Paying to rip CDs?

I know everyone here is probably going to be a little biased on this since we’re mostly the DIY techhead types. But does anyone here know of people willing to pay to have their CDs ripped to MP3/WMA/AAC/ect. for use on a portable music device or home streaming music network? My store recently picked up a “product” from someone called Rip Digital.

What you buy is a box with packing material to accomodate 50, 100, 150, or 200 CDs and instructions on how to ship your CDs off to a company that will rip these to your desired format and burn them to a DVD ROM, complete with some sort of installation program for getting them to your PC and/or music device. Each package is priced at about $1.50 per CD and shipping is included and covered with a $10/CD insurance. It looks like it’s slightly cheaper online, but of course you’d have to wait just a little longer to get it done.

Besides my personal objection to having that many of my CDs out of my possession for any amount of time, the chance of having something happen in shipping is just too much for me to think about. Throw in the fact that almost every portable music device I know of comes with software to allow you to rip your CDs for free and I just can’t see the value in this. Obviously, these guys are counting on the people with large collections who are too busy or have too little experience with computers to understand the usually simple method of ripping from CDs, although I can’t imagine a lot of those people exist anymore.

Does anyone here know people willing to spend this kind of money to do something so relatively easy? I mean, $300 to turn 200 CDs into mp3s? I just can’t even imagine something this absurd (to me) being successful. If it is, I may need to start hiring myself out to do this. I have enough spare parts to build another PC just for ripping that could be doing it all day long and I can always use extra money gained by doing almost no work.

The average consumer PC is being shipped with CD and DVD drives bundled with Roxio, or Nero, or some equivalent. These programs have also evolved from “geek toys” to cater to the casual consumer. I doubt that there would be many people who are incapable of ripping a CD thses days.

As for bulk ripping, I know of nobody who would be willing to part with their CD collection to let somebody else ripping their CDs.

Perhaps they do have a market, but I don’t see where it is.

Id just download them from 300 bucks can get you a fuckload of MP3s from them /nod

Do they charge extra for diff bit rates? I am guessing they send you the CDs back along with burned ones with your tracks?

If they could guarantee time to get it done, I would happily have paid them to do so a month ago when I spent a week ripping my CD collection while preparing to move. I may not be able to take my CDs with me, but at least I can take my music.

Of course, it also depends on how well they do it. My complaint with the way I did it (WMP ripped everything) is that I apparently have some CDs with minor issues: They play fine with traditional jitter reading, but apparently WMP ripped them digitally so that small imperfections have caused the MP3s to be messed up in some cases. I don’t have the time or inclination to dig through and listen to all of my CDs and figure out which ones need to be re-ripped and use a better program to do it at this point. If there was a company I could send my CDs to that would do them very well for a reasonable bulk price, I’d be interested. (Note that $10/CD insurance and $1.50/CD to rip is probably pushing it. I have nearly 400 CDs, I’m not paying someone $600 to rip my music unless it’s fully insured and I get some far better quality out of it than I’m likely to get at home.)

Now, if they would rip and professionally equalize them so that the median volume level across CDs was constant (no clue how feasible this is), that I would pay $1.50 per CD for gladly. (Also guaranteeing clean rips on less than clean CDs, etc…)

Most CD ripping software I’ve used had a built-in normalizing feature, which scans the files prior to encoding them. As for your CDs that have imperfections that screw up ripping, no “professional” software will overcome that. This company just does what anyone can easily do themselves already, but charges money for it.

Don’t get me wrong, ripping CDs is pretty tedious and not enjoyable in the least, but it’s certainly not torture enough to me to justify spending money for someone else to do it. Maybe there are people out there who find it so bothersome that they’re willing to ship their CDs to someone else to have it done for them, but I don’t know any of those people.

In theory, I would like to pay someone else to rip my CDs for me, since I’m lazy and I have over 1000 CDs. However, at $1.50 a CD, there’s no way in hell I’m paying all that, and I’m also unhappy about the idea of shipping my CDs to strangers. So I suppose I’m sort of in the market for this idea, but it doesn’t quite work out how I want. If I could drop my CDs off in person to a store, and do it in batches of 100 or 200, then I might be interested if the price is right.

When I first started planning to rip my CD collection, I was hoping there was some kind of giant CD changer available for the PC, so I could do a batch rip of 100 or so at a time. That would be sweet. In the end I started hand-ripping them, then about 150 CDs in, the hard drive I was using crashed. Stupid me hadn’t backed it up. So for the moment I have given up!

It’s a pretty good deal for the ripping company, because I doubt they rip “Dark Side of the Moon” every time it comes in. Rather, they probably just use the disc as proof you own it, and then copy over the DSOTM directory from their server.

Once you’ve been ripping for a few months, you probably only have to rip a few CDs from each incoming box.

I’d be tempted to go for this myself, though, as I have three boxes of CDs that I’ve had no time to rip, and with the job, wife, and two-year-old, time is something that’s pretty rare. But not at that price.