I think I started seriously ripping my CDs in 2008 or 2009. Since I waited so long, I had the benefit of some good insight. I’ve only used dBpoweramp with its AccurateRip database search engine. I also saved all files in FLAC format using the dBpoweramp recommended compression level of 5. Those that know, the dBpoweramp rip is compared to a database and given, or not, an AccurateRip label with a confidence number (how many accurate comparisons to other rips in the AccurateRip database).
I also initiated a back-up plan to two separate hard-drives. I use a program call GoodSync to make back-ups. Until a couple years ago, I didn’t know much about Checksum and the ability of GoodSync to compare copy Checksums (a more sophisticated comparison of a digital copy). Also during this period (before utilizing Checksum), I had my main music hard-drive crash hard. No problem, I just bought another hard-drive and copied from one of my back-ups.
Just a little more background. I play all my digital music through the Bridge II to a DS Senior. I exclusively use JRiver (technically JRiver Media Center) playing over DLNA and control the music selection using JRemote.
I started to wonder about the integrity of my data. I have heard errors on some songs (I initially chalked it up to distortion within the original recording). Lucky, dBpoweramp sells a program call PerfectTUNES that will search your entire music database and again compare the files to those stored on AccurateRip (the files have to have been saved to a lossless format). To my surprise, I had 50 “corrupted” files and another 50 rips with errors. Luckily, I still have all the CDs. Unluckily, I’m swimming in too many CD purchases (around 2000) and most aren’t stored alphabetically. It was a serious project finding all the CDs.
The bottom line, I was able to replace all but one of the corrupted files and most of the inaccurate rips (some of the discs just won’t rip properly). Note, I do have a rather sizeable HD download directory which PerfectTUNES is unable to compare. Plus, HDTracks doesn’t offer the ability to re-download. Oh well, in this case ignorance is bliss and life will go on.
If you’re at all curious about the integrity of your music files, I strongly recommend PerfectTUNES. The full price is only $36 and discounts are offered if you’ve already purchased other products. The cost seems minimal compared to other tweeks in this nutty hobby. Who said the digital world was easy?