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Music Media Data Storage

CD Storage Advice? 144

Posted by Cliff
from the cd-racks-with-the-right-stuff dept.
An anonymous reader asks: "I'm up to my ears in CDs! Driver discs, games, software, music, data backups, you name it. Right now they're all stashed in various jewel cases and sleeves, and dumped into boxes in my closet. What's the best way to sort and store them? I bought a 128-disc storage binder, but once it filled, it tore apart from the weight. Any ideas? Does anyone make large-capacity binders that are sturdier than the average stuff you'd find at a Best Buy? What do you use?"
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CD Storage Advice?

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  • Huge binders (Score:4, Informative)

    by SithGod (810139) <dcanders@umich.edu> on Sunday March 20, 2005 @01:15PM (#11991333) Homepage Journal
    Living in a colege dorm I have to be really concearned about keepiing all my disk organized and not taking up too much room. I have a 360 capacity binder I use for my DVDs, a 280 binder I use for TV Shows, a 240 binder for games, and a 128 binder for drivers. I suggest looking on ebay for binder this size becasue retail places will just rip you off
    • You must have *a lot* of drivers! Must be hard to keep those cds up to date. First thing that hits the trash when I buy a new device is the driver disc, followed by me downloading the latest version from the manufacturers website.
      • by drsmithy (35869)
        First thing that hits the trash when I buy a new device is the driver disc, followed by me downloading the latest version from the manufacturers website.

        Remembering that when this involves a network card driver disc, you can find yourself in a bit of a catch-22.

    • my solution..

      if it doesn't look like something that I would really need(unusable drivers, 10th dvd-player software, gamedemo cd's.. ).. then I just don't care where it ends up. eventually ends up in the trash.

      but the point here being.. that there's only few cd's that you REALLY need.

      if it looks like something i might use later.. it goes to the desk drawer.
    • Just like placing one of these things in a car, keeping them in dorm rooms is a bad idea. Granted, I'm sure 90% of the stuff is pirated (and if it's not, you can just ask your trust-fund for more money), but these types of things are -perfect- targets for the kind of bullshit crime that goes on in crowded dorms.

      Of course, bathroom doors have a tendency to grow legs as well...
    • Living in a colege dorm... I have a 360 capacity binder I use for my DVDs, a 280 binder I use for TV Shows, a 240 binder for games, and a 128 binder for drivers.

      With all the time spent collecting and watching all that crap, when do you study?
  • My solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcwren (166164) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @01:17PM (#11991346) Homepage

    I use those 100 CDR stack spindles that media come in. People at the office never re-use them, so I just grab'em, take'em home, and stack my media on them. Makes in a little of a pain to find stuff, but I use little bits of sticky notes to index major sections (OSs, Windows drivers, games, etc).

    It's not ideal, but it works better than anything else I've found to date.

    • Re:My solution (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      little bits of sticky notes to index major sections

      A warning to everyone: don't apply a sticky note to a CD-R, because the glue will peal off the data layer, especially on cheaper CD-Rs.

    • Re:My solution (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DocSnyder (10755) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @02:00PM (#11991619)
      IMHO spindles are the ideal storage stack for CDs, as long as they come with a plastic cover to keep the dust away.

      To find files on a whole shelf of spindles, do "find . -print > cd$x_$y.txt" on any freshly-toasted CD. Label the CD "spindle $x, cd $y". Store "cd$x_$y.txt" on your hard disk, a USB thumb drive or a distinguishable (colored, different brand etc.) multi session CD. A single "grep $something cd*.txt" would find any stored file.

      • by Aeiri (713218)
        Whoa, I never thought of doing something like that...

        If only I had, that would be the perfect system. However my collection is already pushing 350+ disks, so I'm not about to go out and re-organize everything...

        Keeping CDs in the spools has worked perfectly for me so far, but not so well for my brother. Long story short, don't get a peice of cheese welded to a CD spool, and leave it there for 2+ years.
    • I use those 100 CDR stack spindles that media come in. People at the office never re-use them, so I just grab'em, take'em home, and stack my media on them. Makes in a little of a pain to find stuff, but I use little bits of sticky notes to index major sections (OSs, Windows drivers, games, etc).

      I agree. CD storage has been an issue until I started doing this. Now I keep music, backups, drivers, games, old OSs on spindles. Practically the only thing I don't keep there are the originals for store-bought sof
  • Images + DVD+/-R (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cyphertube (62291) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @01:18PM (#11991356) Homepage Journal

    Here's my suggestion:

    Most CDs that I get, like drivers or even most software, don't take up the full space, nor do they have any copy-protection. I would highly recommend getting a program like DAEMON Tools [dameon-tools.cc] (which last I checked was free), and use another tool, whether an ISO maker like WinISO or similar, or Nero, or something open-source, to make images of the files.

    A lot of them will be under 200 MB, and so you could easily stuff a ton of them on a 4.7 GB DVD.

    Before proceeding, especially with drivers, make sure you have the latest version, if you're going to bother. No point in backing up a 3 year old CD to DVD if the downloadable drivers are newer.

    • by failedlogic (627314)
      I agree with this.

      Several years ago when only CD's were affordable, I had way too many CDs. Now I just take several CD's (and get rid of older programs in the process) and put as much of them on DVD.

      Everything I install on my system (Windows, Office, etc) is all on one DVD. Much easier to store and recover data.

      For important stuff (e.g. documents), I use WinRAR and add a recovery record and I use PAR to make an additional recovery record. Perhaps overkill, but I've found the smallest scratch can kill a C
  • DIY (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I taped togther a box for my discs. I put a cardboard separator in to make a few rows, and put in paper bookmarks to denote sections (music CDs, Live CDs, DVDs, etc.). Even a small box will hold a few hundred discs, and unlike with a spindle, you don't have to remove the ones on the top to get to the ones on the bottom.
  • In my experience, CD binders are a major cause of disc surface scratching, despite the "padded" sleeves most offer. Jewel cases really are the best way to preserve them, but I've found that the best alternative for compact storage are rolodex-type CD organizers. Discgear makes the one I use and it holds 100 discs in approximately 18"x6"x6". The added bonus is you never have to flip through a ton of pages to find anything, you just have to make a one-time spreadsheet assigning a number to each disc you ow
    • Or, if you want to go a little more high tech...

      For music CDs/DVDs, Sony makes a nice 400 disc carousel unit that plays CDs and DVDs (not sure about R/RW). A shame they left MP3/JPG capability off. It lets you connect a standard PS/2 keyboard for titling too. For $400, it's an ultra cheap version of the $27000 Kaleidescape system, and holds more movies to boot.

      For data CDs, there are a number of carousel devices available (check cyberguys.com) for about $100, though none I've come across include the CD
    • I got some inexpensive plastic storage boxes that hold 150 CD's each at one of those stores that sells nothing but storage solutions. 5 of them hold my music collection which were all ripped to MP3. Another 2 hold various software. I use jewel cases for frequently used disks, and paper envelopes with windows for archival since they take up MUCH less room that way. I get about 1000 CD's in those 2 boxes (never counted...)

      For more frequently used media, I have a custom-sized drawer in my desk that fits them
  • Combine them (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dave1g (680091) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @01:34PM (#11991458) Journal
    Most driver CD's and such only take up a small portion of the disc.

    I normally take as many of them as I can, copy the files over to my hard drive in a folder. Remove any IE install folders or Quicktime, or Direct X. Then once you reach 700 MB Burn it to a disc.

    Store the original disc in a box who cares about it anymore, you could probably throw it away. (Not to mention most drivers can be gotten from the internet in a more up to date version anyways). And then write all the things on the compilation CD on its label.

    Keep your compilation CD's stored in a good CD case.
  • by bluGill (862) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @01:41PM (#11991499)

    I make copies of all my CDs, and leave the originals in the jewel case at home on a bookshelf. I don't bother to index them because I rarely look for one in that mess.

    I keep the copies in small binders (I like the 72 disk ones, which work for me) in the car. I keep an assortment in each, and just take one binder at a time. It might not always have the exact disk I'm looking for when I want a particular one, but normally I just want music so it doesn't matter so long as there is a variety.

    I have a 60 disk changer for my music in the living room. Not enough, but still useful, I just stock it with my long term favorites and live with the selection. (I don't use that stereo much so it isn't too big a deal)

    I'm considering ripping everything to a server, and sharing things, but so far I haven't bothered. Still I dream of a nice box on my stereo that will play any of my music. (I even bought one once, but I returned it after I read the software license agreement)

    I run only FreeBSD so all my software comes from ports. If I loose it I just download a new copy from the net. Someplace I have a few OS/2 programs on a shelf somewhere, though I'd be surprised if they were still readable.

    I don't own a TV, I recommend you throw yours away too. If you are not willing for that (which is nearly everyone) I can't help you, though some of the above ideas might apply somehow.

    • Music archival (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bishop (4500) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @02:12PM (#11991685)
      Like you I keep all of my original safe at home in the original jewel case. I ripped all of my CDs to FLAC using abcde (download it if it is not in ports it is only a shell script). FLAC is lossless so you will never have to rip your CDs when a better audio compression comes out. And it is simple to transcode FLAC to a more portable format like ogg:vorbis. All of the music is ripped and stored on a headless silent computer connected to my stereo. I control audio playback with Music Player Daemon [musicpd.org]. I also share the FLAC files (readonly) so that I can easily burn CDs and transcode from my workstation.

      Things to watch out for: Some sound cards suck, most clip at higher volumes. When ripping CDs the various cddb sources are wrong as often as the data is correct. Verify all cddb results before ripping. The exception is the genre tag. That is almost always wrong. I strip the tag after ripping. For some reason one person's polka is another person's alternative.
      • If you care about how your music sounds (and you have to use the analog out), don't use onboard sound.....

        4 words that will help:

        Turtle Beach Santa Cruz.

        Comp-usa stopped stocking these cards on the shelves in my local store. They went for around 50$ before any rebates the last time I checked.

        I'm sure there are other cards out there that will fit the "low noise, no clipping" sound card category, but this is one card that I am very very impressed with. If they start to go out of production, I'll probabl
  • What is Masking tape.
    Seriously , i have a holder i made entierly of masking tape .
  • allsop (Score:2, Informative)

    by hillg3 (656728)
    Allsop has a ton of robust cd storage [allsop.com], check out the cd albums and disc storage boxes. Might not be in the quantity you want, but at least they look better than that black cd case you're using now.
  • Simple solution... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @01:46PM (#11991541) Homepage Journal
    Get a better binder. A good product shouldn't become ruined simply because you filled it to capacity.

    Stay away from Best Buy. Most of their accessories are pure crap.

    But since you bought it from Best Buy, did you buy the $39.99 annual replacement policy?
  • Recently 120 Drives were $49 CDN ($38 US). Bought that + a USB case for media backups (music and movies).

    Nice thing is with Linux - Ubuntu/Debian - you only ever really need 1 cd and can download everything else you need with apt get.

    For proprietary software I use the white paper cd cases and a CD box I got from ikea. Holds 150+ CDs/DVDs. Spindles are more likely to scratch a DVD/CD.
  • Go to a computer show or scour the Internet for a shop selling bulk CD binder inserts. I know newegg has 25 packs for not much (25 * 8 = 200 total) but you'll probably want to get them in much larger quantities.

    Next go to your local evil^H^H^H^H^H Wallmart and pick up some cheap binders. I found a few 2-inchers with nice straps and velcro for $3. I picked up a few in different colors, each holding about 200 discs.

    Works perfect for drivers, games, music, netflix backups, software, or anything else ro
  • by Jerf (17166) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @01:48PM (#11991555) Journal
    Other people have good ideas.

    But I'd suggest step one is to simplify your life; if you're at all like me, you don't need all those CDs. I don't even mean in the "if you're not careful, your possessions possess you" sense (although if you want to go that route, that can help too), I mean in the "drivers for the motherboard two motherboards ago that went up in smoke" or "drivers for my nVidia Riva 128 that even if I installed in a system again I'd just download" or "free trial version crap included in a box of Cheerios".

    I was beginning to have this problem too, but lo, I cleaned out my CDs, wasn't even too aggressive about it, and lo, well over half of the CD-ROMs were garbage and suddenly I didn't have a problem anymore.

    Obviously, this doesn't apply to music CDs, but this can help with the CD-ROM problem.

    (If you've already done this, then consider this advice for others.)
    • Good suggestion.

      But,if you're a pack-rat of bits, like so many of us are, you can often consolidate CDs to DVDs.

      I've long since tossed original CD media for legit copies of Windows, Office, and games I owned. Sure, I may never *need* that copy of Windows NT 3.51 and the 32-bit version of MS Office 4.3, but I have ISO mages of them on DVD-Rs labeled "NT Versions" and "Office Versions" respecively.

      At worst, you can fit 6 full CD-ROM ISOs onto a current DVD-R. Usually you can get quite a few more, espe

  • Convert your archive (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mercury2k (133466) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @01:50PM (#11991572)
    My advice to you would be to convert your archives to DVD. If keeping them in 650/700MB cd format is important, make .iso images of the CD's and save a few of them on the DVD and use something like daemon tools or alcohol 120% to mount the iso's as you need them. The conversion alone should save you at LEAST 5 times the number of disc's.
  • by nookieman (548184) <kiel.nookie@dk> on Sunday March 20, 2005 @02:00PM (#11991617)
    Take a deep breath and throw most of them out... Most of your stuff (drivers etc) can be redownloaded and once your data hits CDs most of them will never be put into your CD-drive again...
  • by Admiral Lazzurs (96382) * <rob@[ ]zurs.net ['laz' in gap]> on Sunday March 20, 2005 @02:04PM (#11991639) Homepage
    http://www.aria.co.uk/ProductsList.asp?Name=cd+cas e [aria.co.uk]

    It is basically a large metal case, quite hard to destroy and has single inserts for each disc.

    I would highly recommend it, I have many friends who use these for when they are doing dj'ing at clubs to take their music collection on the road.

    Kind regards
    • i strongly recommend these. they are aluminum, meaning they wont collapse if you start to stack them. also, since you probably have mostly burned CDs, you dont have jewel cases for them, meaning this will be your fastest way of going through your CDs (espically if well-organized).

      i used to have a friend that DJed as well, and he used something very similar to these. he had at least a thousand CDs, mostly stuff that was burned or came with a paper CD holder, and he loved these.

    • Anyone know where those of us stuck in the States can buy these (without paying for transatlantic shipping)?
  • by dr.badass (25287) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @02:08PM (#11991664) Homepage
    My advice is basically to not have so many freakin' CDs.

    Seriously, unless you're starting some kind of kitchy museum, you really don't need to keep all of that stuff.

    Drivers? Get on the web, download the latest versions of everything, put them all on one CD. I guarantee that there is nothing else on those driver disks that's worth keeping.

    Games/Movies? Trust me, you do not need too keep every single one you ever purchased. I know it's tempting to keep them "just in case", but that case will never come. Sell them used or give them away. If it's in your closet now it can't be that worth keeping.

    Backups? Who are you kidding? I can't think of many scenarios where an individuals vital data would take up more than a handful of CDs or one DVD. There is some stuff that just isn't worth the hassle of backing up like that. If you've got a bunch of ripped music or something just mirror it onto an external hard disk.

    I say this as a reformed packrat.
    • I say this as a reformed packrat.

      Which reminds me. Watch ten episodes of the show Clean Sweep. While not a masterpiece of reality television, I do have to say it is one of the shows that has personally impacted me and my priorities the most. In that sense it's probably one of the best shows ever on television, even though it suprises me to type that, as few shows ever manage that.

      It helps, a lot; even if you don't do everything, which you probably shouldn't unless your house looks like one you see on the
    • by WarPresident (754535) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @03:50PM (#11992291) Homepage Journal
      Drivers? Get on the web, download the latest versions of everything, put them all on one CD. I guarantee that there is nothing else on those driver disks that's worth keeping.

      Great, unless you can't find it on the web when you need it. Or you need a newer version since you upgraded some software, or you need an older version than the one you did burn, or you can't install just the driver without having the super-duper-install-drivers and-tons-of-crap-you-don't-need CD.

      Games/Movies? Trust me, you do not need too keep every single one you ever purchased. I know it's tempting to keep them "just in case", but that case will never come. Sell them used or give them away. If it's in your closet now it can't be that worth keeping.

      What? And jettison my 400 SVCD collection of my former VHS collection of crappy sci-fi movies?!? Why, just yesterday I watched episode 3 of Space:1999 ("Black Sun"), and I liked it!

      Backups? Who are you kidding? I can't think of many scenarios where an individuals vital data would take up more than a handful of CDs or one DVD. There is some stuff that just isn't worth the hassle of backing up like that. If you've got a bunch of ripped music or something just mirror it onto an external hard disk.

      I can back up everything important on one CD. It's much easier to do a full backup once a week than to do an incremental backup since I don't have any backup software to figure out which of the 8,000 files changed. Some of us work from home and might just need to grab some file from a month ago.

      I say this as a reformed packrat.

      You've lost your edge. What happens when you need that PDP-11 you just threw away? That 300 Baud acoustic modem? Moebius for the Amiga? That Video Toaster you swore you'd use to make a short film? A spare A1000 for parts? Need to make a Mac SE fishtank, but threw away the half dozen (still working) Macs? I've got all those and more, just waiting for the moment they're desperately needed!

      I say this as a true packrat: Keep packing and ratting until it's not safe to open the door to your storage area. Then go rent another one.
      • Great, unless you can't find it on the web when you need it. Or you need a newer version since you upgraded some software, or you need an older version than the one you did burn, or you can't install just the driver without having the super-duper-install-drivers and-tons-of-crap-you-don't-need CD.

        You are totally missing the point. The parent said to get all the latest versions of the drivers off the web and burn them to one CD. There is no need to keep 15 CDs around for 15 piceces of hardware when the dri

      • I have a partition on my HD, its the same size as as a CDROM. I keep all my relevant documents and information on that partition. Its very easy to simply burn a copy of the partition to CD periodically. Restoring it from CD is also just as simple. Thats only good for personal documents mind you.

        However, the same thing could be applied to using a DvD for applications software. Make a partition the size of a DvD (4.7Gb or whatever) and copy all the driver files, application files etc that can easily take fro
    • Backups? Who are you kidding? I can't think of many scenarios where an individuals vital data would take up more than a handful of CDs or one DVD. There is some stuff that just isn't worth the hassle of backing up like that. If you've got a bunch of ripped music or something just mirror it onto an external hard disk.

      Actually, I mirror everything I need to back up to two other disks, one of them at another site. Some things really are priceless, like photographs of the family. Not to mention if you keep

  • make art work, or send them to aol. most of them are useless. or, just buy a couple of nice binders that wont rip. can we get a real ask slashdot please ?
  • Discgear (Score:3, Informative)

    by deicide (195) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @02:30PM (#11991811)
    I picked up one of these Discgear [discgear.com] things at a local discount store and it's been working pretty well.
  • by peragrin (659227)
    i have two sets of shelves.

    Each set looks like the old style library card files? Each has 6 drawers stacked vertically and can hold roughly 11 cd's in standard Jewel cases, 25 of the slim cases.

    so in just under 4 feet high each can hold between 66 and 150 cd's.

    It's similar in design to to this
    http://www.pinewoodstudio.co.uk/vp054cd.html

    though mine isn't made of pine but maple.

  • Jewel cases... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by adamjaskie (310474) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @02:35PM (#11991849) Homepage
    On a shelf. They don't really take up a whole lot of space if you use shelves that are properly small. Not portable, but you can find stuff a LOT faster than any other storage method.
  • 220-disc holders (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Sunday March 20, 2005 @02:51PM (#11991938) Homepage Journal
    I bought four 220 disc holders last month that seem pretty good, from supermediastore.com (I am in no way affiliated with them.) They have a carrying strap and they zip closed.
  • For each system i've built for friends and family lately i've gotten an expanding file for all their manuals and docs and shit, and a .97 12-CD case for all their driver disks, and tuck it in teh back pocket of the expanding file. Makes it nice for me when i go to work on stuff and need a disc or manual, i know where they are and they won't lose the damned things either. The binders i bought were bright colors too, so it would either be easy to spot, or easy to remember where they hid it. This system wor
  • Why not consolidate those CDs on DVD+/-Rs?

    Even if you're worried about the life span of a DVD+/-R compared to a pressed CD, making two copies, with one stored in a dark, dry place would still save a LOT of room.
  • http://cyberguys.com/ [cyberguys.com]Cyberguys has a couple cd carousels in their magazine that are stackable, and can be controlled from your computer using some software to keep track of where the CDs are. You can also use the keypad on the front to access the CD. We used these at one place i worked at and they seemed pretty nice. We had a binder there with a listing of the CDs aswell so you didnt have to bother with the computer. I am thinking about getting some of these for the same reason. They each hold 150 disc
  • For individual things that need to be accessed frequently or given to people, use those really thin plastic sleeves. They're about 1000 for 10 dollars, and they don't take up much more room than the CD themselves. Whenever I have CD's to deal with, they wind up in a little pile of sleeves somewhere.

    For things that can be logically grouped together, use binders. I've come across some crappy binders like yours which have broken near maximum capacity, but I've also got several that have lasted for years an
    • The key is that the main company who sells binders, and who has somehow gotten a stranglehold on most of the retail market (you know who I'm talking about) makes crap.

      You know, but I don't. Maybe outside USA it's different. The market leader here (Netherlands, Sweden) is Case Logic. Is that whom you mean?

  • What I do... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Raisputin (681604)
    I have thousands of CD's that I have collected over the years. Recently I figured out just how much space they took up, it was frightening. I made backups of probably 90% of my Music CD's on my computer and even then realized that I do not even listen to 90% of that stuff any more. I want it around for nostalgic value or if I need a song for the club, but I finally took all the originals to a local music shop and sold them.

    When it comes to data CD's with drivers, etc. I just am not able to convince myself

    • I like to call this method the "Where the fuck is CD number 26???!!!" method.. :)
      • Hmmm...well there is no Where the hell is it going on. It is in the binder of course. Very fast and easy to find as long as you are diligent in putting them back :)
    • Nice, but I'm sure a Perl or shell script can do this (not as nice but doable). Could even use a DB (DBM, myslq,etc...), could even use a php frontend (there's you eye candy). Now that I think of it i was working on something like this (probably already exists)....
      • Re:What I do... (Score:3, Informative)

        by rusty0101 (565565)
        Let's see, there's GTKatalog, and I suspect that there are several others for Linux, though all I did was search for catalog in description, and that's the only CD related app I found. (Lot's of other apps)

        Can't recommend, or condem it as I have not used it.

        Good luck.

        ~Rusty
  • I really struggled with this for a long time. My final solution was to buy a regular bookshelf, and then went to Lowes and had even more shelves made for it. I buy jewel cases for every CD worth keeping. If it doesnt rank spending 10 cents on a jewel case, I throw it out. At the same time I did all this, I bought a labeling kit, and printed labels for all of the burned CDs. The labels cause the burned ones to last much longer, as they protect the top side of the disk, which is the much more easily dama
  • With all the store bought and burned stuff that I've amassed throughout the years, it's the only thing I have that will contain it all without collapsing.
  • They work great. You can fit a ridiculous amount of cds on a normal sized bookcase. It's easy to see the lables on the jewel cases. And scanning over a row of disks to find the one you want is way faster that flipping through a pile of binders.

    I think the author was refering to data cds but regular shelves work better for music too. I hate specialized cd racks because double albums and cds with non-standard packaging won't fit in the stupid little slots.

    Of course, the drawback is that bookcase is a full

  • Maximum burn [itconversations.com] is worth a listen. A good pdf is there too. CD-Rs don't last. But a few tips can make them last a bit longer.
  • Hard drives (Score:4, Interesting)

    by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday March 20, 2005 @05:34PM (#11992899) Homepage Journal

    At less than 50 cents per gigabyte, you can store a lot of stuff on hard drives quite inexpensively, and storage prices are only going to drop.

    I rip CDs, both audio and data, and store the ISOs on hard drives. For $90 [tigerdirect.com] you can get a 200GB drive, that's enough room to store 285 full CD images, uncompressed. In practice, most CDs aren't full, and most of them can be compressed quite a bit, so in reality one 200GB drive can hold around a thousand CDs.

    For audio, I rip and Vorbis-encode them to roughly 256 kbps, which mashes a typical album down to about 90MB without losing any quality I'm ever going to have equipment to hear. At that rate, even a *huge* audio collection will fit on one 200GB drive. I actually do keep the originals of audio CDs, but storing them is much easier if you expect never to have to find them. I recommend using a relative's basement. (Plug: If you run Linux or a BSD, check into madman; it's an awesome music manager).

    For data, I rip the ISOs using 'dd' and then loop mount them when I need them. On Windows you can use any of various rippers and mount them on a virtual CD-ROM drive with Daemon Tools.

    If I need to take CDs with me, I usually either keep the ISOs on my laptop hard drive, or if drive space is getting tight I burn them to a DVD. For example, although I run Linux/*BSD exclusively, I occasionally need Windows or Windows apps (under VMWare), so I have a DVD labeled "Microsoft Stuff" that contains CD ISOs for Win2K, Office, Visio, MS Project, Visual C++, etc.

    For those few times when it's more convenient to have an actual CD, rather than just an image, my laptop has a CD burner, my desktop has a DVD burner, my wife's laptop has a CD burner, my kids' desktop has a CD burner... you get the idea. I usually carry a small number of CD-Rs with me so I can just burn what I need when I need it. When I'm done, I label the CD (with a Sharpie marker) and hold onto it for a while on the theory that I might need it again soon, but as soon as they start to pile up I just trash the whole pile. I don't worry about the cost of the CD-Rs because I've got several hundred disks that I got for "free" (mail-in rebate >= sale price). It does sometimes seem wasteful to treat CDs as disposable, but mostly I manage to avoid needing them at all, so it's not so bad.

    I've even begun moving a large part of my movie collection to hard disks. I use mythtv's transcoding daemon to automagically rip and recompress DVD movies and I'm working on using my Mini-DV camera to convert VHS movies to DV and then transcoding them to MPEG-4. I really only do this with the kids' movies, because I notice the compression artifacts, slight as they are. Each movie compresses to between 1 and 2 GB, so I can store around 120 of them on one 200GB drive. That's a lot cheaper than re-buying DVDs that my three year-old has trashed. This way the kids have a nice menu of movies to pick from without ever touching a disk.

    As storage sizes continue to increase, I plan to eventually put all of our VHS and DVD collection on my server. I'll probably have to keep disks around for a while when we start getting real HD content on Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, but I imagine storage sizes will eventually increase to where ripping those is economical as well.

    • You have that much space and you use a lossy codec? Go with Flac, man.
      • You have that much space and you use a lossy codec? Go with Flac, man.

        Why? The result sounds the same, and Vorbis uses much less space, freeing up room for other stuff.

        • Yeah but say you lose the original CD and need to make another digital copy for something.
          • You mean: Say I lose the original CD and make another audio CD from the Vorbis files, and then lose the Vorbis files, and have to recreate them from the CD... you've got to push this pretty far before it's likely to cause any problems.
            • Not that hard to push, I mean hard drives fail all the time.
              • Not that hard to push, I mean hard drives fail all the time.

                My music library lives primarily on my file server, which has a RAID with a waiting spare. It would take three simultaneous drive failures for that copy to go away. In addition, there are copies on two other (non-RAID) drives (my desktop and my kids' desktop) and two more partial copies on two other drives (my laptop and my wife's laptop).

                Consider if I were to use FLAC, instead. Since my files would be just as vulnerable to loss because of

  • I use paper CD sleeves and boxes specifically designed to the dimensions of CDs. I bought some metal boxes at Staples that are designed for this purpose, but the soldering of the edges is a little rough, so I just put a jewel case at each end of the box, to cover up the rough edges. The boxes are about 8 inches long, I figure I get about 250 DVDs in a box, I haven't counted.
    I wish I could find Tyvek sleeves, but nobody seems to sell em anymore, they might take fractionally less space than paper, they're thi
    • I wish I could find Tyvek sleeves, but nobody seems to sell em anymore, they might take fractionally less space than paper, they're thinner.

      Tyvek sleeves [rima.com], though they are quite a bit more expensive than paper sleeves [rima.com]. I bought a spindle of TY 8x DVD+R's from them a couple weeks back. Shipped out same day I ordered.
      • Thanks for the link, but unfortunately the minimum quantity of 1000 Tyvek sleeves is far more than I've used in my entire history of using CD/DVD media, plus more than enough to last for many years to come, probably I'd still have piles of them sitting around when DVDs become obsolete.
        I guess what I should have said was, nobody sells Tyvek sleeves in anything less than bulk lots, like quantities of 50 or 100 like the paper sleeves you can buy at office supply stores.
  • Shoe stores will give you the dehumidifier packets from the shoe boxes, without charge. Keep your CDs dry.

  • These [compusa.com] sleeves, and a plastic 2-drawer CD storage thingy that they don't seem to make anymore. IKEA still makes CD storage boxes [ikea.com], they're reasonably cheap ($5/pair). They don't hold that many (23) if you use the jewel cases, but using the sleeves doubles or tripples the storage.
  • I use the binders from CL that hold 90 or so CDs per volume. They store neatly on a book shelf and aren't unwieldy when full. Software keys printed with a label maker go on the CD if it is an installation CD.
  • I'm moving soon and I want to really cut down on clutter. I'm getting rid of at least a couple hundred CDs, but I'd like to do something better with the ones I keep too. The jewel cases really do take up alot of room....

    Anyone know of any good binders or other storage systems that can deal with CDs and their inserts and tray cards? Maybe a certain type of clear plastic baggie and appropriately-sized filer boxes? Folding the tray cards up and stuffing them in to a regular CD binder is not an option.

    Any
  • ...or you only have to find somewhere else for the case. I pile CD towers on top of furniture, and I burn data backups to DL-DVD. For a while I had a source for normal-sized CD cases that could store 4 discs, but it dried up. Still got a bunch though.
  • I've got a shelf full of CaseLogic and Fellowes 100CD binders - in my closet. Each has a pair of slots, for CD and art, so can actually hold 200CDs, without breaking under the strain. Most of my 2500 CDs are audio (CDDA); only a hundred or so are data (ISO9660). I converted all my audio CDs to WAV (DAE to FLAC), and copied the data CDs into mountable images. So now my 2500 CDs fit on 3 250GB EIDE HDs in a PIII/850 server tower: $600 is $0.24:CD, with room for 3-500 more, at no extra cost. It helped that I u
  • Yes, Wallpaper [wonderfullywacky.com] to hold your CDs.
    Even your door can hold some [spinkeeper.com]!
  • I have a 250 CD binder that I call my black book. It's known throughout the area to contain a lot of... let's say stuff. Hah. It's almost full of CDs that I've bought in spindles. Other than that, I have other CD binders that hold other things... such as one that holds backed up DVDs, and another that holds caseless games and music CDs. I can hold 20 CDs inside jewel cases above my monitor on my desk. And for the other games and such in cases, I have this big turning rack that I'd say can hold about 400 CDs
  • All for under 200$ - in fact, you can find some of the USB disc jukeboxes for around 60$ if you're lucky.

    They hold 100 discs on 'nearline' storage- except the robot that loads them is you ;)

    Each disk gets cataloged with cdstoragemaster and then manually added to the nearline catalog. You push the disk into the jukebox, it confirms the name of the disk, it spins, and you're set.

    Can't find a file you're looking for? search for it, get the disk name, eject the disk with the file, put it in the drive, and
  • Here are the tips of the Digital Data Preservation Program [nist.gov] from the north-american National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • I've tried a bunch of things over the years, but my favorite for CDs that originally came in a standard jewel box is discsox [discsox.com]. The allow me to store lots more CDs in a given volume and still keep the original inserts handy.

    For other stuff, e.g. backups, I tend to stack 'em on spindles. For example, I've just finished ripping my audio CD collections to FLAC/CUE images, which I have burned to DVR+R, so my 750+ CD collection is now losslessly backed up to just over 50 DVD+Rs kept on a spindle.

    B

  • Hardly anyone answered his actual question--recommend a CD binder. I have a bunch of them. Unfortunately, I haven't had good luck with most of them. My best luck is with Case Logic, which doesn't appear to scratch the CDs at all. On one of them, though, the zipper broke.

    I've also used CD Projects (now made by Targus), with mixed, though usually negative, results. One of them fell apart, as you experienced (128 CD is heavy and the plastic could not hold it. More importantly, a few of my CDs were scratched t

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