5 disc-ripping fails: What you risk by digitizing your CD collection yourself

So, you’re thinking about digitizing that CD collection of yours. Before you rip away, there are a few things to consider before ripping your CDs at home, since the pitfalls are ones that could ruin your original goal of flawless work that is worthwhile.

There are many reasons why Murfie’s trusted service is ideal for music collectors who want perfect rips of their CDs, which they can download and stream. Murfie prevents the common drawbacks that arise when trying to rip at home.

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5. Wrong file format

It’s safe to say that many folks rip their CDs in mp3 format. While this format is the default on most drives, many people don’t realize that it compresses the music in a way that loses tiny details in the sound. Hence, it’s known as a “lossy” format.

The reason why some people compress music into to mp3 and other lossy formats is to save space. Discarding tiny bits of data is how this is achieved. This makes for a sound that is close to, yet not exactly identical, to the original recording.

Selecting the wrong format may also mean that your music won’t play on all of your devices. At Murfie, we rip and store the music from your CDs in lossless FLAC format, providing the flexibility to transcode to virtually any bit rate at any point in the future. Downloads in mp3, aac, and lossless formats FLAC and ALAC are included with all the CDs you send in. This means your music can bounce around all your devices, easily and without any manual conversion on your end.

4. Wrong bit rate

Even if you select the right file format, you’re still not out of the woods. Selecting the right bit rate (unit = bps) is important because it affects the amount of information processed per unit of time. More bits per second allows more details to be processed, making for higher quality sound.

Bit rate only applies to lossy formats (mp3 and aac) since lossless formats (FLAC and ALAC) make an exact replica of the original recording. Large music retailers like Amazon and iTunes provide digital music downloads in lossy 256 kbps mp3 and 256 kbps aac formats, respectively.

We’re fans of a higher default bit rate at Murfie, making for better quality sound. We use at least 320 kbps for mp3 downloads, and 320kbps for our standard free streaming. That’s a higher default rate than Amazon, iTunes and Spotify. 320 kbps streaming is available on Spotify, but with a premium paid membership. And as for Murfie’s paid premium streaming membership—well, that’s in lossless FLAC format, of course.

3. Errors/Incorrect Metadata

How do you know your rips are error free? Going back to listen to everything once you’ve ripped it and cross-checking track titles and album metadata against other sources will more than double the amount of time you’re spending on digitization. Every disc that’s ripped at Murfie is checked twice against our database to ensure all metadata like album title, artist name, and track names are correct. If Murfie does your ripping, you won’t have to worry about the unpleasant experience of putting your disc in a drive to find there is no metadata at all.

Metadata aside, Murfie uses AccurateRip to ensure the files themselves are seamless. We actually clean CDs that need to be cleaned, and polish CDs that have scratches. All this is to ensure error-free downloads and flawless streaming.

2. Data loss

Long-term, secure storage of your data is essential if you want your work to be worthwhile. Computer crashes, hard drive issues, theft, and other factors can be a nightmare for music collectors.

When your discs are ripped at Murfie, the original FLAC files are stored on our server, always available for you to request another download if your original is lost. Your discs can be stored in our secure facility in Madison, WI, alongside ~500K others that our members have already entrusted to us. With your original disc and FLAC files made available to you 24/7 for streaming and downloads, we’ve got the security of your discs covered in a way that goes above and beyond your average backup.

1. Your time

Time is money. Based on our calculations, a person can rip 10-20 discs per hour if they have one CD drive on their computer. That’s not counting any manual metadata entry and error checking.

Say you have 200 CDs in your collection. It would easily take you 10-20 hours to digitize everything. Is there something you’d rather be doing during the time it took to rip those discs? If your answer is no, check out these handy guides for ripping discs on Windows and Mac computers.

What’s your time worth? If you’re ripping at home, you can expect to process a maximum of 20 discs per hour. Again, time is money—and for 99¢/disc, Murfie can process your CDs for flawless streaming and downloads, shipping included. Let us do what we do best.

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Murfie is working to bring you uncompromised anywhere/anytime digital access to your music collection, in the highest quality possible. We’ll make your perfect ripped files available via downloads to your computer or hard drive, and via streaming to your iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet, web browser, and Sonos and other devices.

Do you have vinyl records that you want ripped too? Email info@murfie.com to learn more! Are you an all-round audiophile? Check out our lossless FLAC streaming available with Murfie HiFi.

Murfie is music collecting perfected. Request a shipping kit and begin your uncompromised collecting and listening experience!

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How to Convert Your CDs to iTunes

Digital music is a convenient way to listen to tunes virtually anywhere. Music downloads and streams are becoming more and more popular, as many people aim for convenient, instantaneous methods of consuming music, without dealing with the cluttering effects of CDs and vinyl.

So now a question comes to mind: What about all those CDs you bought? Do you keep them just to keep them? Sounds kinda inconvenient. Do you ditch them and replace them with digital files? Sounds kinda expensive. And inconvenient.

But, aha! What if you can get the best of both worlds? What if you could convert your CD collection to digital files, like iTunes music, instead of replace it—and keep the discs as a backup, but somewhere remote, not on your own shelves?

Bam. That’s where we come in. These simple steps are the most convenient way to convert your CD collection to digital iTunes music, without having to sit there forever and rip all your music yourself.

Step 1. Send your CD collection to Murfie.

Our expert-CD-rippers will rip your CDs in high quality FLAC format, and then add your albums to your online collection for you to view, play, and manage.

Step 2. Download your CD collection.

Choose your fave format: mp3, aac, or lossless formats FLAC and ALAC. Heads up: iTunes works with mp3, aac and ALAC. You can save the downloaded zip files to your desktop so they’re easy to find.

Step 3. Move the files to your iTunes

First, double-click the zip files to open the album folders. Then drag the folders from your desktop to your iTunes media player, and voila—like magic, they’ll get added to your library, listed alongside your other digital music.

Your CDs will remain safely stored at Murfie, allowing you to request more downloads in other formats. Since you really own the physical disc, you can convert it to whatever format you please, and download and stream it on a variety of devices. You can stream your music on the go with our Murfie mobile app for iOS and Android, at home with Sonos and VOCO devices, and via our website. And one of the coolest parts of all these cool parts is—your CDs will always remain yours. (And ya know, if you really want ’em back one day, we’ll send them to you.)

What Makes a CD Collectible, Part 2

Before we begin, there’s something key to point out here: any CD can be collectible, in the sense that it can be a part of your beloved Bob Dylan collection or your neighbor’s endless collection of ‘80s dance music. What we’re really talking about here is what makes a CD valuable. Although someone may be highly impressed by that ‘80s dance music collection, they’re unlikely to pay top dollar for it. We dug up what makes CDs the most valuable when being sold, traded and archived.

In the internet age, music aficionados have noticed a troubling trend: with so many CDs being sold online, it’s become increasingly easy to slap a “collectible” label on a CD and jack up the price. While there are lots of questionably valuable CDs floating around on the internet, there are four tried-and-true criteria that guarantee that that CD you have your eye on is the real deal.

1. Artist signature or inscription

If the CD is signed by the creator his/herself, you’re looking at a valuable, collectible CD. Just make sure the signature is authenticated!

2. Limited edition packaging/pressing

Occasionally, artists will release copies of a disc with rare, limited-edition packaging in just a select few copies. This is especially common with anniversary releases, like a “40th Anniversary Edition”. Verifying that the artwork matches that limited edition release is another surefire way to know you have a collectible.

3. CDs originally released on vinyl/other formats with limited release on CD

Many albums were originally released on vinyl, and had only a limited release in CD form. As a result, the few CDs available are considered collectible! One example is the album Love, Love by Julian Priester, which was only released in CD form in Germany.

4. Import-only albums

A CD that can only be imported into the US, rather than released here, is considered a collectible. For example, Japan-exclusive editions of albums—often including bonus tracks on major label releases—are common.

What does this mean for me?

If you’ve identified any of these types of valuable CDs in your collection, that’s awesome. That’s also where we at Murfie can help you out. When you send your CD collection to be ripped for downloading and streaming, we keep your same physical copy of your disc in our warehouse. That means that if you send us a collectible, you don’t lose that signed disc or other feature that makes it valuable (unless you decide to sell it in our marketplace!). It’s yours to keep, sell or trade as you choose. Happy collecting!

Special shout-out to John Kruse for his help with this blog post!