itouch, sonos, building a music library

  • First, a little backround.  I am old school in that I still pop in CD's to listen to my music on one of my two home stereo systems.  I do not own an ipod, I do not know much about downloading music etc.  What I want to be able to do is listen to high quality music on either one of my systems from the palm of my hand.  Then I discovered sonos. I am looking at getting  two sonos zp90's and a sonos bridge to listen to music wirelessly in my home.  I am also looking at getting an itouch with the free sonos app to control the system.  My challenge is this.  What is the best way to build a music library on my desktop with high quality files?  I feel I can rip my CD collection (about 80) onto itunes, or somewhere, (any suggestions?) and use Apple Lossless.  I understand doing so will take up a lot of space so I am probably going to get an external hard drive or NAS.  But how and where do I find quality files to add to my library without spending a fortune and what is the best way to build the library of music?  There are a lot of songs I would like to have that I do not have the CD to.  I want quality files to use with the sonos setup, and then it would be nice to have mid-quality on the itouch for using in the vehicle via USB input.  Any thoughts?  Thank you for your time.



    [edited by: J P at 5:34 PM (GMT -5) on Sat, Nov 13 2010] Changed to discussion.

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  • I'm old school also, and therefore am not familiar with Sono's and a lot of what you are trying to do, but ...

    First off, you can rip to MP3 with Exact Audio Copy per this thread.

    Personally, I still prefer to buy (often used) audio CD's and rip from them - the exception being albums that only have maybe 2 or 3 songs I like, but most reputable online stores (Amazon, iTunes) will now have 320 CBR MP3's which are pretty good.

    I recommend you initially rip the same song at various bit rates and listen to it on your equipment and see what quality you need.

    Personally, I don't think my equipment or ears are that good and I will archive my music (I keep a high-quality copy or CD) and then rip or transcode to about 150 mbps VBR.  This is very acceptable for the car and gives a small file size.  Personally, I find it acceptable for the home as well.

    Hope This Helps!!!

    Anyone else have suggestions?

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • I'm not a fan of Apple lossless (or any proprietary format). Sonos supports FLAC files so that is what I would recommend you use for ripping your files from CD for use at home. FLAC is lossless compression and will give you the same quality you get from your CD's. You can always convert FLAC files to a lossy format like MP3 or ogg for portability, but if you rip to a lossy format initially there is no way to get the quality back (converting an MP3 to FLAC will just give you an MP3 quality FLAC file). Lots of software supports FLAC.

    There are also several sites that sell music in FLAC format (Magnatunes, Linn and Rhino to name a few) so depending on what you are looking for you may be able to find it in FLAC. Amazon had a great selection of music in good quality MP3, but you can often find older music on used CD's (and vinyl) at excellent prices. I prefer to buy physical copies and rip to FLAC rather than settle for lossy compression like MP3.

    MP3 is universally supported though, and the files are much smaller. I use a Cowan player in my car because it supports FLAC and ogg (better lossy compression than MP3, but not as well supported).

         RESIma

  • Alex W
    but if you rip to a lossy format initially there is no way to get the quality back (converting an MP3 to FLAC will just give you an MP3 quality FLAC file).

    True, but legally you can't sell the original CD unless you delete the ripped files from it, and if you have the original CD still, you can always re-rip to FLAC or higher-bit-rate MP3 if desired.

    Hope This Helps!!!

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • TigerHeli

    True, but legally you can't sell the original CD unless you delete the ripped files from it, and if you have the original CD still, you can always re-rip to FLAC or higher-bit-rate MP3 if desired.

    Hope This Helps!!!

    I'd still go lossless first. Ripping a lot of disc's twice is a PITA. You can batch convert from FLAC to lossy. I also think lossy formats are becoming unnecessary. Storage is so cheap now (less than $50/terabyte) and flash capacity so large that the need to sacrifice even a little quality for file size may soon be a thing of the past.

         RESIma