Music and the 1 Terabyte Hard Drive

Everyone who knows me knows I love music. I own close to 1000 CDs, all store bought. Over the years, I have downloaded more than a few songs — most I own but am too damned lazy to go find the CD, bring it upstairs, rip a track, put it back, and then update all the info — but if I don’t own it, and I like it I buy the album. If I don’t, I delete the song. I really do believe the artist is entitled to their money. As a (former) software publisher, saying otherwise would be hypocritical. It’s a great way to try new music and that short snippet on iTunes just isn’t long enough to make up my mind whether I wish to buy an album. And, I buy my albums at Amazon because I won’t support DRM because it interferes with my use of the song. Fuck that.

So, after saying all that, I have about 400 songs in my primary play list compiled over the past five or so years. Yay. Most were ripped track by track or downloaded to try (as I said above). If I buy the CD, I don’t believe there’s a real need to delete the song I downloaded and re-rip it from the CD I just bought. Even the RIAA can’t be that fucking stupid. Well, okay, they’re more stupid than that, but I digress: the RIAA is dumber than the shit in a baby’s diaper and they smell about the same.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to have my complete library available to me, but at current estimates I needed around 850 GB of disk space. Yeah, that’s right, nearly a terabyte. And, mind you, that excludes spoken word discs, and some of my collections of various operatic works — they came free with my old BBC music magazine, but they’re really not worth ripping to disk. That’s an exorbitant amount of disc space, more than my computer’s two internal hard drives had, and an expensive proposition.

Until Now.

Apple Store has on sale a 1TB (a terabyte is 1,000GB) external drive which is tri-port, accepting the ever-slow USB 2.0, the very fast FireWire 400, and the new and relatively rare Firewire2 (Firewire 800). It so happens my G5 has a FireWire 800 port and this baby flies. At $549 it’s a fucking steal. Yeah, that’s a real bargain. It configures as a Raid 0 or Raid 1 drive so you can use it as a 1TB drive or two 500GB mirrored drives. Default out of the box, it’s a Raid 0 1TB drive and the Mac recognizes it right away and the default HFS+ journaled format means you’re ready to rock immediately.

I am in the middle of ripping my Pop/Rock CDs right at the moment. Middle is not the right word. I’m in the middle of the letter “B” after two hours and have 520 songs for 1.4 days of playing time, at 2.41GB. Not bad really. I’m using either 160 or 192 bits depending on the recording. Most are being done at 160 because when they were recorded any real difference won’t be noticeable, but I’ll save tons of drive space. Newer discs are being done at the higher rate for better quality.

I wish iTunes would let you have real dual libraries — that is you could have two open at the same time and move songs back and forth. That would please me.

When I’m all done, then I’ll probably start updating tags which should be done by the end of this year. I’m figuring 15,000 songs or so will be in the library when done. Why do I have to do this? Because as great as iTunes is, it sucks at some things. Let’s take Jimmy Buffet, for example, his songs get tagged as Rock, Country, Pop, and Alternative. The soundtrack to Don’t Stop The Carnival (get this disc) is tagged as Rock. It’s just screwed up. So it’s got to be fixed. And I’m slowly adding artwork too, because I’m anal that way.

After that I’ll slowly check my other playlist, and remove songs that are in my master list. I want to make sure I legally own everything. Then I’ll go on a shopping spree. Yay.

Advice, suggestions, and help solicited for this way cool project.

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