We have stated The Six Reasons to Convert Your CD Collection to Digital Files and talked about the benefits of ripping your music CDs to MP3 or FLAC. However, the problem is how to do so when you have a large amount of CDs that you and your family have collected over the years. It gives us a headache just to imagine how much time and labor would take to sit in front of a computer and switch hundreds or thousand of discs one by one. So, what are the solutions?
Do it yourself.
If the amount of your CD collection is not massive, ripping them yourself may not be an issue. However, what if you have over hundreds of CDs? Well, let’s skip to option number 2.
Hire some kid from the neighborhood.
Why suffer yourself when you can afford an extra hand? However, are you sure you want to leave your precious collection to unprofessional teens? And don’t forget they are getting paid by hours. How long will it take to finish your collection? I think it’s better we consider leaving this to the professionals.
Send your CDs to ripping service providers.
There are companies offer services to rip CDs at around $1 per CD, additional fees for high quality lossless formats. Depends on the quantity, it would take about 1~2 weeks to get your CDs converted and returned. Other than packaging the CDs and sending them, you don’t have to lift a finger, but keep in mind the more CDs you have, the more it will cost you.
Ripping with auto disc loaders.
Auto disc loaders are equipped with robotic mechanism that is capable of feeding discs continuously and unattended. A stack of discs can be loaded into the auto disc loader, and the ripping job can be set and processed through a few clicks of the mouse. Depends on the audio quality settings and amount of tracks, 300~500 CDs can be processed within 24 hours.
For collectors with large amount of CDs, here is the difference between the ripping services and disc autoloaders:
|Ripping Service||Ripping with Disc Autoloader|
|Price For First Format||USD$1+ / per disc (MP3, AAC)
USD$1.5 / per disc (FLAC, Lossless)
|Unlimited number of discs|
|Price For Second Format (Optional)||USD$0.6+ / per disc (MP3, AAC)
USD$0.9 / per disc (FLAC, Lossless)
|Unlimited number of discs|
|Freight||Based on Locations||Shipping Free|
|Shipping Insurance||Service with fee||Insurance Free|
|Shipping Time||1~5 days||Shipping Free|
|Formats Offered||MP3, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, AIFF, WAV||MP3, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless, WMA Lossless, AIFF, WAV|
|Cleans CDs prior to ripping||Yes||DIY|
|Repairs CDs prior to ripping||Optional with Additional Fees||
|Ripping Errors Report||Yes||Yes|
|Direct Import to music Library||DIY||Yes|
|Digital music files archival to DVD||Yes||Yes|
|Other disc related applications||No||Many|
* Other disc related applications include disc duplication, video disc ripping, digital data backup to disc, HDD-Disc, Disc-HDD, and more.
For small amounts, ripping CDs yourself or hiring a helping hand are the least expensive solutions. For large amounts, auto disc loaders and ripping services are the only two solutions currently available. Auto disc loaders were very expensive in the past, there are now affordable options such as Nimbie USB (starting at $509 with 100 disc capacity). If you have over 500 CDs, or need around 300 CDs to be converted to different audio formats (320kbps for iPod, FLAC for Archive), Nimbie USB Auto Disc Loader would be the less expensive solution compared to ripping services.