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I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

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I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby Scorpios Blue Eyes » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:36 pm

Hi, I am trying to find a laptop that I can store all my music from all my cds on. I have researched several and am so confused. I don't want to buy one and it end up being crappy. There are so many to choose from and just when I think I find one I might like, I start reading the reviews and they end up being crappy according to the reviews. I have alot of cds and I love my music. I like to burn my own CD mixes from my library so that I don't have to constantly run to my CD player. I know I need a laptop that is built pretty sturdy because I'm clumsy sometimes. Being 6 ft tall with legs that have a mind of their own at times isn't easy. I know I need DVD rw CD rw drive to rip and burn cds. I am trying to find a laptop with 8gb ram and 1tb had. I am trying to stay under $400. Can someone please recommend which laptop would be best for me to purchase so that I don't waste my money on a dud. Thank you for any help or advice y'all may give me. I greatly appreciate it. Sincerely, Scorpios Blue Eyes
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby James Perrett » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:39 pm

Laptops with built-in optical drives are getting rarer so you may need to use an external drive or find an older laptop. You need very little memory or processing power to extract and play audio files 4GB memory would be fine for this although 8GB is useful if you want to do other things. When I was looking for a laptop about a year ago I ended up buying a refurbished Dell Precision M4600 but there are plenty of similar machines that would do the job.

I'd also suggest that you use decent software to do the extraction as it isn't always as simple as dragging files from a CD. Audio CD's use fewer levels of error correction so it is easier for errors to slip through if you use the wrong software. Exact Audio Copy is my standard recommendation for accurate audio (though I use an old copy of Plextools which does the same thing). If you have lots of files then it might be worth using the .flac format to store the files as this will halve the file size without reducing the quality.

Once you've extracted the audio from a CD then make sure that you store the audio files on at least 3 different devices - 256GB memory sticks are rapidly coming down in price so I'd buy a few of those.
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby ef37a » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:10 pm

I have just bought my son a refurbished Lenovo T430 14" laptop through Amazon. £320

It has an i5 processor, 256G SSD and 8G of ram. Windows 10 which you might not like (I don't) but there is no good buckin the trend.
Son is a musician and his primary use for the laptop will be recording acoustic and electric guitar and using sofware to add other instrument but such a machine would surely fulfill your requirements? In fact you don't need anything LIKE an i5 CPU!

However I am a bit confused at your MO? You copy your existing CDs to other CDs to play in a home music system? Car also maybe? This seems a laborious process to me. Why not just rip the CDs to hard drive (a much quicker process than burning) and play the resultant .wav track out of the laptop via a suitable interface? If the car is part of the situation many can now play from a USB stick.

Once ripped the CD can be carefully put away. I understand iTunes is s good way to organize a hard drive library even on Windows but I do not let ANYTHING Apple-like on my computers!

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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:21 pm

ef37a wrote:Once ripped the CD can be carefully put away. I understand iTunes is s good way to organize a hard drive library even on Windows but I do not let ANYTHING Apple-like on my computers!

*shudders*

iTunes has done more than enough to earn my wrath on plenty of occasions, so I'll offer Media monkey as a local organizer and Plex if you want to set up a streamable server/receiver client solution.
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby ef37a » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:43 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:
ef37a wrote:Once ripped the CD can be carefully put away. I understand iTunes is s good way to organize a hard drive library even on Windows but I do not let ANYTHING Apple-like on my computers!

*shudders*

iTunes has done more than enough to earn my wrath on plenty of occasions, so I'll offer Media monkey as a local organizer and Plex if you want to set up a streamable server/receiver client solution.

Sorry Pete! But at least I did say I had nothing to do with it! I shall investigate Media monkey. I shan't bother but son could be interested.

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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby Scorpios Blue Eyes » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:45 pm

Thank you for the information. I have had cds stolen before so I want to have my music stored in my computer just in case. I burn a mix CD to play on my stereo but will listen to it for awhile before I end up getting bored and making another one. I love to hear my music loud while I'm building stuff around my house. I have 2 big stereos which are in my living room and bedroom and a smaller one in my bathroom for my bathcations! Journey is first then I play Enigma. I also put music on an SD card for my truck which is why I also need to have my music on a laptop. So you mentioned a program to use, I have always used windows media player because I'm not familiar with what is all out there. I will definitely check them out. Thank you again
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby Kwackman » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:54 pm

For the record (pun unintended), I use iTunes for my CD collection and have no problems with it.
I have several iTunes libraries on the one computer (a Mac), -
My entire CD collection at 16bit 44.1
The same CD collection as MP3 for my iPod
a "Studio output" library, and a couple of others too.

It all works fine for me, obviously YMMV.
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby The Elf » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:11 pm

It's one thing ripping CDs to make them more accessible (I'd use the FLAC format, not MP3, or any other lossy format), but whatever you do, don't just trust to storing it on a laptop alone, or you will regret it! Backup, backup backup!

My own solution for my music is a NAS drive. I can download/stream music from there onto almost any device (phone, TV, laptop, iPad, etc) and can access my music from anywhere I have a data connection. My NAS is backed up to local drives and also to a cloud service. Many NAS devices support Plex (as mentioned above), but I personally see Plex as a sledgehammer to crack a nut - it's really not needed. Same with MediaMoney - it's OK, but not necessary.

A NAS is very easy to set up.

For playback, at least for iPhone, I've found CloudBeats to be an excellent solution.
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:17 am

The Elf wrote:My own solution for my music is a NAS drive. I can download/stream music from there onto almost any device (phone, TV, laptop, iPad, etc) and can access my music from anywhere I have a data connection. My NAS is backed up to local drives and also to a cloud service. Many NAS devices support Plex (as mentioned above), but I personally see Plex as a sledgehammer to crack a nut - it's really not needed.

I don't disagree, admittedly I use Plex to manage pretty much every type of media I have archived, so just for audio it might be a little much, although it's other features might prove useful if only from a presentation and browsing point of view.

I've got a question though:
You'll need some way to address the server, so do you have to throw a full IP address into your streaming client in order to hit the server? Something along the lines of telling your streaming client to connect to h**p://258.452.222.154

If so do you have a static IP or port forwarder setup to allow you to use something h**p://elfserver.net to then forward to whatever the current IP is?

I had a free NAS box setup a while back with port forwarding using a dynDNS forwarder, which frankly spent more time out of service than in and is kinda why I ended up taking this route in the first place. I know Synology and their ilk are cramming insane amounts of apps into the box now, so I'm assuming there are services that might be on offer here to allow easier connections these days from outside of your own network?
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby OneWorld » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:48 pm

ef37a wrote:Once ripped the CD can be carefully put away. I understand iTunes is s good way to organize a hard drive library even on Windows but I do not let ANYTHING Apple-like on my computers!

Dave.

I have an iPad Air 2 and I like it, impressed by how snappy it is as compared to Windoze. However I do connect my iPad to the PC from time to time in order to back things up from the iPad to the PC (generally pics, videos and mp3)

I am irritated by the fact I have to have the massive file that is iTunes on my PC and Apple pesters me every week to upgrade/update and try and force me into having an Apple account (no way!!!!)

Am I correct in thinking that I do not need iTunes on my PC in order to transfer files back and forth?
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby The Elf » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:08 pm

OneWorld wrote:Am I correct in thinking that I do not need iTunes on my PC in order to transfer files back and forth?
You probably need iTunes if you want to use the native player. I long ago ditched that.

I put my music on a cloud server (Dropbox, OneDrive, WebDAV, etc.) and use a network savvy player to access it. I use CloudBeats, and this lets me stream or download to my local device so no need to be online when I want to access it. Works perfectly on both iPhone and iPad. There are others, but I've found CloudBeats to be by far the most reliable.
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby The Elf » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:13 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:You'll need some way to address the server, so do you have to throw a full IP address into your streaming client in order to hit the server?
I just use the QuickConnect address that the Synology gave me - works perfectly. I have to admit I don't understand the intricacies - which gives you an idea that it's very easy to set up! :lol:

As I mentioned in my other post, I use CloudBeats over WebDAV to access my music library. I can stream, or I can download for offline access. It just works flawlessly.

I did once use Plex. It's very pretty, but I found it to be sluggish. Accessing my NAS files directly is far simpler - I play video direct to my TV, for instance and just browse the folders on the drive.
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Re: I am trying to buy a laptop to store my music on and need help please.

Postby Pete Kaine » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:33 am

The Elf wrote:I just use the QuickConnect address that the Synology gave me - works perfectly. I have to admit I don't understand the intricacies - which gives you an idea that it's very easy to set up! :lol:

That answers my question, you're logging in via a Synology account which forwards to the logged in Synology server box. It's essentially working the same way as logging into a Plex account to find your home system is and it's a very nice "value-add feature" that I didn't realise they offered with those NAS boxes. :thumbup:
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