I spent the weekend ripping CDs. And eating.
I'm not done ripping yet, but I'm pretty far along. I think I've ripped in the neighborhood of 160 discs so far, and I have about 30 left. I had ripped many of my CDs before, but they were in a mix of formats, most of them in OGG Vorbis. I'm all for open source and stuff, but deciding to rip 100 CDs into OGG Vorbis is like painting yourself into a corner and then painting your feet as well, out of frustration.
This time I'm playing for keeps. I do not want to do this again. Here's my strategy:
1. Rip everything as lossless audio (FLAC)
2. Use a program to batch-convert all of the FLACs to MP3
The benefits are great:
1. If I ever change my mind about what lossy format or bitrate I want my music to be in, I can do step 2 again with minimal effort
2. At home, I get to listen to the FLAC files, which sound exactly like the original CDs.
In order to live up to my slogan, I brought down the Media Center PC so I could rip with both hands. As a result, I had FLACs and MP3s spread across 2 computers. The solution was a nifty free program from Microsoft, SyncToy. SyncToy is perfect. It is a versitle and easy-to-use app to intelligently move files from one folder to another, or to synchronize the contents of two folders with one another. I highly suggest it.
The next step now is to go buy an MP3 player. I have never seriously thought about getting an iPod (or other player) to this point, because I knew all my music was in an incompatible format. Now that I'm past that block, the shopping may begin. What should I get?