Life, Minutiae, Toys, Irrational Phobias, Peeves, Fiber

CD Archiving 1: It Helps To Become Obsessed

Posted on | September 10, 2009 at 6:14 am | 12 Comments

In the previous post, I talked about how I’m no longer buying CDs and just sticking to digital downloads. But what about the 4100+ CDs I already own? What am I going to do about those? That gets to the heart of the matter of my latest passion and one reason why I haven’t been blogging. I’ve resurrected the CD archiving project.

In previous posts (like here and here), I’ve talked about my desire to transfer all my compact discs to the computer, by ripping them to digital files and importing them into iTunes, my media player of choice because of all the iPods I have. The reasons given back then were:

  • Easy access and listening everywhere (the same reason I have for switching to digital downloads for new albums)
  • Transferring to iPods
  • Backup of my collection in case anything happens to the physical media
  • Completion of CD cataloging (completing the disc info in Music Collector)
  • Obsessive compulsiveness

Another potential reason is I was probably thinking that by transferring all my music to the computer, I could then get rid of the CD collection and free up space in the house. Of course, to remain completely legal, I guess I would have to destroy the collection rather than sell it or give it away. (Keep in mind that the discs in the collection are stored in individual plastic sleeves along with the booklet and tray card, instead of in the jewel boxes they came in. I sold the jewel boxes long ago. The collection takes up approx 1/4 to 1/5 of the space it would if I had kept the discs in the jewel boxes. But even with that much space reduction, it still takes up a helluva a lot of room, and it’s sometimes hard to find individual discs.)

When I first started ripping my CDs to the computer, I used the Apple AAC codec. But then I quickly decided that was too proprietary, or didn’t have any advantages I could distinguish vs MP3s, or I didn’t like the acronym, or whatever, and I switched to 128kbps constant bit rate MP3s. Then I decided that wasn’t good enough sound quality for permanent archival purposes, so I switched to 256kbps. And that meant starting all over again. But I was bound and determined to do it. Whenever I start over ripping the collection again, I always find there’s more information I want to add about the disc in Music Collector (cover artwork at better resolution, catalog numbers, etc). So that gives me another reason to start over and something more to obsess over.

(It occurs to me that I don’t really need Music Collector these days, since I could probably track all the same information for the discs when I rip them and import them into iTunes, most likely in the “Comments” tag. However, that would take up additional space in each track, and seems wasteful. Plus, MuC formats things much nicer and makes it easier to search for data. And it has that nifty corresponding iPhone app so I can view my collection prettily on the phone.)

Anyway, I started thinking about The Future and wondering if MP3 was really the way to go for archiving my precious CD collection. As I mentioned in the above referenced post, what if a better compression scheme came along later? Technology always marches forward. I think this worried me so much that I put the project on hold.

Then as I started researching the issue more, I came to a decision about what I wanted to do. Therein lies the roots of my current obsession.

But I’m writing this late at night and getting tired, so I’ll have to tell all about that later. I hope I don’t catch any flack for leaving anyone in suspense!

Also, I’m kind of wanting to indulge my obsession a bit before bed.


Pet Peeve of the Day: Fast food establishments that don’t have self drink fill/refill stations (I’m looking at you, Wendy’s), and then give you a Coke when you ordered a Diet Coke.

Poignant Search Term Of The Day That Led To This Blog: “do i have to wear my progressive reading glasses all the time”.

Videogame(s) Played Since Last Blog Update: None.


12 Responses to “CD Archiving 1: It Helps To Become Obsessed”

  1. 2fs
    September 10th, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

    Relatedly (re your peeve): Restaurants (of the sit-down type) that still charge for refills of soda…particularly if they do so w/o telling you when you ask to refill. I mean, c’mon: 95% of restaurants offer free refills; I haven’t noticed that the places that don’t have lower prices (and anyway, soda/pop/coke/whatever is a huge profit center: many years ago I worked for CoPeCaSi, and I knew how much a tank of syrup cost, and how many drinks it yielded). So stop rippin’ me off.

  2. Flasshe
    September 10th, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

    Restaurants (of the sit-down type) that still charge for refills of soda…particularly if they do so w/o telling you when you ask to refill.

    The only time I’ve encountered that scenario in recent memory (and by recent memory, I mean many years ago) was at a Thai restaurant in San Francisco. This is not a common thing.

    Does Wendy’s really save that much money by not allowing you to refill your own drink? I’d like to see some data on that.

  3. DMR
    September 10th, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

    You should outsource your CD ripping project. Or get an intern!

  4. Flasshe
    September 10th, 2009 @ 10:45 pm

    You should outsource your CD ripping project. Or get an intern!

    DMR, you know better than that. Us anal retentives can’t trust anyone else to do it right.

    That suggestion was actually made on this blog before, by Bill TGH, I believe. That was a long time ago. I’ve been doing this project for a long time!

  5. Phil
    September 11th, 2009 @ 1:44 am

    Here you go:
    Dr. Pepper Syrup Concentrate, 5 gallons, makes 30 gallons or 3,840 oz.

    Let’s say 32-oz drinks with about 1/3 ice, net 22 oz. Typical fast-food large size (at least around here).

    3,840 / 22 = 175 drinks.

    $59.24 / 175 = 34 cents cost per 32-oz drink refill. Plus whatever it costs you for CO2 and to freeze the ice (both in the drink and the ice that a fountain machine requires to get the water cold enough to carbonate).

    Couldn’t find, say, Coke or Diet Coke at Sam’s online but I’ve seen it at the store; don’t remember the exact price, but it was >$50. I have no idea what syrup costs directly from Coke or Pepsi, but I suspect Sam’s Club is at least in the ballpark.

    Just eyeballing the figures, if I were a fast-food owner I’d be hoping a lot of the drink orders were at the drive-thru… otherwise the margin’s not that great.

  6. InfK
    September 11th, 2009 @ 3:59 am

    If you keep posting every time you start over, you will eventually get back to a post a day!

  7. DMR
    September 11th, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

    You’re right. I did think of that. I could never let someone handle it. Lisa read this post and said we’re like anal-retentive twins separated at birth.

  8. Flasshe
    September 11th, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

    Lisa read this post and said we’re like anal-retentive twins separated at birth.

    Where were we connected?

  9. InfK
    September 12th, 2009 @ 6:34 am

    (tried to reply to this last night via iPhone-Safari but apparently it didn’t submit – or, it got deleted for inappropriately-sardonic commentary? Anyhow, I forget what I wrote now…)

    (oh yeah, it was something like “if you keep blogging every time you change your mind, soon you’ll be back to a post-a-day!”)

  10. Flasshe
    September 15th, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

    Phil and InfK, your comments got stuck in the spam filter. Never had that happen before with valid comments… maybe you’re no longer real people?

    Phil, free refills are a right in America, not a privilege. I don’t care if it makes the owners lose money and go out of business or charge more for other things.

  11. Phil
    September 15th, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

    Or maybe we never were real people.

    I don’t think the owners lose money on free refills, all things considered, or they wouldn’t do it. I just don’t think the margin on soft drinks with free refills is all that great.

    It’s like the old myth about fast-food places only inventorying the cups because they cost so much more than the coke itself, which was never even close to true (the cost part, not the inventorying… how would you “count” the servings left in a tank of syrup?).

  12. 2fs
    September 15th, 2009 @ 9:53 pm

    Well, I can tell you that I worked for Pepsi one summer in the early ’80s, delivering tanks of syrup to restaurants and such…and I remember at the time calculating how much each glass of soda cost in terms of syrup, given the typical yield of a tank…and it was something like 2 cents per glass. In other words, if they were charging a buck for soda (sounds about right for the early ’80s), only 2% was the soda itself. Of course, there was a cost for cups, for maintenance and other overhead, etc. But at the time, I assure you: syrup was very cheap relative to the soda it yielded.

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