External Hard Drive for CD storage

Fed up with hundreds of CDs cluttering up the house I'm going down the Squeezebox route of Wi Fi music. The first job is to transfer my CDs to a new external hard disk drive. But, which on? I've decided to go go a 1Tb model because I want to save the music as lossless WAV files rather than MP3 and Squeezebox can handle WAV.

I quite like the Phillips SPE3091CC or maybe a Seagate Freeagant. USB2 is fine as I won't be using it for data back up, just for music storage. Has anyone had any experience, good or bad, with drives of this size and any recommendations for brand. Prices all seem to be a around £90 - $130

  MarvintheAndroid 11:50 17 Aug 08

To be honest the actual hard disk probably won't make much difference. I use a boggo WD hard disk and it is fine.

Of more importance is the transfer protocol you use - I would certainly consider setting up a LAN box (NAS storage) if you have more than one machine on a network, or Firewire / E-SATA if you don't.

The point is that doing any serious copying to / from a USB2 drive of that size will take ages. Eg what are you planning to do about backing it all up ?

Also I think you will find that MP3 files will keep enough musical detail if you set them at a high bitrate, eg above 256K. I certainly can't hear the difference. This then gives you better options in terns of cataloging your music collection , as you get to keep all the track info which will be created from the CD lookup info when you rip. If you are individually naming wav files and trying to catalog them as you go, I think you will make a rod for your own back.

Just a thought.

Marv.

Thanks Marv,

With regards to cataloguing, I'm ripping with Windows Media Player which seems to name all the tracks and sort them out as well. It also produces the artwork for the album which then can be viewed in the Squeezebox remote.

I haven't yet done an in depth comparision between the quality of WAV and MP3. I suppose if I went down the MP3 route I'd need less space.

I guess the initial loading will take a lot of time but, from then on it would only be one or two CDs at a time.

The only feasible way of backing up this amount of data would be a second HDD.

  €dstowe 12:42 17 Aug 08

The very large (1TB +) external drives as usually two smaller drives in one case.

I think I've read that with some of these, the drives can be connected in different ways - one being a sort of RAID assembly where one drive backs up the other. Might be worth investigating to get over your backup risk.

Thanks £dstowe, I wasn't aware there might be two HDDs in a 1TB case. As you say, it makes sense to RAID them in that case which does solve the back up problem.

Maybe I'll go down the MP3 route if the quality does not suffer.

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