 - Uncompressed
- lossy compressed
- lossy compressed
- lossy compressed
- lossy compressed
1411 - Uncompressed
- lossy compressed
- lossy compressed
- lossy compressed
- lossy compressed
- lossy compressed
The above are based upon the PCM multi-bit "Red Book" CD
format which is a 44.1 kHz sampling rate/16 bit file format.
CD file sizes will vary with playing time and are typically
between 400-800MB for a single album. Technically speaking
the Red Book standard says the maximum playing time of a CD
is 74 minutes 30 seconds. However there are some CD's that
are up to 81 minutes or so in length. (The way a longer
playing time like that can be achieved is the CD pressing
plant can push the track speed and track pitch tolerances,
which are set in the Red Book standard, to their limit.)
Whereas high resolution PCM files, such as a 192 kHz/24 bit file, can
be in the 4-5GB per music file for a stereo album of up to 80 minutes or
so playing time. Similarly a "single-bit" DSD file can also be up to
4-5GB in file size.
For music files the 4 basic
fields for metadata are:
- Track #
- Track Title - (song name
for popular music—or movement for classical)
That plus the following are
standard in most music server software:
- Genre - (rock, jazz,
- Track Time - (i.e.
- Date of Release
- Album Art - (i.e. a jpeg of the
Plus for classical music the
following are needed.
- Major Soloist(s) - (for
instance for a piano concerto we need the name of the pianist—or
for an opera the major singers)
For example in order to differentiate one
version of Beethoven's Ninth from another you certainly at least
need to know the conductor.
Note: For Classical music, using
Sonata (which is a
proprietary version of dBpoweramp) software, both of which use the GD3
and Sonata databases, to rip your CD collection gives more fields of
metadata than using Exact Audio Copy. Another possibility is
especially good in terms of metadata for Classical music as well as
In addition the following
fields are also sometimes necessary in order to differentiate
different versions of the same piece:
- Recording Date
- Remastering Date
Besides the above there are
also other fields available in some music server software. You can
download JRiver Media Center
for free and look at all of the options, including the custom options if
While we recommend using dbpoweramp
because of the superior metadata support, especially for classical
music, alternatively you could use
Exact Audio Copy.
File Naming in Exact Audio Copy
If you are using Exact Audio Copy here are
some tips: Before ripping any music, make sure that you set up
Exact Audio Copy the way that you wish your name your files. One
order that is possible is:
"%A" - %C - %N - %T
"%A" = CD or track artist
"%C" = CD title
"%N" = Track #
"%T" = Track title
"-" = a dash
However the method above can sometimes
result in file names that are too long. So if you don't want to do as
much text editing then this is what we recommend:
%N - %T
(space dash space between the track
# and the track title)
(an underscore between the track #
and the track title)
"%N" = Track #
"%T" = Track title
If you use this latter approach then you
need to first create a folder for Artist. Then inside the Artist folder
you need to create a folder for Album. Inside the Album folder you then
would have your files which would be named with Track # and Track Title.
So it would look like this:
(Artist folder) / (Album folder) /
(Track #) - (Track Title)
(Artist folder) / (Album folder) /
(Track #)_(Track Title)
Which in Media Monkey would be this:
\<Artist>\<Album>\<Track#> - <Title>
The advantage to either one of the two
approaches above is that you won't have as much of
a problem with long file names, especially with classical music. If you
start working ripping files and then look at them in Media Monkey (or
whatever music server software you are using) you
may eventually discover all of this for yourself.
But whatever file naming method and folder
hierarchy you use, once you select it you should
stay with it and not change it or you will create extra complications
that you then will have to sort out.
Compilation CDs of Various Artists
If you have a compilation CD with a number of different artists on it then
you may wish to activate the option in Exact Audio Copy for that precise
purpose which is under EAC Options>Filename>"use various artists naming
File Name Length
Technically a file name should be limited
to 64 characters—however in practice it seems that at least in some
cases longer file names can be accommodated up to 103 characters long.
However the allowed file name length limit is also be
affected by how many folders and subfolders the file is nested in and
the length of the name (i.e. number of characters) of each folder and subfolder.
With classical music especially you should
be careful to not make the file names too long. If you do you may not
able to rename the file to a shorter file name. Plus you may even have
trouble deleting it. There is a workaround as delineated in the next
paragraph—but it is easier to do it right the first time!
If you do have trouble deleting a file
because the name that is too long, you can move
the file folder containing them to the trash. But first recopy the good
files back to another file folder, and then you can re-rip the files that had
names which were too long.
Note that if the file name is too long when you
copy it to another hard drive you will not be able to do so without a
tilde (~) shortening the name which can mean that your music server
software will not give you any metadata unless you have tagged the file. Then you will have to redo the
original file transfer after shortening the file name or go through a process of renaming copies of the
files one by one.
To rename the files with a tilde, copy all
of the files in the folder to another folder including any "good" files
with names that weren't too long along with the ones that have corrupted
names and which consequently have a shortened name which include a tilde
in the file name. After the files are copied you can then rename the
files by typing in the correct file name. Time-consuming yes, but it
Note: In case you don't know a tilde is
this symbol: ~
In the case of longer works which go higher
than the number 9, you will find that they naturally cascade in the
correct order if you use a space before the single digit ones. Here is
- Mahler Symphony No. 1
- Mahler Symphony No. 2
- Mahler Symphony No.10 Adagio
Another way of doing this is to insert a
zero before any single digit numbering sequence as follows:
- Mahler Symphony No.01
- Mahler Symphony No.02
- Mahler Symphony No.10 Adagio
If you have 10 or more Tracks, you should
pad the single digit numbers with a zero. The reason to do so is that
this way Track 10 will be at the end after Track 9. In other words:
There are two ways to edit track
numbers. Either in the name of each file (each album folder will have
the tracks inside each of which can be and usually is numbered) and/or
in the Tag itself.
Another way to do track numbers is 1/10,
2/10, 3/10—in other words (1 of 10), (2 of 10), (3 of 10), etc.
Reassigning Track Numbers to Larger Works
There may be instances where you wish to
reassign track numbers. For instance if a work starts in the middle of
CD #1 and continues on to CD#2, then you may wish to go into the file
names and manually reassign track numbers so that the files are all in a
numerically ascending order. At the same time you may wish
to combine all of the files into a single folder. Yes this can be
time-consuming but it can make for better overall organization for
searching as well as for easy playback.
As an example: In Hyperion release of
Tatiana Nikolayeva playing Bach: Die Kunst der
Fugue (The Art
of Fugue)--that particular work starts on track #7 of the first CD and
goes all the way to the end of the second CD. So rather than start the
piece on track #7, if you wish you can put the entire piece in one
folder and renumber each track starting with track #1.
In addition if you are using Tags then you
will need to edit the track numbers there too.
File Folder Organization
Before you start transferring your music it
is important to think about how you will organize your recordings on your
music server/computer. Of course you could put everything into one
folder entitled "Music". Alternatively you could have a "Music" folder
and inside that you could have folders
Your collection might have many more categories than just those four
For instance you might wish to break
Jazz into two categories:
Or you might wish to further
subcategorize Jazz into something like this:
Obviously your music collection—how
large it is and what it is comprised of—and how you like to organize
your music will determine how far you may wish to go in terms of
categorization. If you are unsure of how to categorize a recording you
could always use The All Music
Guide which is an extensive database of just about every musician,
recording, and song ever made.
However you arrange your categories, in each of those main folders
should be "Artist" folders for
each artist in that category.
So for a Rock collection you might have
various groups such as:
- The Beatles
- Jimi Hendrix
- Led Zeppelin
Note that in the above example the
listing is alphabetized such that the "The" is ignored for The Beatles.
Another way of listing the Beatles is:
For a Classical music folder there could
also be subfolders for composers such as:
In those composer folders could be subfolders for
conductor. For example:
Or there could be subfolders for soloist.
- Pollini; Abbado
- Rubinstein; Ormandy
Or soloist/conductor if using a comma
instead of a semi-colon between soloist and conductor:
- Pollini, Abbado
- Rubinstein, Ormandy
The other thing to consider is how to
list genre subcategories. If you put "Classical" as the first word of
each classical subcategory, all of the classical works will be together
alphabetically in your "Genre" listing. For example to keep all of your
classical music together under the "Genre" listing of your music server
software you could do the following:
- Classical Opera
- Classical Piano - (this category
could be only for solo piano or two-piano works)
- Classical Piano Concerto - (this
category would be for piano with orchestra)
- Classical Piano Trio - (piano,
- Classical String Quartet - (2
violins, viola, cello)
- Classical Symphony
- Classical Violin
- Classical Violin Concerto
- Classical Violin Sonata
Note: There are other categories in
addition to the above. For instance Classical Voice for aria
collections. Or Classical Choral, Cello Concerto, Viola Concerto, Double
Concerto, Triple Concerto, etc.
But if you put only "Opera" as a
subcategory it will be under the letter "O". Whereas "Classical Opera"
will be under the letter "C" alphabetically speaking. You could also
include Oratorio under Opera or have it as a separate category.
Alternatively you could group String
Quartets, Piano Trios, Violin Sonatas all together under "Chamber Music"
or "Classical Chamber Music".
You could also choose to group Symphony,
Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, Viola Concerto, Double
Concerto, Triple Concerto, etc. under "Orchestral" or "Classical
As you can see there are a variety of
options as to how to group genres and subgenres and it is wise to think
about your music collection and how you think about it beforehand rather
than try to change it after you have ripped your entire collection!
It is very important to make sure that if
you choose to use folders and subfolders that the cumulative name length
of any nested folders combined with your track names are not too long.
If you do wish to make a series of
nested folders then you can substitute codes for long folder names. For
instance C or CL or Cl could stand for Classical.
Or you could use numbers as follows:
(could stand for classical)
(could stand for jazz)
(could stand for popular)
So a hard drive could look like this:
(which would mean that hard drive D:
has a music folder and that this is subfolder for classical.)
Each collection of music is different so
there is no one best way to classify things.
We have found that if you have either
classical and/or a jazz collection that it can be nice to have either
separate folders or separate drives solely for them. One reason
is that the MusiChi Tagger software can allow you to relatively easily
correct and more completely fill in various metadata fields such as
composer, artist, and classical compositions/movements.
An Alternative Method of Classification as
Utilized by Libraries
If you have an extremely large music
collection you might be interested in classifying your collection the
way that libraries do as follows:
Step One: Categorize using
the following template:
A - Music Appreciation
B - Operas: Complete & Highlights
C - Choral Music
D - Vocal Music
E - Orchestral Music
- EA - General Orchestral Music
- EB - Ballet Music
- EC - Concertos
- ES - Symphonies
F - Chamber Music
G - Solo Instrumental Music
- GG - Music for Solo Guitar
- GO - Music for Solo Organ
- GP - Music for Solo Piano
- GS - Music for Solo Stringed Instruments
- GV - Music for Solo Violin
- GW - Music for Solo Wind Instruments
- GX - Percussion and Unusual Instruments
H - Band Music
J - Electronic and Mechanical Music
K - Musical Shows and Operettas: Complete and Excerpts
L - Soundtrack Music: Motion Pictures and Television
M - Popular Music
- MA - Pop
- MC - Country & Western
- MG - Gospel music
- MJ - Jazz Music
- MR Rock, rhythm & blues, blues
P - Folk & Ethnic Music: National
Q - International Folk & Ethnic Music
R - Holiday Music
S - Varieties & Humor
T - Plays
U - Poetry
V - Prose
W - Documentary
X - Instructional Recording
Y - Sounds and Special Effects
Z - Children’s Recordings
ZI - Instructional Recordings for Children
ZM - Music Recordings for Children
ZS - Spoken Recordings for Children
STEP TWO: Inside each
category above, subcategorize as appropriate using the following:
CLASSICAL - either by composer or performer's last name—performer
could either be the conductor or the soloist.
POPULAR - performer's last name—or first word in musical group's name
(with the exception of ignoring the word "The")
STEP THREE: Inside each
category subcategorize by:
NAME OF ALBUM
What follows are some specific suggestions and examples to get you thinking about how to
organize your music files:
The Naming of an Artist, Conductor, Composer, or Group
Before you start, it is advisable to think about how you wish
to have artists, groups, or composers named—especially their exact
spelling and format.
For instance "The Beatles"
could be under "T" or you may wish to have them under "B" for "Beatles".
Note that in some music server software (MediaMonkey music server software
is one example) there may be the option
to ignore the word "The" in the name of a band so that The Beatles would
be listed alphabetically under "B" rather than "T".
Then there is Stevie Ray Vaughan. Do you
want to have this name alphabetized under the first or last name? "S"
for Stevie or "V" for Vaughn? Personally I would suggest the former, but
the choice is of course yours. And certainly the latter makes perfect
Or for instance there are any number of different possible ways to spell
And there are undoubtedly more. Especially with Russian names it seems
that there can sometimes be multiple ways to them in English. Another example is
Tatiana Nikolayeva whose name can also be spelled as: Tatyana Nikolaeva,
Tatiana Nikoleyeva, Tatiana Nikolajeva, Tatjana Nikolajeva.
Of course in Russian it is actually: Татьяна Николаеваetc.
Also you should consider whether or not to use an
umlaut as in
or an accent egu for
may find that it is easier if these are omitted. Either way
though the ideal is always to use the same convention throughout your
Then there are options to consider like the
following: For Herbert von Karajan—you could use either
Karajan or von Karajan. Personally I prefer the former.
However for Ralph
Vaughan Williams I would definitely
Williams over just
The ideal is to make sure that each
musician, group, or composer
is always spelled the same way—which may mean that you have to retype
some of the metadata in order to make your collection properly
searchable. And this is especially true with classical music collections
of any size! Of course it is always a good idea to test your conventions
using the music server software that you will be utilizing!
Multiple Artists & Album Artists: Choosing
If there are several musicians playing
together on a track (and of course on an album it may be that all of the
tracks are the same combination of artists—or maybe not in which
case each track needs to be named separately) there are different ways
to separate the names. For instance you can use a comma or you can use a
semicolon. Different software will use these differently though. In
Media Monkey if you have two artists separated by a semicolon then they
will be listed as two separate artists. Here are some examples:
Karajan; Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Whereas in Media Monkey two artists
separated by a comma will be viewed as a single entity. Here is an
However you are better off using the latter
approach (using a coma to separate artists on any given track) if you
are using Media Monkey on your music server and as a remote control are
using the MonkeyTunes app which communicates via Wi-Fi to an Apple iPod
Touch, iPhone, or iPad running the Apple Remote app. The reason is that
if you try to use a semicolon you won't be able to click through from an
artist to anything—you'll only get a blank screen with no albums or
tracks listed even though they are indeed in the database. This may be
fixed in later versions of Media Monkey of course.
But with JRiver music server software a
semicolon works fine.
You also have the choice of separating
words with a space or an underscore. For instance the first track of
Abbey Road by The Beatles could be:
The Beatles - Abbey Road - 01 - Come
Depending upon the software you are using
it may not make any difference. If it doesn't of course then obviously
the easiest approach is the first of the above two examples, i.e. without using the underscore for each space.
The main advice here is to select a
particular approach and then test it using the music server
software/hardware combo before spending a lot of time doing your
whole collection! As trying to correct it all after the fact for a whole
collection is a real chore!
Note: In some music server software there
can be a differentiation between an Artist and an Album Artist.
Also it is important to understand that
exactly how you do file naming isn't so important if you are using Tags
rather than filenames for metadata.
The Naming of a Work - Spelling, Capitalization, and Punctuation
Especially with classical music there can
be more than one way to spell the name of a particular work. For example
Bach's St. Matthew Passion could be named in a variety of ways:
- Bach St. Matthew Passion
- Bach St Matthew Passion
- Bach, St. Matthew Passion
- Bach: St. Matthew Passion
- St. Matthew Passion
- St Matthew Passion
- Saint Matthew Passion
- Johann Sebastian Bach St. Matthew
- JS Bach St. Matthew Passion
- J.S. Bach St. Matthew Passion
- J. S. Bach St. Matthew Passion
- Bach- St. Matthäus-Passion
- Passion selon Saint Matthieu
Well you get the idea—there are numerous
variations on the theme!
Personally my preference is for either the first
version, i.e. Bach St. Matthew Passion or the second version as it is
straightforward and uses no
punctuation except for the period in the first version—but whatever your preference is is fine.
Though whatever you decide upon, it is suggested that you stick with the same
convention. For instance putting the name of the composer in front of
the piece or not, etc. One thing that experience shows is that if you
have more than one version of a particular piece, it is especially
advisable to spell it the exact same way so that you can find all
versions of that piece easily when you do a search.
My preference for using "Bach St.
Matthew Passion" also assumes that "Bach" means "Johann Sebastian
Bach". "CPE Bach" or "Bach, CPE" are examples of ways to indicate a
particular son of Bach. And I prefer the second approach for
alphabetical searching reasons.
Depending upon your music server software
it may be advisable to not use hyphens or
colons in an artist's name in the file-naming. However it is fine to use
them in the Tags for the Artist or Album fields, etc. Also colons and slashes will
definitely not work in folder names when using an OS such as Windows.
For instance with Bach The Well-Tempered
Clavier you may need to be careful about having that hyphen in the
filename itself. With some music server software it may
be better to leave out the hyphen like
Bach The Well Tempered Clavier
And depending upon your music server
software, the only time to use a slash (/)
in working with album file naming is when you are using the "Various
It is also important to understand that
because different music server software can react differently to
punctuation, you should understand when to use a dash, a dash with a
space on either side, a semi-colon, a colon, etc. If in doubt test out
your name/punctuation scheme first before doing your entire collection.
Sometimes you might want, or might not want, a certain kind of
punctuation in either the folder name, the file name, and/or the
Once again it is advisable to test your
folder and file naming scheme in order to ensure that you won't have
problems that you'll have to go back and correct! It can very
time-consuming to refigure out and then rework file and folder names!
Also you should carefully look at your
music server software setup as you can use sometimes under "Options" set
it up for one or another way of deriving metadata from filenames if your
files aren't Tagged.
Below the "Artist" folder level in the hierarchical tree structure there
would then be an individual folder for each "Album"—the
name of which would be the name, abbreviated or not, of the album. In
each album folder would be the files of the actual tracks or movements
as well as the track numbers. Most people prefer to have the track
numbers before the track name rather than after—but ultimately that is a
So then a hierarchical folder tree could look like this:
Below are some real world examples which
will illustrate various aspects of categorization for you to consider:
The Beatles: Abbey Road (2009 remastered CD)
For Abbey Road there are 17 songs so there would be 17 files in the "Abbey_Road"
Since the Beatles albums were remastered in 2009, if you have
that new better sounding remastered version then you could include that
information too. So then the folder tree would look like this:
that the track
numbers can be either before or after the name of the song in the file name for
each track. The method we have normally used is track # before track name—but as long as you always do it the same way you can do it either way.)
Note that in this example the remastering year and the rerelease year
are the same, although there are cases when it can be different.
Bach: The Art of Fugue (Die Kunst der Fuge) - played by pianist Tatiana
Alternatively a hierarchical folder tree could look like this:
[Note: There are 20 movements
in The Art of the Fugue so there would be 20 files in the last
folder entitled "Nikolayeva".]
There is another aspect to consider too. Let's say that you have The Art
of Fugue that spans two
CD's as in the case of this release—as
The Art of Fugue
actually starts in the middle of the first CD at Track #7 and runs through to the end
of the 2nd CD. Then you may wish to put all of the tracks of that piece
into one folder. If you do this then you would need to redo the track
#'s for both the first and the 2nd CD so that they are arranged in the proper playing
order. In addition you might wish to create one more folder
for the first 6 tracks of the CD in this particular example.
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony -
conducted by Herbert von Karajan
Sometimes a conductor does the same piece more than once. For
instance von Karajan recorded at least 7 different
performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. He recorded 4 performances
in mono (1947
Vienna Philharmonic &
1955 Vienna Symphony &
1955 London Philharmonia
1957 Berlin Philharmonic) and 3 in stereo
1984 with the Berlin Philharmonic).
So then the
hierarchical folder tree could look like this:
[Note: Here there are 4 movements so there would be 4 files or tracks in
the last folder.]
Then to make things even more complicated there are remastered versions
of these performances available. So you could add in the remastering
date of either 1997 or 2003—(which
in the following example is 2003)—in
which case the tree could look like this:
You could also name the artist Karajan,_BPO which is the abbreviation for
Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
(Alternatively you could abbreviate it as Karajan; Berlin.)
So then the tree would look like this:
In the example just above the rm is
an abbreviation for remastering. You could also put it after the
year as 2003rm.
Optionally, though it isn't necessary, you could also add in the
release date if you wish so that would mean even a 3rd year designation.
The reason for this is that, with at least one particular version
(originally recorded in 1963) of von Karajan's Beethoven Ninth, first
there was the original mastering for CD, then a 1997 remastering, and
then a 2nd remastering done in 2003. However there have been more than 3
release dates as there have been a number of different CD pressings in
different CD packaging.
Obviously which interpretation it is is
most important. Once you have determined the recording date
which identifies which interpretation it is, the remastering date is the
next most important one as that will affect the sound
quality. Generally speaking the release date will have no effect
whatsoever on sound quality. However it isn't always easy to find out what the remastering
date actually is as opposed to the release date which is sometimes easier
to learn. It depends upon how much you wish to know about which version it is that
you are listening to and how much time you are willing to invest in
doing the requisite research. Fortunately many times if you read the
fine print in the CD booklet the recording and remastering dates are
usually listed either near the front or near the back.
In this particular example just above, at last count there were 21 different CD releases
currently available that contain a von Karajan Beethoven Ninth. You
can see a listing of them all
And von Karajan isn't the only example of a
conductor who did numerous versions of Beethoven's Ninth. For instance
Klemperer did at least 7 recordings:
November 1957 - Philharmonia Orchestra
May 1956 - Concertgebouw (live)
November 1957 - Philharmonia Orchestra (live)
January, 1958 - Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchestra (live)
June 1960 - Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (live)
November 1961 - Philharmonia Orchestra (live)
October 1964 - New Philharmonia Orchestra (live)
Faure's Requiem - conducted by
Alternatively a conductor might record 2 different versions of the same piece. For
instance there is an 1893 chamber version of Faure's Requiem and a 1901
concert version. The latter version was rewritten for a larger group and
included more instruments.
So then the hierarchical
folder tree could look like this:
So for example:
And then the listing for the other work would look like
[Note there are 7 movements so there would be 7 files or tracks in the
If you have a compilation CD with a number of different artists, then
you may wish to put each track into their respective artist's folder.
Alternatively you may wish to include the artist name as a part of each
track name, either at the beginning or end (possibly in parentheses).
Some music server software has an option
which will handle compilations of various artists on different tracks. In MediaMonkey software for example the
"Artist" name can be different for each track—while at the same time the
Album Artist can be listed as the same such as "Various". This means
that all of the tracks will show up in one album but you still will be
able to see the name of each individual artist for each individual
track. If using JRiver it also does a fine job of handling compilation
In classical music there are often pairings
of two or more pieces by different composers. And you may wish to leave
the albums sequenced as they are. For an example when Horowitz gave a
concert he had a definite idea of what order to play certain pieces in
and you may wish to listen as you would in a live concert. However there
may be instances where you may wish to break them into separate folders.
Final Thoughts on File Folder Organization
As you think about your collection, you may do it differently from the
examples given above. For instance you might wish to further divide
"Classical" into the various
eras. And/or you
might wish to divide "Classical" into categories such as:
- Solo Piano
- String Quartet
Then under a folder such as Orchestral
you could you have further subdivisions such as:
- Piano Concerto
- String Concerto
Of course you could further divide
String Concerto as follows:
- Cello Concerto
- Double Concerto
- Viola Concerto
- Violin Concerto
Or for instance you might wish to rip a particular CD as one file—rather
than the conventional way which is have an individual file for each
individual track which then could be assembled into an album or a playlists. But
however you do it, it is important to plan out an appropriate folder
and file organization scheme and then stick to it. Consistency is key!
A nice touch is to add in the front cover Album Art as
you rip a CD. You can include the album art file in the same folder as
the music files so that it is easily accessible. There are several sites
which you can copy and paste from in order to get album art if you don't
already have it. Unfortunately many of the labels do not have good
quality cover art on their websites—though hopefully this will change in
the future when they understand that people with music servers
appreciate nice looking, good quality cover art. If you wish you could
email your favorite labels and ask them to put up higher quality cover
art on their website. If enough people request it hopefully they will do
so sooner rather than later. After all they don't even have to scan
it—as they have the original artwork! Two examples of labels that do
have higher quality artwork on their websites include
Listed below are some other websites where you may be able to find the
http://www.albumartexchange.com/ - excellent quality large images,
mostly for popular music (Tip: for search use exact spelling)
good to excellent quality - 600x600 - (site can be a bit slow & the search function isn't
always the best. A better approach to searching this site is with google
where you put in the name of the artist and album along with emusic.com.)
600x600 images - though images may be over-saturated in terms of color
http://www.cduniverse.com/default.asp - many better quality images
- a good selection and many times
very good artwork
http://www.amazon.com/ - an enormous collection of images and
when expanded many are good (excellent and fast search function)
Chaumière à Musique - has some obscure classical cover art
http://images.google.com/ image quality varies greatly (but
hit-or-miss search function)
- usually good image quality (huge database)
unfortunately image quality and size is no longer very useful since the
site was redesigned
http://www.album-cover-art.org/ - connects to
- connects to
http://www.allcdcovers.com/ - large
fairly large selection, OK image quality but not great (but better than
- cover art tends to be pretty
good (selection not the greatest though)
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/main.jsp - quality of images
small and low quality (but has a superb search function for classical
quality of images not great - relatively
The first five sometimes have higher
quality album cover images that can be seen if you click on the image to
expand it—although sometimes
if you click on the image in Amazon you can get good quality scans too.
However the expanded Amazon scans are sometimes surrounded by a very large
white border—which if you wish to perform that extra step can be
cropped out in
other photo editor.
At the same time as you add the album cover
artwork you also have the opportunity to add additional artist and/or
album metadata info in text form in the notes "field" which you can type yourself or copy-and-paste.
For instance you might wish to add in the name of the label—or even keep a list of
additional albums by a particular artist that you would like to
Depending upon your music server software
you also may need to use one of the following as the name for each jpg
Also depending upon your music server
software you might want to aim for a certain size. For instance high
quality cover art is sometimes found in sizes such as 600x600 or
1000x1000 or 1400x1400 pixels. Some music server software will take a larger size jpg
and display it as a smaller sized thumbnail. But usually it is still
viewable as a larger sized photo if desired with a click or two.
Another thing to watch out for is an
image which is not perfectly square. For instance a 1000x1000 pixel
image is square. But an 800x1000 is not square and sometimes will be
displayed in a truncated fashion. Once again we recommend testing
parameters such as this in your music server—as well as any control app
that you might be using—to see it this is important or not in order to
optimize your system.
Note: With most music server software each jpg should be placed in the
album folder containing the tracks. Specifically if you are using JRiver
music server software, here is a
link for more info.
If your cover art size is
1000x1000, and if you are using a 1st or 2nd generation iPad to control your music server
with an app—and your iPad has a screen resolution lower than 1000x1000—then you could try using
either the iPeng or SqueezePad apps. Fortunately however with the 3rd
gen or later iPad the resolution has now been increased to 2048 x 1536 pixels.
However sometimes you will have to scan
your album cover—as either you can't find it on the web at all or what
you can find are only blurry, low quality images. For that purpose you
can use a flatbed scanner. In that case the scanner software used must
have a "descreen" option when printed images are scanned in at a high
resolution. Otherwise without descreening a distracting moiré pattern
may be evident.
If the cover is part of a multi-CD
box set and is basically a cardboard sleeve, it is recommended to take
the CD out of it before scanning so it will sit flat. That way you may
get a noticeably better quality scan at the edges without as much in the
way of light source reflections.
In addition to front cover art you can
also add in back cover art. You might need to scan this yourself as it
is harder to find back cover images on the web.
Although also harder to find, it is also
possible to include a pdf of the liner notes in your album folder.
Types of computer drives for ripping
Our experience has been that if you have
a large collection of CD's it is good to have 2 or 3 different drives to
choose from. For instance you might have 2 computers, each with a DVD/CD
drive of different makes and/or models. Or for example you might have
one ripping computer with two drives—a DVD/CD drive and a Blu-ray drive.
For whatever reason sometimes a Blu-ray drive
may rip problematic tracks more
accurately than a regular CD/DVD drive—or vice versa. Or a different
make of DVD drive may work better on a particular CD. The larger your
music library is the more you might find this to be
worthwhile—especially if you have 100's or 1000's of CD's.
It is usually advisable to do your ripping as well as other types of
music file work—such as file conversion, metadata research/editing, and
cover art searching/editing/correcting—on a separate computer. That way
your music server only does one function and that is acting as a music
server. After all you want your music server to act in as robust and
reliable a way as possible!
Ripping in Windows
If you would like to use a free Windows program
then we can recommend that you use Exact Audio Copy
(EAC) with AccurateRip to rip your CD's to WAV files. Obviously with the
large hard disks or SSD's (Solid State Drives) available today it is both unnecessary and
sonically deleterious to use any lossy compression. Alternatively if you
wish to use
FLAC (or some other type of lossless compressed files) that
is your choice. One advantage to using FLAC is for embedded metadata—however
if you use
Tag and Rename
you can tag WAV and AIF, as well as other file types, too.
While there are a significant number of
options to consider when initially setting up the program, for optimal results using Exact Audio Copy make sure
at the very minimum that you
set it up with the following two options selected:
- Secure mode
- "High" Error Recovery Quality
Though in the past we have used EAC
with excellent sonic results, you should know that there is a wizard mode for
setup (as well as guides online) for configuring the numerous options,
all of which need to be properly set to ensure "bit-perfect" rips. This
is not a procedure that a casual user will find intuitive—and even
assuming proper configuration there is still the issue of track tagging
and overall metadata congruity. (Note: See "File Naming" above)
In EAC if you get a track that rips to less than 100% in terms of
quality, you can always highlight that track and try ripping again after
cleaning the CD playing surface.
Sometimes though if CD's have been scratched there is no way to
accurately transfer the affected tracks without either resurfacing or
replacing the CD. And sometimes CD have defective
tracks from a bad pressing or plating right out of the shrinkwrap. We've
even seen brand new CD's that were already scratched when we took off shrinkwrap!
However there is another Windows program which
may actually be even more accurate in terms of bit-for-bit copying than EAC, namely
dBpoweramp. dBpoweramp also
Here is a page
from their website with some technical information about ripping errors.
Also dBpoweramp, especially for classical music which is the most
challenging genre to get the correct metadata for, is easier to use in terms
of setting up folders as well as including more metadata from the GD3
and especially the Sonata databases. Here are some links for more info:
Ripping in OSX
Alternatively if you wish to use an OSX Mac
for ripping you can use
(X Lossless Decoder).
For XLD here are some settings that you
should know about:
In addition there is a new program that as of April 2011
was still in
beta form called
For more Mac music server info here is a
Ripping with ReQuest
Note: If you have a ReQuest music server
and you use it to do ripping, you can specify a factory-set option which
will achieve the same sort of high quality transfer as Exact Audio Copy.
For adding a few CD's to a collection this is fine. However for larger
collections, and especially for classical music, you may wish to have them professionally transferred so that
everything is done with consistent metadata across your entire
Ripping with Naim
Naim has a two PDF's which contains useful
technical information if you are using a Naim music server or streamer:
Naim CD Ripping Engine.pdf
Naim Server Sound Rip Technology
With regard to music files, metadata is
information about various fields such as Artist, Album, Track name,
Track number, etc. However it is very important to understand that there
are major differences in how metadata support is implemented in various
music server applications. The most important difference to understand
is between Associated Metadata and Embedded Metadata.
Associated metadata is stored in a proprietary database or file
used by music server software applications. When looking at an album
within the application, users will see all the information available
such as album art, artists, track title etc. For example, when iTunes
automatically finds album art it only associates this art with each
track of the album. The problem with associated metadata is its lack of
transportability. This metadata will only be available when using the
specific application that associated the metadata with the files. If an
iTunes library file is lost, or an application's database of associated
metadata is lost, or if a file with associated metadata is moved to
another application, all the metadata is gone for good.
Whereas embedded metadata is stored inside the audio file's
container such as AIFF or FLAC. Containers / file formats such as FLAC,
AIFF, or M4A (ALAC) support embedded metadata that is readable and writable
by many audio playback applications. These containers/file formats have
guidelines or standards for embedding metadata and they allocate space
within the container for this data. Once this metadata has been embedded
into a container/file like AIFF the metadata is there until removed.
None of the three problems described above are an issue with embedded
metadata. Loss of an iTunes library file or proprietary application
database or moving a file to another application have no effect on the
metadata. A file with embedded metadata in iTunes will display
album art, artist, track title etc. without manually entering anything
or without iTunes gathering the metadata from an Internet database.
Therefore we highly
recommend embedded metadata!
Online Metadata Databases
In case you didn't know, there are a
number of online metadata databases such as:
- SonataDB - (Note: This is
potentially the best
database for classical music)
Metadata Tagging & Editing Existing Tags
Assuming that you obtain bit-for-bit file
copies of your CD collection, the next most important thing is getting
the tagging to be both correct and consistent. Consistency is very
important—as you will find out once you start listening via your music
server! If you do an absolutely perfect job with every field for each CD
the first time you rip each one then you never will have to edit your
metadata tags. However many if not most all people will find that they
may wish to go back and edit some or all of their tags.
In order to change file and/or folder names
you can go into each folder or file and hand edit each track in Windows
itself using the "rename" command. In order to edit metadata tags there are a variety
of programs available including:
For Windows you can use
Tag & Rename
to tag music
files including file formats such as WAV, AIFF, FLAC, etc. And yes we
have found that you can actually can tag WAV files. You can also use this program to
edit existing Tag
information. This can be especially helpful for classical music as there
are more than the usual four fields (Artist / Album / Track # / Track
Title) including Composer, Conductor, etc. [Note: this can be very time
consuming—especially if you have a large collection of classical music!]
With jazz too you may wish to have all of the musicians listed for each
Another very powerful program for Windows
tagging and tag editing is
which actually consists of 4 independent applications:
- MusiCHI Tagger
- MusiCHI Library Manager
- MusiCHI Ripper
- MusiCHI Player
Specifically MusiCHI Tagger is a very
powerful piece of software and is especially useful if you have a large
Classical or Jazz collection. In it you can you can choose between
Classical and Jazz "flavors" for the metadata of those particular genres
of your music library. One thing in particular that it can do is allow
for global changes across all selected folders simultaneously to such
fields as Composer, Artist, etc. For instance it will take all of the
Composer fields and make them all identically uniform for each composer.
As an example, regardless of how many different ways Mozart can be
written (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Wolfgang Mozart, etc.) it would take all of the different ways of
listing Mozart and make them all one way with the last name first as follows:
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756–1791)
This powerful database approach to metadata
culling and editing is really great and is highly recommended!
Note: At present there is only a Windows
version. However for OSX Macs it works fine under VMWare Fusion,
Parallels or Bootcamp.
Particularly if you have
a large music collection you will find this multi-faceted software suite
to be a very powerful timesaver and (to our present knowledge) uniquely
For a native OSX Mac tagging program you can use
Another program that is multiplatform for
Linux/Mac OS X/Windows is
Picard. In addition there are some
available for those who wish to try them. Here is a
Also here is an
article about some other tagging software which can create tags from
Note: If you have a large collection it may
end up that there will need to be a lot of hand correcting done. In that
case if you don't have a good keyboard for typing you might wish to
obtain one. In that case
here is a review of a mechanical switch keyboard that you might be
Music Files from DVD-Video, DVD-A, or Blu-ray
There is a piece of software called
DVD Audio Extractor
which can be utilized to extract the audio streams from a Blu-ray,
DVD-Audio and DVD-Video disc. There are versions available for both
Windows and Mac OSX. In addition there are two Linux versions: Ubuntu &
Fedora (for which you need to use LAME).
DSD Music Files
All of the file types above are PCM (Pulse
Code Modulation) type files. There is also a fundamentally different
type of music file called a DSD file which is used for the SACD format. There
are actually two different types of DSD file extensions: .DFF and .DSF.
And they both can be either stereo or 3.0 (which is left and right front
plus a center channel) or 4.0, 5.0 or 5.1 for surround. The difference
is that a .DFF file has no metadata attached—whereas a .DSF file provides for the inclusion of metadata.
In case you are curious the acronym DSF
stands for "DSD Stream File". For the very technically-minded here is a
white paper on the
The easiest way to get DSD files is to
download them from websites such as:
It is also possible to extract a music file
from an SACD and there are several ways of doing so. One inexpensive way
is to use a Sony PlayStation. Alternatively a more professional way is
to use a Sonoma workstation which requires working in real time.
If you are interested in playing DSD files
on a music server dCS has a
white paper that discusses
a DSD-over-USB protocol.
DOP (DSD over PCM) is what
dCS is now
utilizing for their DAC's.
DOP packs DSD into a PCM-like signal for
JRiver Media Center 18 supports DOP. (MC18
is Windows music server software.)
In MC18 DOP bitstreaming is configured in
Options > Audio as follows:
- Select 'WASAPI - Event Style' in
Options > Audio > Output mode (and configure 'Output mode
settings...' as necessary)
- Select Options > Audio >
Bitstreaming > Custom... and check _only_ 'DSD over PCM (DoP)'
- Customize the 'DoP Format' if you
have an older device that does not support the DoP standard
Data Redundancy & Backup
It is very important to have a good backup scheme
for your precious music files.
The best approach is to employ redundancy and as well as both
onsite and offsite backup.
We recommend using either RAID 1, 5, 6 for redundancy on your music server or NAS (network
attached storage) unit. For a NAS you there are also proprietary
alternatives such as XRAID (Netgear) or SHR (Synology). In addition to the RAID redundancy you should also have
at least one external backup of your music files. Ideally
you would also have at least one more backup offsite! Two
offsite backups is the best way to go.
The absolute best method is of course
Co-location. However this is both quite expensive as well as being
technically beyond the average audiophile. If you are really serious
about Co-location for your music files for an ultra-high end music
server system installation you can contact Alan Goodwin directly and he
provide assistance in getting it implemented.
If you care about quality it can be a
tremendous amount of work to transfer a whole library of 100's or 1000's of
CD's—really you simply won't believe how many hours it can take until you try it for
yourself! So make sure that you do it right the first time and back it
all up properly!
How much time does it take to transfer a CD
It depends on whether you have a few dozen
CD's in which case it probably won't take too long. If you have 100's or
1000's or more then it might well take quite a bit of time. There are a
number of aspects to consider including the quality of the data ripping
(bit-for-bit is important!), the metadata editing, the album art, the learning curve,
etc. If you have a larger collection and decide to do it yourself you will
probably spend far, far more time ripping and organizing your CD
collection than you would ever imagine—especially if you wish to do a
high quality job! If you are retired and wish to make this a hobby or if
you have plenty of spare time in the evenings and weekends and wish to
use your time to do this then by all means go right ahead. If you are
unsure whether you wish to tackle this yourself then you could try doing
some CD's yourself and see how you feel. Make sure that you test out
your results in whatever music server software you are using before
you do too many CD's as you don't want to have to redo your entire collection
once you learn how you would rather have done it!
Unless you have plenty of free time though, it is recommended
that you bring in or ship your CD collection to us and have it
professionally transferred with proper searchable metadata and album
art. After all time is a precious commodity!
Where can I obtain a robotic 100 CD autoloader?
If you would like to rip your collection
yourself and would like to get a robotic autoloader here is a link:
However please note that this still requires
a hands-on approach. In other words you can't just walk away and have
100 discs be ripped automatically. You still should look at the
metadata for each CD before ripping each one—otherwise
you may have to go back and hand-edit some or all of them. So this may not be the big
timesaver that one might assume.
How much does it cost to have a CD
collection professionally ripped?
any type of lossy compressed format
AAC, WMA, etc.)
not be our recommendation for home use in a quality audio system--as
lossless or uncompressed would definitely be better! However if you
wish you can get your collection dual-encoded so that you have a
portable version using either lossy or lossless compressed files--as well
as either a lossless compressed or uncompressed file format for home use.
recommendation of course would
you only have your music transfers
done as true bit-for-bit copies for home use. For the format we usually recommend
either WAV or AIFF as hard disk space has become so inexpensive so
there is no reason to even go lossless anymore.
Alternatively you can also use Uncompressed FLAC which is a lossless
format. WAV is of course the same file format as the CD. However
both AIFF and FLAC are better in terms of metadata. There is more
information about this here.
If you have an Apple Mac computer we would recommend using AIFF. The
nice thing about this choice is that AIFF files work fine on Windows
If you are using a Windows machine then AIFF, WAV, or FLAC are all
possible to use. AIFF, which is Apple's version of WAV, may be the
best choice however you should make sure that the music server
software that you wish to use supports AIFF. Examples of Windows 7
(both 32 and 64 bit) music server software that does support AIFF
are J River and
the years we have had plenty of experience with various ripping
services and have not always been satisfied with the results.
However the pricing below reflects having a top-quality professional
job being done:
Lossy Compressed $0.99 per CD (MP3 192kps or lower) (Note: no
cover art included)
Lossy Compressed $1.95 per CD (MP3, AAC, WMA)
$2.50 per CD (FLAC, ALAC, WMA-L)
Uncompressed $2.75 per CD (WAV, AIFF)
Non-Classical $3.75 per CD (Uncompressed: WAV
or AIFF - Or Lossless Compressed: FLAC, ALAC, or WMA-L)
$4.50 per CD (Uncompressed: WAV or AIFF - Or Lossless
Compressed: FLAC, ALAC, or WMA-L)
Extended Classical Editing $4.95 per CD
(Uncompressed: WAV or AIFF - Or Lossless Compressed: FLAC, ALAC, or WMA-L)
For all of the above the typical metadata fields include:
Cover Art (assuming that the Jewel
Cases are included with the cover inside)
Note: Extended Classical Editing also includes all of the typical
fields above plus the following additional fields:
Most Notable Soloist
please note that the Extended Classical Editing would be done by a
trained, performing Classical musician/opera singer who speaks 5
languages (French, German, Italian, etc.) These projects must be booked in advance and if the need
arises we can arrange a telephone conversation or a
session to go
over special projects in order to ensure that you understand the
process and that final results will meet your requirements.
Note: All of the above options include high quality cover art.
Typically cover art will be anywhere from 400x400 to 1000x1000.
Note: The above pricing does not include any applicable shipping
you have any questions about having your collection professionally
ripped please call us at 781-893-9000.