Right now I’ve just begun the monumental task of ripping every single CD that I own to my computer. Why? Because it’s a little known fact that CDs suffer from bit rot. The ‘half-life’ of consumer burned CDs (especially the older ones burned on older burners) is only about 6 to 10 years. Do you have any files you burned to CD in 1997? Try to open that CD now and if it doesn’t work, now you know why.
The life of pressed cd’s (usually the ones you buy in stores) is quite a bit longer but that won’t prevent scratching, theft, or losing them. My goal is to archive every CD that I own onto an external hard drive then I’ll upload it all online for offsite archiving. The idea is to preserve these files for my benefit, and the benefit of others.
I estimate that between all the physical CDs, self-created Mp3 CDs and downloads that I’ve purchased, I have about two or three hundred ‘albums’ worth of data to archive. I estimate an album to have somewhere around 500MB’s of content. Each album compressed down to mp3 form will roughly equal 50MB’s of data. So if I estimate high, that’s about 150GB’s of MP3’s that I plan to create. Then I’ll have to find a place to store them online.
Right now I’m using MediaMaster, a free service with unlimited storage. The problem is although they allow you to upload your files, you can’t download them later. You can only stream them while connected to the internet. This is fine for now, but I want to make sure that I can access my files later. Also, I’m not to confident that Media Master will still exist in 10 years. I need something more reliable. If only Google would debut that GDrive service that everyone keeps talking about! But this is a topic for another day, ripping these CDs alone will probablly take until mid next week!!!!