Computer Related > Copying CDs to PC from scratch Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Bobby Replies: 30

 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Bobby
I have a load of music on my PC all under the "music" folder.
Some was originally copied from CDs, some from systems like napster in the old days and some from youtube converters etc. Much of it is noticably poor quality.
I would like to tidy it up and to start with I am going to copy all my CDs to the PC again on the highest quality setting.

Previously I think I used itunes to copy these but if I remember rightly, I didn't use the default itune settings as, at one point, I think this meant the tracks could only be played on Apple machines? (might be wrong there). On checking my itunes settings, ,my preferences are set to import using mp3 encoder (if that makes sense).

So my question is, from scratch, what is the best way to copy actual CDs to my PC whilst copying across all the file names / tags and ideally the artwork? Ultimately the songs will be played on my iphone or maybe directly from a USB stick in my car.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - devonite
I've always used Windows Media Player, - seems to do all you ask!
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Bobby
Thanks for the suggestion
Tried one, very straightforward. Although the artwork showed in windows media, when I copied the file to USB stick and played in my BMW X1, the artwork didn’t show although it normally does if I play through my iPhone?
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - tyrednemotional
...I wonder whether the BMW system requires the Album Art to be added to each track, (as a tag), rather than simply embedded as a file in the folder.

I add it as a tag on each track on my files (again, for compatibility across various platforms), and it displays fine in the car. It is for me a specific editing action after ripping (and from memory it may be that the BMW system is one of the reasons I do it).

It also (in the BMW) takes a few seconds for the album art to replace a basic display of track title and running time.

If the file needs to be tagged for the BMW, a tag editor is required. This allows you to add and manipulate tags on a ripped file (without re-ripping). I use Tagscanner (free) which is relatively easy, though possibly not the most intuitive. Other tools are available.

To clarify, album art can be added as a file in the ripped folder, and/or as a tag in each track file. I don't use Windows Media Player for ripping, but I suspect it only does the former. By default, my ripping process does neither, but I ensure I have both folder and tagged track art by additional editing.
Last edited by: tyrednemotional on Mon 21 Sep 20 at 22:51
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Zero
>> ...I wonder whether the BMW system requires the Album Art to be added to each
>> track, (as a tag), rather than simply embedded as a file in the folder.

It does, mine has the album art as a tag to each file.


>> I
>> use Tagscanner (free) which is relatively easy, though possibly not the most intuitive. Other tools
>> are available.

I use MP3TAG, also free, works well for me.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Bobby
Thanks for input guys.

Either of you care to advise me how to use these options to add the album tag? Are the programs self explanatory or something best left to someone with more knowledge?
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - tyrednemotional
>> Are the programs self explanatory or something best left to someone with more
>> knowledge?
>>

Bobby,

I find Tagscanner less than intuitive in a couple of small areas, but it powerful, has comprehensive documentation and is fine when understood.

MP3Tag might be easier to understand, but I haven't used it.

What you need to do is conceptually simple, and should be easily achieved in either product. Tagscanner allows editing of multiple files (tracks) at once, as long as the edit for each is the same. Therefore, one edit per album is enough to add (the same) album art to all the tracks therein. You just need to locate the appropriate picture (say 300x300) and drag and drop or copy within Tagscanner (whilst the interface will be different, AFAIK the process is very similar in MP3Tag).

I won't enable Windows Media Player on my machines* but I'm not sure you can't even do it in there. It is implied that, if you access via "Library", drill down to the desired album then track(s), select one (or a few) and right click, the "Advanced Tag Editor" option or equivalent will allow you to drag and drop an artwork file onto the selection. Can't vouch for that, though.

*Windows Media Player, once it's got your files, continues to play with them in the library in background - it can make entirely arbitrary decisions about changing things such as metadata and how it is stored, and I prefer to be in control of the process myself. I would personally use a 3rd party ripper.

For my own reasons I use Exact Audio Copy (which I use to rip to lossless FLAC). That is a once and only once rip: the CDs are then boxed and stored, the FLAC becomes the "master" copy. Then I convert the FLAC files (Indistinguishable from CD quality) to any other desired format using Foobar2000, which will, if I want, convert the whole library of FLAC to a desired MP3 bitrate in a single, batched run (takes a bit of time, but there is no loading of CDs ever again). It works for me as I need both FLAC and MP3 copies, and if necessary I can change the whole MP3 library's bitrate fairly easily, to save space.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - No FM2R
>> [Windows Media Player] can make entirely arbitrary decisions about changing things such as metadata and how it is stored

Very good point which I had forgotten.

I got bitten a couple of times by just that. It'll even reorganise your directory structure if it feels the whim.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - VxFan
>> I use MP3TAG, also free, works well for me.

+1
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Bobby
Cheers guys - tried doing the MP3TAG to one "album" and then plugged the USB into the car and it worked! Album artwork showing! I'll be able to sleep tonight!

Seriously, thanks for this, I am now tempted to at least persevere and do this with all my CDs and get them on a disk somewhere whilst also contemplating the Apple Music v Spotify decision.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - No FM2R
To answer a question that you didn't actually ask, I used to have a massive library of music on my PC. I took great pleasure in organising it properly and consistently, mostly using Windows Media Player and MP3tag.

It was all ripped/stored at the highest possible/available quality, all album art was complete and all tags were consistent.

Then I signed up to Spotify, a paid family account and now drive home, car and mobile listening from Spotify.

No more problems with tags, with album art, or anything else. About GBP1.50 per person per month, I think. And I don't think I've wanted to listen to anything in the last 3 or 4 years to which I did not have immediate access.

Eventually I deleted all my stored music, which was quite a wrench given all the time and effort it represented. And I've never missed it for a moment.

It's definitely worth considering.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Tue 22 Sep 20 at 00:04
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Zero
>> It's definitely worth considering.

I am in Marks footsteps. While I didn't take the drastic step of deleting all the music, I have stopped expanding it. A family Spotify membership is in place, previous music and playlists has been replicated on there, new stuff gets added on there, and its all available in the car (BMW Spotify app) and home on PC (linked to home hifi) On Alexa Speaker (room linked to TV sound system) and mobile devices. Tags are history. AS is all the agro that goes with it.

I certainly wouldn't be rethinking of re recording or sorting out my current music, it would be straight to getting Spotify sorted.
Last edited by: Zero on Tue 22 Sep 20 at 09:15
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Bobby
Yeah the Spotify is an option that I’m also thinking about though folk suggest to me that Apple Music is better? Don’t know In what way?

I think this has came about as in the last fortnight I have had some great car journeys up to Mull and the likes. However when reality sets in, I am actually working from home for the foreseeable future so it may be what best works in the house rather than car. Though I still like the idea of having all my CDs on one USB/Disk as a comfort blanket!
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - No FM2R
>>Yeah the Spotify is an option that I'm also thinking about though folk suggest to me that Apple Music is better? Don't know In what way?

I don't know. But every Apple product I have ever used has a primary goal of making it damned impossible to ever move to another App. Consequently I have an aversion to Apple products - which I accept may be for no good reason these days.

I use Spotify on the phone, the TV, the car(s), the computer. It's link to Shazam, it's playlists and music manipulation facilities, Album art, add-ons like lyrics and videos, it's syncing between device and ease of switching device even mid song all make it complete for me.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Crankcase
I too have been a Spotify premium member since forever. But as my phone is payg, i dont use it in the car unless I've downloaded music first. It's a bit of a data hog for me.


As an aside, try searching for the word audiobooks in Spotify if you haven't already. There's a playlist of that name with about a trillion of them. I grabbed Hugh Laurie reading Three Men In A Boat and Martin Jarvis reading The Forsyte Saga the other day, which will keep me going a while.

Also, have a look at the now venerable forgotify.com if you haven't. Finds tracks "never played" in Spotify. Don't know about that, and there's a lot of dross, but it's found me some really good stuff. I've enjoyed the recorded evidence given at the Watergate enquiries, for example, which I'd not have found otherwise, not knowing of their existence.



 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Robin O'Reliant
My car's got a cassette player, I don't have any of this trouble.

Though I may well upgrade to a car with a CD next time.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Zero
And how is that 1968 pick of the pops you recorded holding up?
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Robin O'Reliant
Some of the stuff I recorded in the seventies still plays ok.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - tyrednemotional
>> Some of the stuff I recorded in the seventies still plays ok.
>>

...are you really Bryan Ferry?

(or perhaps Kiki Dee) ;-)
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - tyrednemotional
>> My car's got a cassette player, I don't have any of this trouble.
>>
....you mean it provides album art seamlessly....?!! :-o
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Robin O'Reliant
Album art? Just photocopy the sleeve and stick it on the dash.

You kids, sheesh.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - God
>>My car's got a cassette player,

Does it have a starting handle as well?

:o}
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Robin O'Reliant
>>
>>
>> Does it have a starting handle as well?
>>
>> :o}
>>
No, but it's got a proper spare wheel.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - God
>>it's got a proper spare wheel.

And a proper fag lighter no doubt!
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Bobby
Zero, how does your Spotify app work in the car? I have a 3 month free subscription so have downloaded and playing about with the settings.
Do you go into connected drive in the car and then have to select Spotify on your phone app before you drive away? Or is there an easier way?
And assume it needs to be connected by USB rather than Bluetooth?
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Zero
>> Zero, how does your Spotify app work in the car? I have a 3 month
>> free subscription so have downloaded and playing about with the settings.
>> Do you go into connected drive in the car and then have to select Spotify
>> on your phone app before you drive away? Or is there an easier way?
>> And assume it needs to be connected by USB rather than Bluetooth?

Not sure if your drive is the same level as mine, you may be one level back, but I have "apps" on the Idrive you can download, one of them is Spotify. It uses your phone (over bluetooth) for online playlists, or Spotify songs you have downloaded.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Bromptonaut
>> Then I signed up to Spotify, a paid family account and now drive home, car
>> and mobile listening from Spotify.

I use Amazon Music the same way. In the house it's usually via the Echo Plus and in the car by Bluetooth to the car audio. Bluetooth also to a portable speaker or to the house or caravan Hi-Fi.

Next to nothing it can't find; hours of Alex Glasgow, Jake Thackeray and the Fivepenny Piece.

Playlists are a cinch.

I thought the one thing that did stump it was the album Cascade by Capercaillie. Cascade was, I think, their first album and with a line up that included a second female vocalist as well as Karen Matheson. Different label to their later work too.

We had it on cassette but could never find a CD version, nor was it on legacy download services like Napster. Always assumed there was a copyright issue.

Just looked now and there it is on Amazon; release date May 2020.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - No FM2R
>>I thought the one thing that did stump it was the album Cascade by Capercaillie.

Not that I'd ever heard of it but out of idle interest I checked, and it is on Spotify.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Bromptonaut
>> Not that I'd ever heard of it but out of idle interest I checked, and
>> it is on Spotify.

Does Spotify show the release date?

The original album, which I've now had time to confirm was their first, was released in 1984. We bought it on cassette in 1989, from a souvenir shop in Ullapool, after the band came to our attention as doing the theme and incidental music for the series 'The Blood id Strong' about the history of Scotland's Gaelic speakers.

Mrs B wore the tape out playing it in the car for the period she commuted from Watford to our village comprehensive before we managed to move up here.

I can only assume that whatever contractual disputes or personal issues that stopped it being available on CD have finally been solved.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - No FM2R
>>Does Spotify show the release date?

It's not terribly clear. It has the date 2020 against it, so I assume that is the release date, but it doesn't explicitly say so.
 Copying CDs to PC from scratch - Bromptonaut

>> It's not terribly clear. It has the date 2020 against it, so I assume that
>> is the release date, but it doesn't explicitly say so.

There's a track on You Tube suggesting May 2020 as well.
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