The "best" media for long term music conservation

Buy digitally in any lossless format, backup to LTO

To be fair, i actually want to do exactly that. Not for an entire spotify’s worth of Music, but for the stuff i actually care for.
It’s why my wife has an entire shelf full of Mangas. And i am working towards a wall of CD’s. It’s just an entirely different experience to go into the living room and stand in front of your CD Shelf and pick a physical CD you want to listen to. It’s a much more deliberate process over throwing on a spotify playlist or such.

I wouldn’t want to do that for my listening in my Car or such. But at home, i feel that many people have lost appreciation for music because that deliberate choice and the slight “hassle” of switching artists or Albums is missing.
But yeah, that’s just me and i can see why a “normal” person wouldn’t want to deal with that when iTunes or Spotify exists.

I just wanted to make sure, that i’m buying the “correct” physical medium now, rather than investing a lot in Vinyl that wouldn’t work anymore in 10 years, or CD’s that detiriorate quickly.
Seems CD is the most sensible choice then. Now on to finding a decent CD Player for my HiFi Rig :wink:

Why would i? Since i don’t want to back up for 100s of years, Tapes only have downsides over HDD’s. It’s expensive, slow to retrieve individual files and the amount of storage needed is miniscule in a backup sense.
Offline HDD’s should probably last long enough to not be a Problem. Plus, the Music lives on my NAS and what ever device it’s currently played on.

Tape has no downsides for backups other than rewritability. Its purpose is archival, which is what it sounds like you want. You need offline backups and a NAS is not that. Hard drives and flash can also experience offline corruption, which is not an issue that tape suffers from.

In OP i specifically said i’m not looking for archival but more like conservation. It’s about having a medium that can 1. last 50 years and 2. be used every now and then.
I’m not to worried about the digital files. 1. they exist in multiple Places now 2. they can be re-ripped from the other media i’m talking about here (CD, Vinyl, Cassettes) and is in general re-obtainable.

It’s not about my fear of loosing it all. I just want to have something to show to my grand children when spotify or Apple go down. No idea if i’ll ever need it, but i remember fondly how my parents had some vinyls left from when they where teens. My first musical memory is me playing Van Halens 1984 (Jump specifically) for days on end when i was 5 or 6.
I fear that my children will never experience this explorative approach to music and want to prepare a little for that with the music i love now.

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Digitally wise just an open source media format would work I would hope.

It hard to say open source will be fine forever now in a world where MS will be on OS in 10 years. Id bet money on it.

Governments seem to hate encryption now and my SPIDEY SENSE is open source is on governments radar to ban people but allow business’s

How that could work is beyond me but Australia does not follow maths and the EU has some rules. England likes to break the laws of reality for porn too.

LTO spec is about 30 years, if you’re looking for something not digital, you could just get CDs rip them, and burn new ones before they go. Optical media tends to last a long while as long as the discs used are high quality. Assuming low quality, it may make sense to burn new discs after awhile.

Yeah, i’m not too worried about digital formats. If opus becomes the hot new stuff and flac goes away, i can always convert my existing files.
In general, i’m pretty convident that there’ll be some sort of lossless format in the future. And as long as that’s the case, i can infinitly convert my media without loosing quality.

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M Disc Blu-rays with the file format as FLAC should be fine if not very overkill.

Personally I buy CD’s and copy them over. Good nuff.

Probs the best way to save media for later is LTO in all honesty. Or an M disc.

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I’m new here, but not new to this idea. I was thinking of ways to archive music and the limited amount of CDs I could afford back in the 1990s. So here’s what I came up with that still pretty much works today (even though I haven’t actively listened to music in a decade or more now :().

Buy the original cd and rip the original in wav format. Do this twice and compare the results to make sure every bit is coming off correctly. Save the wavs to a Mitsui Gold (now MAM-A) archive grade CDR. Scan all the album artwork at 600dpi full color and put away the original. Make a duplicate of the CD to a Mitsui if I want to regularly listen to the album. I never compressed the wavs because space vs loss of quality is no longer an issue. Back in the day 700mb was a lot, but today it’s nothing.

I have albums that are now 10-20 years old that are as good as new and would be a real representation of what it was like to buy an album back in the day before digital formats, which is I think the goal you’re after. :slight_smile:

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Well put! Compression is largely pointless and a waste of time … space either local or cloud is so cheap, why bother.

Would deffinitely ‘compress’ them to flac though. Wav has cr4ppy metadata support and if anything I care more to backup my tags than I would the music, since the music I can get again the same way I got it in the first place.


That would make sense if I was trying to organize them using wav, but I’m not. In fact, the file names are literally 01.wav, 02.wav, etc.

100% in agreement with Maximal.

Compression !== Lossy compression

FLAC is lossless, but still supports compression. Both CPU and disk are cheap, but why use more when you can use less? You’ll only do it once and then never think about it again. I see no harm in saving disk space.

FLAC has wonderful metadata support, Wav doesn’t. That can be useful for… certain use cases… but FLAC just lends to a more organized collection.

And on that note, highly recommend MusicBrainz Picard for organization.

Do this twice and compare the results to make sure every bit is coming off correctly.

EAC and cdparanoia will do this for you, even comparing the hashes to external datasources.

Not the filesnames, I don’t care about those either. But all the rest like

  • album
  • title
  • genre (including adding genres I made up to organise them in addition to the real genres, there is not many of them, mostly something like Christmas)
  • year of release
  • artwork
  • cd number, track number, total tracks, total cds
  • I put album into songs that are not part of an album too, because otherwise some music players album view gets kinda messed up visually and android does not save artworks for songs without an album and phonograph puts the full path to the file in place of the album witch puts me off, so I just put “Song TItle - Single” for tracks that don’t have an album

My files are orginased in a nonsence way too. But they make total sence once I put them into any music player.

Most of the work does not come from aquiering the music. But from managing it.

That is pretty good. Been using it too for quite some time. Although, I just now started to trust jriver a bit more on this and actually do it in there. More convinient to be able to change stuff while you are listening to them. Double/Tripple checked that it actually puts the tags into the file.

Javascript/php guy there? :joy: Something like that.

I’m fluent in pseudocode. :stuck_out_tongue:

Back when I started doing this, FLAC didn’t even exist. Nor EAC. In fact, most drives couldn’t even correctly or natively even rip waves except Plextor drives. That’s actually why EAC was created. Yes, I’m official old. :rofl:

And it would take a Pentium 133 about 8 hours to encode an album to mp3, which is what I did so I could put songs on my Treo 650 to pay through my cassette adapter in the car. :joy: True story!

I actually developed an automatic, load-balancing, N-scalable mp3 encoding batch file so when using multiple computers in tandem, I was encoding in about 2:1 real-time, which was a real feat back then in the 486 and Pentium eras. The batch file would probably work well even today except it wouldn’t help since systems are so fast today. But the same algorithm can probably be used for ripping and converting 4k videos. Basically you just put all the source media on a shared drive and have all the commands in a batch file for using a converter like l3enc or ffmpeg. You make sure the destination file is specified in each command and then precede the command with an ‘if not exist DEST_FILENAME’ so each command will only run if the file is not already being worked on. Then you just connect to the share from as many systems as you can and run the batch file. Each system will only work on what is not already being worked on and will load balance automatically based on what is still left to do. :sunglasses: I was pretty proud of this little bit of scripting.

The other reason not to covert is simply compatibility. Waves are playable on almost any platform today and even of yesterday (even dos could play them), so the likelihood of unplayability becomes reduced.

As far as organization, I still remember when a winamp playlist was simply the path to each file. And this made it pretty easy to organize if you wanted to by simply naming directories. I always listened to my albums to the point I knew each song by number, so names never bothered me.

Managing the data has become the modern day work. Converting content is a lot more trivial now.