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View Full Version : Going Digital... (help!)


dante666
2008-03-16, 09:38 PM
I've been a heavy collector, and over the years I've collected quite the collection, and I was thinking about converting my CDs into files and storing them on external hard drives as backups. (I got this thought after my dog managed to knock over stack breaking around thirty, and after our basement flooded, where all my CDs were...)

The only thing is, when I look at the different brands, LaCie, Seagate, WD, etc., I read of all these horror stories, about how these things don't last, die without warning, and now I'm not sure I want to spend the time/money.

Are there any good brands out there that you've used and have worked well for this sort of thing? I'd appreciate any help/advice offered.

possessed
2008-03-16, 10:15 PM
Every brand of harddrive has a certain failure rate. I know this sucks to digest, but the same is true of CD's and DVD's. With that said, I've personally owned Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor etc and only one drive has exhibited any problems (it's still good but SMART said it was failing) and it got shelved. As far as discs, I've found that quality discs stand the test of time over cheap discs.

Now that I've rambled on......Use a brand name hard drive like WD, Seagate or Maxtor and you shouldn't have a problem. Just keep them away from the pets and basement floods and you should be golden.

dante666
2008-03-16, 11:24 PM
but the same is true of CD's and DVD's.

So then storing my collection on Dvds as data would have a slight failure rate too? That's no good. I guess as things stand I just need to try one out and see how things go from there, unless I hear of any ringing endorsements.

possessed
2008-03-16, 11:55 PM
Some DVD's are complete shit and some have a long shelf life. But no matter what you use, how you store them is the biggest factor in shelf life. The discs I've had fail me were either cheap Office Depot brand type discs or badly stored. Don't cheap out with your discs, whether it be CD's/DVD's/Hard Disks.

Give it a few days and you'll get some more responses with more advice. Good luck.

direwolf-pgh
2008-03-17, 12:23 AM
this is an interesting (non techie) data storage solution (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3143432&Sku=D162-1000)
havent used it myself.

the beauty of digital storage is no more discs lying all over the place.
(Im trying to get there too)
the downside is..you must have a full backup and/or redundant hardware costs.

dude87
2008-03-17, 12:36 AM
I'm in the process of getting rid of all of my CDs and converting everything to hard disk, using a PC connected to my stereo (and TV) for playback. I've built a PC with a pair of internal Western Digital TB drives - one as a primary, one as a backup. I thought about using RAID 1, but decided that a regular backup schedule was probably better for what I'm doing - the backup drive only needs to spin when I'm copying files to it, otherwise it's idle. After I fill up the TB drive I'll get a second pair of TB drives and put them in a machine intended just as a storage host.

All digital media will fail eventually - hard drives, CDs, DVDs, whatever. I figure having a backup copy of my hard drive saves me from a hard drive failure - I can just swap in the backup and buy a new backup drive to replace it. If the PC itself gets physically destroyed, wiping out both hard drives, I figure I'd have lost whatever DVD backups as well - I'm not at the point of investing in off-site storage. If that were to happen I would just rely on "massive parallel backups" - don't horde stuff, make sure plenty of people have copies of whatever you have and, if worse comes to worse, you're downloading a whole lot of shit all over again.

direwolf-pgh
2008-03-17, 01:42 PM
dude87, that sounds a great setup.

1. what software did you use for audio playback and/or catalog
(im just using winamp & browsing directories - the other progs wanted to much tagging of files)

2. what video card are you using for HDTV ?

thanks :wave:

jcrab66
2008-03-17, 02:16 PM
So then storing my collection on Dvds as data would have a slight failure rate too? That's no good. I guess as things stand I just need to try one out and see how things go from there, unless I hear of any ringing endorsements.

if you create .par files for the data stored on the dvds you will be able to recover lost data, the downside is you cant get quite as much on each disc...

Five
2008-03-17, 03:00 PM
they say that cdrs/dvdrs last something like 5yrs, HD lasts around 10. but they sometimes last longer, or sometimes much sorter! :eek: there's an old expression, "digital doesn't exist unless you've got a backup" so par2 files and redundancy are the way to go, that and moving everything over to a new place every few years. there's no magic bullet!

classicrock1169
2008-03-17, 04:13 PM
WAHHHH I thought my dvds would last 50 years+ SO my Tayoi's wont last that long.

rhinowing
2008-03-17, 04:27 PM
I own two seagate externals and have never had a problem with either.

Five
2008-03-17, 05:05 PM
WAHHHH I thought my dvds would last 50 years+ SO my Tayoi's wont last that long.
nobody really knows for sure! keep an eye on them when they start to get old. by then we'll probably be able to get something the size of a toothpick that holds 1TB (I hope) :lol

dude87
2008-03-17, 05:22 PM
1. what software did you use for audio playback and/or catalog
(im just using winamp & browsing directories - the other progs wanted to much tagging of files)

2. what video card are you using for HDTV ?

I'm using JRiver's Media Center for audio playback and cataloging. I also use FooBar 2000's Live Show Tagger plugin to tag all of my FLAC files (and I convert old SHNS to FLAC for tagging capabilities). Tagging makes a huge difference in playback, plus having a really strong catalog function for playlists helps a lot.

The motherboard in my system supported HDTV output with a DVI jack - if I was using the system for gaming I would have spent more on the video card but it works for what I want to do (view my media content easily on my TV and watch DVDs).

jaygs
2008-03-17, 10:19 PM
to reiterate a couple good points...The redundant solution suggestion is best. Buy two hard drives and use one as a back-up. I bought a pair of external LaCie 500GB drives ($100 each) -- bad design that I fixed -- they get hot, but not if you put some legs on the case to improve air circulation. I also make two copies of CDRs, one for playing and one for the archives that I keep in a cool dry place. I'll admit that I'm using the LaCie's to store ...gasp...the MP3 versions of my collection...ripped at 320kbps...

Some day the iPod will have a big enough drive to store enough wavs to keep me satisfied, but that day hasn't come yet

dante666
2008-03-18, 11:03 AM
Well thanks everyone for their input. The one thing I got is that you can never be too careful, and that being redundant, while it takes more time, is the best solution. I think I'll use a couple harddrives, Dvds, and whatever else seems like it's working. After losing a couple hundred CDs to a flood, I'm willing to be careful as hell.

fatoldpig
2008-03-18, 04:07 PM
I store all my stuff twice, 1 set in internal HD (WD, Seagate & Maxtor) in external usb enclosure and 2nd copy on DVD (I use Fuji). In case 1 gets corrupted (happened a few times) I restore from the other set.

direwolf-pgh
2008-03-21, 11:33 AM
1. what software did you use for audio playback and/or catalog
(im just using winamp & browsing directories - the other progs wanted to much tagging of files)

2. what video card are you using for HDTV ?

I'm using JRiver's Media Center for audio playback and cataloging. I also use FooBar 2000's Live Show Tagger plugin to tag all of my FLAC files (and I convert old SHNS to FLAC for tagging capabilities). Tagging makes a huge difference in playback, plus having a really strong catalog function for playlists helps a lot. good call on the Foobar auto tagging :thumbsup
its finds 2 out of 5 shows. seems to me CDDB was great for live shows..maybe there is another plugin.

Really enjoying the auto-gain on Foobar2000 .. cause all these recordings are at different levels - thats a HUGE feature.

also Foobar2000 uses half the processing power. (im using an older laptop so it matters)
not sure what winamp is doing - but it was eating up the CPU resources at a ridiculous level.

if Foobar2000 had an 'Album Cover' view it would be almost everything I was looking for in a jukebox player.

direwolf-pgh
2008-03-21, 11:58 AM
sidenote: maybe Im late to this game - but im finally realizing the importance of tagging flac files.
perhaps as the years roll on this practise will become more commonplace.
band > title/show > track name > year

thats really all you need

dude87
2008-03-21, 03:40 PM
I'm using JRiver's Media Center for audio playback and cataloging. I also use FooBar 2000's Live Show Tagger plugin to tag all of my FLAC files (and I convert old SHNS to FLAC for tagging capabilities). Tagging makes a huge difference in playback, plus having a really strong catalog function for playlists helps a lot. good call on the Foobar auto tagging :thumbsup
its finds 2 out of 5 shows. seems to me CDDB was great for live shows..maybe there is another plugin.

Really enjoying the auto-gain on Foobar2000 .. cause all these recordings are at different levels - thats a HUGE feature.

also Foobar2000 uses half the processing power. (im using an older laptop so it matters)
not sure what winamp is doing - but it was eating up the CPU resources at a ridiculous level.

if Foobar2000 had an 'Album Cover' view it would be almost everything I was looking for in a jukebox player.

I don't use Foobar as my jukebox software - JRiver gives me better control, especially in terms of organizing playlists. It can also handle video formats (although I keep videos on DVD for now, at least - as storage continues to get cheaper that could change, of course). The JRiver software isn't free, but it's been $40 well spent so far.