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jazzfan
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Last seen: 7 months 6 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Choices and methods for archiving LPs, tapes, CD, etc.

I've been noticing that one of the many recurring themes on the this forum seems to be about how best to use a computer to archive one's music collection into some digital format. I believe that this type of question is one which lends itself rather well to discussion on an open forum like this one.

There are so many factors to take into account and several different methods of finding a workable solution, all with positive and negative sides to them, that only by having everyone's ideas and opinions heard can one make some kind of intelligent decision on how best to proceed.

I'll try to give a brief outline of what I understand to be some of the factors and methods, but please bear in mind that it is in no way meant to be an all inclusive list - your input is needed and most welcome.

What I see as factors are:

1) Usability - this encompasses things like portability, compatability and, of course, ease of use.

2) Sound quality - what digital format will the archive be in - lossy compression (mp3, wma, etc) lossless compression (flac, ape, mlp, etc), uncompressed (16 bit/44.1kHz wav) or high resolution (24 bit/96kHz wav)?

3) Stability - how stable and "future proof" is the archive format, both the hardware and the software formats.

4) Cost

What I see as methods are:

1) Hard disk archiving using the digital file format of one's chosing.

2) CD archiving via Red Book audio

3) DVD/CD archiving using a different digital file format, say as lossless compressed flac files.

4) DVD-Audio archiving (see thread Home Brewed DVD-Audio Discs)

5) SACD archiving (see thread Tascam DV-RA 1000 DSD recorder review)

I think that should be enough to get things moving, now let's see what we can come up with.

ohfourohnine
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Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 7:41pm
Re: Choices and methods for archiving LPs, tapes, CD, etc.

I started archiving from vinyl to 16/44 CD. Apple Lossless came along, and I switched to hard disc archiving in that format on a G4 Powerbook with a Lacie external drive for additional capacity. Maintaining playlists on the laptop, and dropping them selectively to an iPod, or burning a CD for the car, means that approach provides a lot of convenient secondary listening as well as the archive.

My wife does a lot of video stuff and, as a result, we have equipment around which would handle DVD-A playback though it isn't in the main system. Your earlier post regarding home brewed DVD-A has peaked some interest, but so far laziness and the notion that something better may be on the horizon has kept me from experimenting with that alternative.

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