Digital Music Storage

So I have been experimenting with converting the huge collection of CDs here at YPS Manor into a digital format for convenient portability.  I've been interested in the process for a while, because it seems to permit some practical uses that are not currently possible with straight music CDs.  For instance, I can take a whole bunch of stuff around with me on a portable hard drive and listen to damn near anything I want at work instead of hauling around a huge binder of CDs.  I should also theoretically be able to place all the files on one of the computers here and use that as a music server for the other machines in the house.  Assuming I could get the other machines to recognize each other, that is. 

The problem I'm going to run into is this: we have a lot of CDs.  We are well over the 600 mark.  I've converted 44 into FLAC files so far.  I realize FLAC doesn't provide the greatest compression, but I'm more concerned with sound quality than file size.  There are also some long term hardware plans that make FLAC a more attractive choice.  Anyhow, 44 CDs works out to right about 16 Gb of files.  This gives me an average per compressed CD of roughly 360 Mb.  To convert all of the CDs will require more than a 200 Gb hard drive. Hmm.

Maybe I should I rethink the whole FLAC format.  Or maybe I should just buck up and buy bigger hard drives.  Damn.  Decisions, decisions.  Either way, the 40 Gb Iomega external is going to be full pretty quick.


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