I own hundreds of original music CDs. I purchased them all at major retail stores.

I want to listen to them when I workout. But hundreds of music CDs will not fit in my pocket.

I've looked into "ripping" them into MP3, OGG, or FLAC files, but the process is incredibly tedious and takes a very long time. Doing this for my entire collection of CDs will take weeks of my time. Such intensive use of my CD drive may also burn it up.

I want the audio quality to match the quality of my CDs.

Is there a LEGAL way in the USA to accomplish my goal of making my CD collection portable?

I would like this to be free (I already paid for the CDs), but I am willing to spend $50 if necessary. I am not interested in services requiring a monthly or annual fee unless it is nominal (under $10 per year). I am also willing to discard, recycle, or send to the publishers all my original CDs if that is required by law.

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    Digitizing for personal use is legal. You can get yourself an external CD-ROM drive and build a Cd changer around it for over-night ripping. – ratchet freak Dec 17 '15 at 17:58
  • @ratchetfreak Thanks. It's a possibility, but a huge undertaking I would like to avoid if legally possible. And from what I've read, when trying to make high-quality audio files, CD-ROM drives are much less forgiving than music CD players. – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Dec 17 '15 at 18:03
  • @RockPaperLizard: Buy a cheap external CD ROM drive if you are worried about wear and tear on your computer's drive. For ripping, you can for example set up iTunes to automatically rip a CD and eject it when it's done. So all you do is create a pile of 50 CDs and while you are using your computer anyway, you put in a new CD when the previous one is ejected. – gnasher729 Dec 17 '15 at 22:34
  • @CharlesE.Grant I didn't want to sound like a braggart. Let's just say many, many hundreds. Although legally ripping them is certainly an option, I would like to explore other legal possibilities. – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Dec 17 '15 at 23:45
  • @RockPaperLizard you could also build an automatic CD changer with a arduino a few motors (or a lego technics kit) and some engineering skills. – ratchet freak Dec 18 '15 at 10:13

Only my perception....

I believe you have 2 legal options.

  1. Rip the CDs to the format that you want for personal use
  2. Purchase the music again in the format (MP3, etc.) that you want

I don't know of any other legal options.

I went through the same things several years ago.... spent a couple weeks swapping CDs and ripping everything myself. Although time consuming and tedious, it's not like it has to be done overnight. Take your time, rip a few a day or a few a week. Eventually you'll have them all ripped. And when complete, you shouldn't ever have to do it again (provided you have backup methods in place).

You should be thankful that ripping is even an option rather than dreading it. With previous delivery method changes (LP then 8-track then cassette then CD) the only option was to repurchase. I lost track of how many times I purchased the same thing to use a new "player". Although, admittedly, the 8-track thing was a bit before my time.

Please be aware: I am not now and have never been an attorney or legal professional.

  • For example, asking a friend with the same music taste as you for access to his collection, and instead of ripping your own CDs making copies of the CDs that he ripped, seems to be illegal in most places. Even though the end result is exactly the same. – gnasher729 Dec 19 '15 at 1:11

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