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Help Me Get My Computer As Source Sorted Out


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Here's my situation. I am using my iMac as my transport, feeding either my DAC1 or (more frequently) my HR Balanced Desktop w/DAC. I use iTunes to manage my collection. Most of my collection is 256 AAC due to the fact that I used to do a lot of portable listening and I like to have my whole collection on my iPod. But recent meets have finally hammered into my head that it all starts with the source. So, I think I need to start reripping lossless. But here's the rub, I also want to keep the lossy rips for my iPod. So here are my questions:

1) Is there a way to split up the iTunes db such that I could easily flip between my lossy and lossless collections, or do I need to keep them both together?

2) My internal HD is 250 GB. How are the rest of you computer as source people storing your tunes? External HD's?

3) I know that there isn't a whole lot of love here for the DAC1, but I happen to like it. That said, I'm interested in opinions about clearly superior products in the same price range.

4) Any other suggestions about how to approach this project?

Thanks all.

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1) What I do is keep my entire collection in lossless. When I need a song in lossy format for a portable or in my car, I encode a lossy copy to a temp directory. This cuts down on wasted disk space (by not needing an entire copy of my collection in lossy), but it does require a bit of time to re-encode the files to put them on the portable or CD burn (although if your iMac is recent enough to have a Core2Duo, it shouldn't be too bad int hat regard). I use foobar to do these things, and I really have no idea (or interest in) how iTunes works, but I'm sure someone who does wouldn't mind helping you.

2) My lossless collection is about 575GB at this point, so it is spread over two 500GB disks in my main system. I have a 1TB external backup disk, which doubles as a way of bringing my collection along with my laptop when applicable.

3) I don't know of a DAC in the DAC1's price range that blows it away, or is on a completely different level of performance. All the units I can think of which are cost $3000+, even used.

4) Whenever you have some free time, just grab a beer, put on some tunes, and pop a CD in and out of your drive every 7-10 minutes as needed. You'll find that re-ripping your collection isn't as daunting as it might seem now.

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External HD or a NAS box will be your best bet for storage. I think you should just keep your collection fully lossless and then just convert to lossy whenever you need to add/change whats on your ipod and then delete the lossy files again.

I'm one of those thats not a big fan of the DAC-1 but you won't find anything thats clearly superior for the same price.

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External HD or a NAS box will be your best bet for storage. I think you should just keep your collection fully lossless and then just convert to lossy whenever you need to add/change whats on your ipod and then delete the lossy files again.

I'm one of those thats not a big fan of the DAC-1 but you won't find anything thats clearly superior for the same price.

How do you feel about the Lavry DA10?

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I'm one of those thats not a big fan of the DAC-1 but you won't find anything thats clearly superior for the same price.

the VDA-2/vac-1 is clearly superior for the same price ;) ... I would also put the stello da100 and the Monarchy M24 on the better side of this category.

had the DA-10, it was cool, i'd buy what it does well, but it's a little lacking in the details, soundstage, and treble extension.

I have itunes as well and i usually connect things through an external hard drive (you can set itunes to burn directly onto that other hard drive, in my case it's set a drive "M" (for music)). I basically put into my ipod lossless files. the better option would be to double rip and have like 2 versions of the same cd, and move the lossy to a folder directed to the ipod, while the lossless says nice. As i understand, iron_dreamer's, method would be a headache for itunes users, as least if you're one of those people who updates it all the time because of podcasts, like me.

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better than the Benchmark?

I personally prefer the smoother sound of the DA10 despite the better components (and allegedly design) of the DAC1.

It's quite interesting; I prefer a number of DACs over the DAC1 (and DA10) at below its pricerange. :P

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Helpful suggestions, thanks. Looks like maybe two external hard drives for me; one for backup (I need one for that anyway) and one for data. And, I-D, I agree about re-ripping the collection; it can be a fun process if you have enough beer. :laugh:

I need to think about the external music drive, do I make it a local drive or go NAS?

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Hope you don't mind a bit of a hijack but I've got a somewhat related question. With my Pico coming soon I'm going to be using my computer as a source much more than it has been. One thing that I've been wondering about is if there is a way to add a remote so I can skip tracks without having to get up and go over to the computer? I've poked around a bit but other than computers that come with a remote of some sort I've not found a solution to add one on.

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Helpful suggestions, thanks. Looks like maybe two external hard drives for me; one for backup (I need one for that anyway) and one for data. And, I-D, I agree about re-ripping the collection; it can be a fun process if you have enough beer. :laugh:

I need to think about the external music drive, do I make it a local drive or go NAS?

USB 2.0 is 480 Mbps and FireWire is 400 Mbps but with a better throughput, how fast is your LAN speed? are you 10-100 Mbps or 10-1000 Mbps?

USG

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new Macs have an out of box solution for this, as they come with a remote control ;)

Yeah I know, I've got a new iMac at work. :) We just picked up a refurbished HP for home use recently though so we won't be buying a whole new machine for awhile which is why I'm hoping I can add something on. I'm kicking myself in the ass now for not spending a bit more and buying a laptop like I originally intended, at the time though the HP seemed the more logical solution.
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another lossless and lossy collection all within itunes is to add the "kind" and "bit rate" columns and keep a copy of both all within the same itunes library. if you change the preference for the import type, you can then highlight all your tracks and right click and select "convert", it will convert to whatever format/quality you've set in the preferences, and keep both. so once you've reripped lossless, you can highlight all your alac and transcode to whatever lossy you want.

of course, the downside is that you've got 2 (or more if you keep more than 1 lossy copy) entries for all those tracks/albums.

mjb

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