Is it worth Burning MP3 to CDs or DVDs these days

Not been in here for a few years now but I do read your Main Home page. Is it worth Burning MP3 to CDs or DVDs these days or is it better to now buy a 3TB or larger HDD and put all on there.
I have a Large Case full of CDRs & DVDs of MP3s & Videos that are now over 5 years old. Is it worth the hassle of transferring them to HDD. That is Surmising the CDs will open to read. THANKS

For MP3, a thumb drive is your best bet. 64GB drives will hold more than 10,000 files. More if you compress more.

Yes try to get your 3TB HDD and connect to your audio in car when you are travelling etc… it depends from the situation but keeping MP3 and the way you are using them are 2 different things. What is the purpose to keep 3TB of music if you will probably listen 5% of this music during your whole life :P…

I agree.

Nowadays I hardly rip my audio cds to the computer. I still play my cds on the standalone cd player on the stereo, if I only listen to them once or twice.

I only bother ripping my cds to the computer, if I listen to a few songs (or entire cd) over and over again.

(If I’m really lazy, sometimes I’ll just listen to the song/album on youtube, instead of playing the cd on the stereo).

Because I had HDDs which failed faster than my (good) CD/DVD-media I like to have some data on HDD AND optical media

CD’s and DVD’s are yesterdays technology, either upload them to HDD or even better get a NAS and create raid to share across two drives so that you reduce the chance of having a drive fail and lose them,

If possible I would archive all of your music in FLAC format as this way you always have a high quality source and then can make your own lossy files from the lossless source. if possible, use Opus format as it’s the best lossy encoder right now as I suspect the common person would not need to use more than 96kbps and, depending on whether one struggles with storage space a bit, 64kbps is definitely usable. anything over 128kbps with Opus is basically a waste of space. I use Foobar2000 for general conversion from FLAC to any lossy format (AAC/MP3/Opus) as it’s got the latest encoders with the ‘Encoders Pack’. although for AAC you will need to do additional stuff to get the Apple AAC encoder working in it as it uses QAAC to do the conversion but I won’t mention this for now as I would just use Opus if possible and if not then I would go with the Apple AAC route as MP3 is simply outdated as unless you must use MP3, I would avoid it simply because it needs noticeably more bit rate to achieve a similar level of quality.

but if your just trying to backup your current data, I would probably just store them on a hard drive as hard drives are cheap enough to where you can make at least two different copies in total on two different hard drives. that should give a person decent protection against data loss. but for any of that can’t afford to lose data, I suggest the two hard drives method along with at least one copy on say Verbatim media and you should be good.

hey, haven’t been here several years and ths question is one of my concerns 2.
have a plextor PX-88OU and has been gr8, until upgraded to win-7 PRO refurb laptop just wouldnt work; though now have decent lenovo refurb laptop win-10, and the best keyboard ever (though havent tried if the plextor can still work, or have drives avail, instead have wasted hours w/ learning win-10 and adjustments just to get to work basic stuff).
always have found good source of info here at ths site (yes, am cd freak), and have obtained more new cds and dvds that are not avail download/stream format, and been just playing the cds in truck (tired of truck as ampitheater, until find cd/dvd player writer that works w/ the new computers and OS), ths should be fun.

didnt know that mp3 is outdated now and other formats avail for copy to usb/thumb-drives/ or hard-drives (eg, FLAC, lossy format AAC/mp3/Opus, Foobar 2000, the Apple AAC encoder sounds tricky but should checkout, though i prefer simple), good input, thanks for the info.
happy to hear there are good options avail to help catch-up to newer technology and equipment

Personally I use external hard disks for archiving content. I’ve my main backup on my external 8TB HDD and a second backup either on “the cloud” or old bare HDDs. I have various 1TB to 3TB hard disks from former PCs that are still in good condition. With a HDD dock, I can drop in a HDD, copy files to/from it, much like popping in a CD, DVD, Zip disk, etc. For storage, I use HDD storage cases for the bare HDDs. So in the worst case scenario that both my PC HDD and external drive fails, I’ve another copy.

For backing up music, I would opt for two USB HDDs. They don’t cost much and there’s far less hassle than burning 100 or so discs. Fill the first HDD with all the music that you would like to backup and check that everything is laid out as you’d like. Then plug in the second HDD and copy & paste everything from one disk to the other before heading to work or bed. When you return, the second backup should be complete.

For CDs and Vinyl records that you have not ripped yet or would like to rip with better audio quality, rip them with the FLAC codec, regardless of the codec your devices support. FLAC is a lossless encoding and despite the larger file size, you’ll still be able to fit around 30,000 x 4 minute FLAC encoded songs on a 1TB HDD . Use an audio-converter like fre:ac to batch-convert the songs that you would like to take with. This is what I do.

As for what codecs sound better, personally I would choose OPUS at 128kbps (I’d struggle to tell apart from the original) such as for a smartphone or MP3 at 192kbps (I’d need a fairly quiet environment to tell apart) for other equipment such as car stereos that only play MP3 files.

While FLAC itself is a lossless compression, unfortunately nearly all modern music is heavily compressed with a process known as Dynamic Range Compression. This is where the loudness of the audio tracks is raised, so the songs sound as loud as possible. This is very obvious if you try comparing a modern song from a digital source against an older song or even a recording from a vinyl record which cannot handle dynamic range compression, so is mastered differently:


On the left (Rudimental - These Days), the drum beat is clearly there when you listen to the song, but difficult to make out in the waveform. On the right (Matthew Wilder - Break My Stride), the beat spike is clearly visible in the waveform as there’s plenty of headroom unlike the left. So when I turn the speakers up to get the equivalent loudness to the left song, but the drum beat has a good lively kick to it. Encoding the left to FLAC will not undo the mess the dynamic range compression did.

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Optical media still makes sense in various ways.
All those believing in flashdrives and streaming only will FAIL miserely sooner or later.


Personally, I don´t trust USB flash drives, because I have experience since 2004 with it. Crashed filesystem, defect memory/controller, no matter which brand.

I can understand if someone with lots TBs of data wont use optical media, but I´m not sure if someone really have really some TBs of IMPORTANT data :wink:

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In the past, the only stuff I ever really archived are important documents and some photos.

Eventually I found it was easier to just print out the important documents on paper, and print out the relevant photos on better quality paper.

(I rather not have stuff like this floating around in digital form).

What I did was to purchase two mechanical hard drives and configure them as a Raid 1 array in my main computer. Next I created two folders called My Music and My Movies. Then in the My Music folder I created sub-folders A-Z. I ripped all of my music CDs and placed the MP3s in alphabetical order by the artists last name. There are a couple of reasons for my doing this; 1) A Raid 1 array provides some assurance that my music will still be there and functioning years from now. Plus when I take a trip I simply copy several albums and write them onto a flash drive that will play in my car (I format the flash drive as FAT32), 2) The arrangement provides me with a backup of sorts for my music so if the original disc becomes damaged or scratched I still have my music, and 3) My music is very well organized making it very easy for me to find songs I want to listen to. Just for overkill I copy my music and movie libraries onto a USB external hard disk which has worked very well for me. I guess, to answer your question, it depends on how important your music is to you.

A Raid 1 is no backup.

A crypt trojan will destroy all data

A PSU-failure/thunderbolt also

Everyone has their own approach to how “important” their music is to themselves. :slight_smile:

Back in the day when I was younger, anything musical that was important enough to me, I would transcribe the song on the guitar and play it over and over again to see how close I was able to replicate it on the guitar (or piano).

Hi All
Many Thanks for All your answers–Appreciated.
Sorry for the long delay in answering you all.

Shortly after asking you my Question I was unfortunate in having the “GANDCRAB-RANSOMEWARE” Was NO cure for version 5.0.4—There is now. Unfortunately It migrated from my SSD C: drive to my 4 other internals + my NAS box. I did not open any of the Ransome notes, if I had done so I would have had to format a lot of drives… Had to delete 5 folders of a ton of MP3s and Photos and Docs. Ended up doing a Full format and a Shred on my C: drive. Saved the other hard drives, but as stated I lost a lot of folders and a lot of my saved programs would not work. Back up n running now for a month.
Good job my External HDD of my Photography was not turned on. Phew!

I think I will buy a 4TB Toshiba hdd and copy the music to it. Will keep me busy. OR use some of my Old External 400Gb & 500GB hdd to put them on. Got 4 empty ones to do that.
CHEERS All. Take Care.

I backup all my FLAC files onto BD-Rs. The only secure way. I know exactly what I am talking about. Have lost data on HDDs many times by just “tidying them up”… Will not even mention flash drives since that technology has nothing to do with backing up.

Hi tommik—I don’t use BD-Rs and do not plan to do so. I bought a 4TB HDD instead. Sorry for long delay in answering you. Thanks for replying to me–Appreciated.

GOSH! Was it January that I asked this question.?? Did not realize that it’s been that long since I asked my question then did not come back until today…So Sorry Folks. Old age crept up on me quite fast. lol

I backed up to my new 4tb external HDD, and to my NAS and another HDD. MP3 is good enough for me at my age (72) and my car plays mp3. I not yet checked my old CDRs or DVDs to see if they still work. Must do that soon. Will take me months lol. I just emptied a cupboard and found half dozen CDR/DVDR Writers in a box. The Older IDE. So I just might put them into one of my older PCs standing in corner of room doing nothing and see what I can do with them. Or take to Car Boot sale. :slight_smile: Cheers Folks n Take Care.

I usually avoid anything MP3 due to lack of efficiency as I tend to prefer lossy codecs like this…

1)Opus v1.3.1 (this is simply the best lossy encoder simply because it takes less bit rate to achieve a certain audio quality. in fact, the Opus developer says that Opus only needs about 60% of the bit rate to achieve similar sound quality to MP3. so for example… Opus v1.3 @ 80kbps would be similar in sound quality to LAME v5 (130kbps). I tend to prefer Opus @ 96kbps since I feel that’s the sweet spot of file size/sound quality. but with any decent encoder you probably won’t need more than about 128kbps or so and I don’t even mind Opus @ 64kbps. hell, even 32kbps and 48kbps sound respectable given the very low bit rate. although I generally suggest going with 96kbps as a default, 64kbps as a minimum, and 128kbps as a max. even those who a are a bit paranoid about sound quality won’t really need to use beyond 160kbps (or 192kbps MAX) because at that point sound quality gains are next to nothing beyond about 160kbps and efficiency is pretty much shot. but since the whole point of lossy encoders is keeping file size minimal with getting sound quality as good, or nearly as good, as the lossless source beyond 128kbps efficiency starts to take a solid hit although I think Opus is pretty much at it’s all around peak efficiency/sound quality combo at about 96kbps.)

2)Apple AAC (I make these with Foobar2000. you can’t do this by default as with the Encoders Pack installed you can make Opus or MP3 but not Apple AAC but you can get around that by extracting the following file to your ‘foobar2000/encoders’ folder… (this is from March 2018 but it won’t matter since in terms of AAC audio quality improvements there has probably not been any in about 10 years now. with Apple AAC… I suggest either the TVBR q45 (96kbps) setting or TVBR q64 (128kbps))

3)MP3 (I would only uses this if the two above (i.e. Opus/Apple AAC) are not a option, which should be slim with today’s devices, since this tends to be the weakest of the three encoders I listed simply due to it needs noticeably higher bit rates to achieve a certain level of quality, with this I suggest at least LAME v5 (130kbps) minimum although you might even need as high as around LAME v2 (190kbps))

I make my own lossy files (i.e. Opus/AAC) from the lossless source (i.e. FLAC) with Foobar2000’s convert option with it’s Encoders Pack installed which gives you all of the newest stuff besides the Apple AAC encoder (which you can get from the link above as you won’t even need any of the iTunes junk installed to make your own Apple AAC files. in fact, those files in the link above are basically extracted out of the iTunes installer just so Foobar2000 can use it with it’s qaac.exe file which is how it makes the Apple AAC files but without any iTunes etc junk installed on your system).

but since since the OP is 72 years old… I won’t be surprised if even 32kbps Opus files sound pretty good for him and I doubt someone like him would need more than 64kbps as even for someone who’s a bit younger will still find that setting not much worse than 96kbps and the 96kbps setting should please most people straight up.

with that said… in terms of general storage of non-critical data, burning DVD’s has become pretty much obsolete because of cost/convenience reasons as it costs less for much more storage on a hard drive and it takes much less time transferring large amount of data on hard drives vs burning DVD’s and the like. I still burn some DVD’s occasionally for higher importance data backup though like family photos and videos, but short of that I just use a two hard drive combo (preferably one external which further helps prevent against data loss from say a potential virus etc) which should make me safe enough (as in gives a person a reasonable level of safety) from data loss.