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Need Advice On An External BackUp Plan for FLAC Files
Leavenfish
post Jan 11 2010, 05:30
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My first post, so be gentle – I am so-so literate about computers but will get lost in more heavy details. Using the search option, I have poured over the forum for the past 24 hrs trying to get pointers to help me create a back up drive for my CD music collection which I want to save as FLAC files…and well, I am getting confused so let me just ask for help. Here is my situation:

I have an 8 yr old Dell Laptop – Inspiron 8200- with a 60GB HD. 46BG are used. USB 1 (I guess USB 2 did not exist back then).

GOAL: I have 300 or more CD’s and would like to burn those directly onto an external HD - not rip an album to my Laptops HD, then export to the External HD - that should take more than twice the amount of time needed since I would constantly have to delete the FLAC album files from my puny laptop HD. I will probably store them in single album folders to make it easy to move specific content to a PMP. I am not tied to that idea though.

PURPOSE: To be able to pull the FLAC files from the external HD directly onto a Portable Music Player and album at a time or individual songs from different albums. Currently, I have a 2GB Samsung P5 (can only hold 20 or so FLAC files at a time, the sound is really nice, believe it or not) but will be getting (probably) the Corwon S9 32 GB before long.

I will get a new Laptop later this year with a 500 GB HD, but would like to get started storing my music now, perhaps then I can use the external HD as a simple back up for the FLAC files, importing maybe half of the music on the new computer.
My girlfriend bought me a 320 GB Western Digital Passport Essential. I am returning it after having trouble disabling the infernal ‘WD Sync’ – even following instructions on the WD website, I continue to loose data…and/or now when I send albums to it, they apparently go there…but disappear. If I try again, I can’t use the same Artist-Album convention as it says the file already exist…but I can’t find it. One great big headache. The ‘Sync’ idea is not for me, I just want an external storage place. BTW I am using the free Express Rip from NCH software for this...works great when I rip straight from CD to my laptops HD.

SUGGESTIONS?
Does anyone have an idea of how I can better go about this or does this look like a reasonable plan?
Can anyone recommend a 500 GB (that should be enough, but 1T is affordable) external HD that would be ideal for this? I am really soured on the WD at the moment. I've been eyeing either a Seagate Freeagent Go or an Iomega eGo - PC World Mag 02/2010 gives the mac version their top honor for Top Portable Hard Drives. Just started searching so neither may be what I need.

I have seen a lot of people here willing to share their experiences so I am hoping some of you will continue to do this - even if you have not had the issues I am beset with but just have some good advice to share. It will be appreciated.

---Leavenfish
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A_Man_Eating_Duc...
post Jan 11 2010, 07:39
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Having only one copy of your FLAC's does not mean that it is a backup, all you need to do is drop you external HD and it's all toast.


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Soap
post Jan 11 2010, 11:55
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QUOTE (A_Man_Eating_Duck @ Jan 11 2010, 02:39) *
Having only one copy of your FLAC's does not mean that it is a backup, all you need to do is drop you external HD and it's all toast.

It is a backup of the CDs. wink.gif


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twostar
post Jan 11 2010, 13:29
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QUOTE (Leavenfish @ Jan 11 2010, 12:30) *
BTW I am using the free Express Rip from NCH software for this...works great when I rip straight from CD to my laptops HD.

Ditch this and use EAC or dbpoweramp.

This post has been edited by twostar: Jan 11 2010, 13:30
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fatfassbinder
post Jan 11 2010, 13:30
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As an external hard drive, I recommend Seagate Expansions 500GB External Desktop USB 2.0 Hard Drive. It works wonders. And reading user reviews on Amazon, it's better than it's competition, in terms of user experiences.

I think EAC maybe able to rip directly onto your external hard drive, but you'll have to wait for someone else to respond on this particular point. Might I just add, I highly recommend you using EAC (Exact Audio Converter) for ripping cd's to FLAC, and I'm sure everyone else here will say the same thing.

If you 'just' want and MP3 player, I highly recommend the Sansa Clip, since it's memory is also expandable with a microSD card. If you also want video on it, there's Sansa View. I think though I'm not sure, that putting music on to any Sansa music player is very straight forward.
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Leavenfish
post Jan 12 2010, 04:45
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QUOTE (fatfassbinder @ Jan 11 2010, 06:30) *
As an external hard drive, I recommend Seagate Expansions 500GB External Desktop USB 2.0 Hard Drive. It works wonders. And reading user reviews on Amazon, it's better than it's competition, in terms of user experiences.


Funny you should mention that - I was looking at this very drive at Best Buy today after work. Simply drag and drop, no syncing to worry about. I do wonder as well if one can rip directly to the drive. Given my laptops small HD, that's terribly important.
If it can do this, I would be perfectly happy using EAC to rip CD's to FLAC.

The Seagate Expanion...I started checking reviews when I got in and immediately found a boatload of comments about that 'clicking' and how many give up the ghost rather surprized me. That does worry me. I won't be moving it though...it would stay in one place on my desk.

Regarding the Sansa View, that is also something I have considered - for its expansion possibilities. I believe the Corwon does as well - a lot pricier though.

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saratoga
post Jan 12 2010, 05:50
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QUOTE (Leavenfish @ Jan 11 2010, 22:45) *
QUOTE (fatfassbinder @ Jan 11 2010, 06:30) *
As an external hard drive, I recommend Seagate Expansions 500GB External Desktop USB 2.0 Hard Drive. It works wonders. And reading user reviews on Amazon, it's better than it's competition, in terms of user experiences.


Funny you should mention that - I was looking at this very drive at Best Buy today after work. Simply drag and drop, no syncing to worry about. I do wonder as well if one can rip directly to the drive. Given my laptops small HD, that's terribly important.



You can. Its a hard disk. Thats what they do.

QUOTE (Leavenfish @ Jan 11 2010, 22:45) *
The Seagate Expanion...I started checking reviews when I got in and immediately found a boatload of comments about that 'clicking' and how many give up the ghost rather surprized me. That does worry me. I won't be moving it though...it would stay in one place on my desk.


Reviews of a USB hard disk? Thats like reading reviews of 10 lb weights, wet water, or brown dirt. They're basically all identical except for the capacity. Sort by price, order the cheapest one that doesn't look too ugly for your taste.
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Innuendo_
post Jan 12 2010, 16:16
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I'm going to put forth an idea that is going to sound crazy on the surface. Instead of buying a ready-made external USB hard drive I suggest you buy a regular internal hard drive & then pair it with a good external USB hard drive enclosure of your choosing.

Doing it this way you are going to get a hard drive that generally speaking will have a better warranty. Internal hard drives usually comes with 3 or 5 year warranty. External hard drive enclosures usually only come with a one year warranty. The other benefit to doing it this way is that after-market hard drive enclosures usually have much better ventilation than the enclosures used by hard drive manufacturers & that will help prolong the life of the drive.

If you're handy with a screw driver then you can handle it even with your 'so-so' computer knowledge.
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DonP
post Jan 12 2010, 16:52
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QUOTE (Mike Giacomelli @ Jan 11 2010, 23:50) *
Reviews of a USB hard disk? Thats like reading reviews of 10 lb weights, wet water, or brown dirt. They're basically all identical except for the capacity.


Potential differences, reliability, noise, and whatever you think of the backup software they come with (which you don't have to use), whether it shuts down when idle.

Unless there's some reason you have to use the drive on battery or fit it in a briefcase, get a "desktop" (3.5 inch drive, powered off AC) rather than "portable" (2.5 inch drive, powered from the USB cord). You'll get more space for less money.

This post has been edited by DonP: Jan 12 2010, 16:54
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pdq
post Jan 12 2010, 17:06
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QUOTE (Innuendo_ @ Jan 12 2010, 11:16) *
I'm going to put forth an idea that is going to sound crazy on the surface. Instead of buying a ready-made external USB hard drive I suggest you buy a regular internal hard drive & then pair it with a good external USB hard drive enclosure of your choosing.

You could also get a hard drive dock, which is like an enclosure without the enclosure part. That way you don't have to worry about air circulation, and you can swap drives in seconds without any tools.
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trout
post Jan 12 2010, 18:25
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I also suggest a drive enclosure or dock, and bare OEM drives.
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Leavenfish
post Jan 13 2010, 05:20
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Thanks for all the good advice. One thing I was also wondering about - and this may really sound stupid: will the fact that all these drives are USB2 and my old laptop is a first gen USB make any difference other than the slower transfer speed?

I say that because when I was directly ripping to the WD Passport Essential, I would notice that after sending the the FLAC file from the external drive to the portable music player software displayed on my laptop...there would be skipping and a little crackling at times when I later played back the FLAC file on the PMP. When I ripped to the laptop, then tranfered to the external HD and then sent the FLAC files to the PMP, I never had that happen.
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Glenn Gundlach
post Jan 13 2010, 06:19
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QUOTE (Leavenfish @ Jan 12 2010, 20:20) *
Thanks for all the good advice. One thing I was also wondering about - and this may really sound stupid: will the fact that all these drives are USB2 and my old laptop is a first gen USB make any difference other than the slower transfer speed?

I say that because when I was directly ripping to the WD Passport Essential, I would notice that after sending the the FLAC file from the external drive to the portable music player software displayed on my laptop...there would be skipping and a little crackling at times when I later played back the FLAC file on the PMP. When I ripped to the laptop, then tranfered to the external HD and then sent the FLAC files to the PMP, I never had that happen.


A resounding yes as to speed. You will be shocked at the difference in speed. My USB 2 drives can move around 1.25 GB per minute and this is a 'real world' usage, not prediction. YMMV. The 2.0 rating is 480 Mbits / sec or 60 Mbytes / sec . USB 1 is 1.5 Mbyte/ second or 40 times slower.

I always rip to the internal hard drive and move to USB backup later but all our machines have 1.5TB drives and there is still a lot of empty space though HDTV chews through 3-7 GB / hour. I haven't ripped to a USB 2 drive but I wouldn't expect any problems as they have no issue playing back 2 MB / second for TV and you're asking less than a tenth of that for audio files (.WAV uncompressed)

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maggior
post Jan 13 2010, 18:41
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QUOTE (Leavenfish @ Jan 13 2010, 00:20) *
Thanks for all the good advice. One thing I was also wondering about - and this may really sound stupid: will the fact that all these drives are USB2 and my old laptop is a first gen USB make any difference other than the slower transfer speed?


Wow, you must have a really old laptop there! The only system I have that has USB 1 ports in it is 9 years old!

This will be a limiting factor as you have found. If you laptop has a PCMCIA slot (which it likely will), you might consider something like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...4-011-_-Product

For relatively little money, it will give you 2 USB 2.0 ports.

On both my older laptop (5 years old) and my new one (1 year old), I have ripped from a USB DVD/CD drive directly to a USB hard drive with no issues of droppouts or anything else. It's always worked like a charm for me. However I have always used USB 2.0 ports. I've done this with both EAC and dbPowerAmp.

This post has been edited by maggior: Jan 13 2010, 18:42
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A_Man_Eating_Duc...
post Jan 13 2010, 19:36
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QUOTE (Soap @ Jan 11 2010, 23:55) *
QUOTE (A_Man_Eating_Duck @ Jan 11 2010, 02:39) *
Having only one copy of your FLAC's does not mean that it is a backup, all you need to do is drop you external HD and it's all toast.
It is a backup of the CDs. wink.gif

True, but would you want to rerip all 300 cd's again because a hard drive died?


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Teknojnky
post Jan 13 2010, 20:46
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I used to use an i8200 and it should have a firewire connection, I would recommend to make sure whatever way you go that you have a firewire capable device.

The only other option you may have is to use a usb2 or esata pc card as suggested previously, but that would cost more and then you have to deal with various dongles hanging off your laptop.



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viktor
post Jan 13 2010, 23:35
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you can't do serious tasks with a laptop. seriously. especially when it comes to storage. buy a cheap PC with 2 WD HDDs (SATA2 at least), one in a mobile rack, and you can sync it every few weeks. besides syncing the 2nd HDD can be turned off all the time. and if one HDD fails, you don't have to start it over. i wouldn't recommend RAID since it will spin both HDDs all the time (unlike in the sync option where the 2nd disk gets weared much slower), it uses more power and generates more noise.

for syncing i recommend deltacopy (windows) or rsync (linux/unix), it' simply marvelous and it's free. don't use crap like synctoy, they will give you only headaches. there may be tricks, but you have to figure them out only once.

for ripping, EAC, dbpoweramp or cdparanoia (unix) is the winner.

USB HDDs are unreliable (i also had one, it died in half a year), they travel (or just simply move) a lot, and USB power can be unreliable too. HDDs are really sensitive, so they (by design) have a shorter expected lifetime. not to mention the really poor performance compared to SATA2/3. with sata2 and 2 separate drives you can get 60-70 MB/s easily with the cheapest setup.

and in a PC you can get a better CD drive for a much lower price. it may be needed for certain problematic CDs.
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greynol
post Jan 13 2010, 23:43
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QUOTE (viktor @ Jan 13 2010, 14:35) *
for ripping, EAC, dbpoweramp or cdparanoia (unix) is the winner.

Winner based on what?


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viktor
post Jan 13 2010, 23:49
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 13 2010, 23:43) *
QUOTE (viktor @ Jan 13 2010, 14:35) *
for ripping, EAC, dbpoweramp or cdparanoia (unix) is the winner.

Winner based on what?


oh yeah, bitch on that simple word. replace it with "my advice", and i hope you'll sleep well then. something's really wrong with this forum.
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greynol
post Jan 13 2010, 23:59
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Naw, it seemed like you had the results from some ripping shoot-out or something. I'm guessing the answer is no.

The fact of the matter is there are a lot more secure rippers available these days than in the past. Besides, the ripper you choose may only make a difference in an extremely small percentage of cases in terms of getting error-free DAE.


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