Ask a Pro
Q. What’s the Best Way to Store My Large CD Collection?
Mega CD changers or hard drive-based music servers are two options, says Bryant Moore.
July 17, 2008 by Bryant Moore

Q. Is there a component I can buy which allows me to scroll through my collection of 900 CDs in a digital fashion? I don’t have the room for storage and don’t want to bog down my computer with all those files. - Jane, St. Paul, MN

A. You have a couple options here. One is to load all your CDs into several 300-400 disc mega-CD changers made by Sony or Kenwood and manage them with a CD changer manager made by a company called Escient. However, I hear Sony is going to be phasing-out their unit. Check the Escient web site to determine which CD changers are currently supported. You can daisy-chain up to 4 of these changers and manage them all with an Escient DVDM-100. The Escient piece will give you a wonderful on-screen interface to all your CDs. You will be able to access your music by Artist, Album, Song Title, even by Genre. You can also make custom playlists using your PC. It will even go online and download all your cover art for you (as long as you connect it to the internet, that is). 

The other way is to purchase any of the hard-drive-based music servers on the market and actually burn all the music to the internal hard drive of the server. With approximately 900 CDs you will most likely want to use a service to rip them onto the server for you. Just look up “CD-ripping service” or similar search terms online and you will find many companies offering this service. But look closely at the services offered and don’t just go with the lowest “per-CD” price. The better services will be a little more expensive but well worth it in the long run.

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A classically-trained musician and former network administrator, Bryant Moore has turned a lifelong passion for music and A/V equipment into a thriving business with Charlotte, NC based Moore Audio Design. He has over a decade of experience in designing and implementing home electronics systems.

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