Building your music digital music collection

Hello all, just looking for some pointers on how to go about building your own storage library of music which is better than digital streaming (tidal/qobuz). I guess it is the uncompressed wav files or maybe dsd where applicable. From what I understand Flac is compressed. 

I am doing just streaming now, but I think having offline collection and room might be useful. 


Having collected albums then CDs, then ripped files for fifty years and now streaming I can see no reason to be storing music, other than if you like playing with computer files. Ripping and/or buying files was the first couple decades of this century… by and large is over.

FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio CODEC. It is lossless. Qobuz offers more than half a million high resolution titles as well as millions FLAC red book resolution. So streaming can sound better than red book.


I build my library using Conductor (the Aurrender streamer App.) by choosing “add to my library” each time I locate an album I like. I have to admit, I now seldom use it because I spend virtually all of my time exploring new music or just following a whim through the millions of albums available on Qobuz.


I see no reason to store files. If the system that provides our music goes down, we'll have much larger problems.

Yeah, I too question your premise that ripped music will sound better than uncompressed music from the likes of Qobuz and Tidal.  And as @ghdprentice mentioned, and especially with Qobuz, you can get tons of music in hi res in addition to full 16/44.1 CD resolution.  Personally I think building an offline library is a waste of time, but that’s me.

I ripped my cd collection, other wise it’s LPs or stream from Q.

@hilde45 what if Q goes down not the entire inter web? 


Building a music library makes sense if,

1) you own a large enough collection of rare CD’s that are sourced from analog masters and currently not available on Qobuz/Tidal. I own over 500 such albums, majority of them still not available on any streaming services and sounds much superior than streaming counterparts.

2) you plan to buy DSD downloads….do this if your system is high resolution and you can honestly tell apart DSD from Qobuz stream, otherwise Qobuz files in 24bit/192kHz is pretty darn good for most part.

I have hundreds of CDs I ripped and I’ve downloaded many files from Qobuz and HDTracks with the intention of doing just what you are planning.  That quickly lost steam once I started to stream with Qobuz and Tidal.  I now almost exclusively stream from those two services.  There are titles I cannot find on either and I use my local files when I want to hear those.  It’s so easy to go down rabbit holes on either service finding new music and listening for hours.  I particularly like the related artists and albums both services provide.

Rip using uncompressed FLAC, WAV or AIFF format. I use DBpoweramp. 
I would recommend ripping only what isn’t available via streaming services. 
Use SSD drive. HDDs are noisy. Create a backup. 

Ripped CDs sound best when the library/SSD is connected directly to your streamer as opposed to “streaming” this via network. Something to consider. 

I got a modest offline library just to rip CDs that I had already owned and from the library.  Otherwise like others have said: Paying $150 a year to have access to millions of tracks is the only way to go. 

Guess I’m the odd man out. I ripped my CD library (probably 1,000), ripped a few albums that are not available anywhere. I have aurrender n200, I tried Q, but felt my ripped sounded better, plus, I always have music. I use the Aurender for streaming music stations to find new music. Cheaper than Q. And having been in IT for many years, Q will be around for a while, but not forever.

I get the benefits of Q, but not enough benefits for me to pay them for it. But that’s just me and I’m out numbered here!

While I agree with others, I also have ripped a few hundred CDs as FLACs and about 150 SACDs as DSF files. I use Foobar2000 and have configured it to output DSD 512. I like that. I still download albums that I REALLY love and they go to my media library. My setup is using the audio server that I have built myself.

Most people use Roon to stream Tidal and Qobuz. I do not do that, since I use Spotify. Its quality is not as good as Tidal/ Spotify, but it has many albums/songs not available in those 2 services. While I am an audiophile, I prefer to choose music over quality. And as others have said above - rare CDs or albums not available on streaming might be a good reason for you to build your own library.

FLAC isn’t compressed.  So if a commercial service doesn’t fill all your needs then either rip CDs to a hard drive in FLAC or or spin silver discs.  If you are setup for DSD downloads that’s great but that is trickier 

l use Qobuz .   I had yhe album : The Best of Clannad  , In a Lifetime, 2003 version

On day , Qobuz removed this album that I enjoyed a lot. Who ´s next ?


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It is faster to play what I want to listen to from collected files, by genre, artist,  album or track etc.

Unrelated to audio, I rip ALL video because I detest waiting for DVDs and streaming to get to the actual program when I could be immediately watching it with zero wait time.
Audio files are only created and/or edited using a computer, that does not classify them as "computer" files unless one is goofy enough to play them on one, expecting superior SQ. I keep computers turned off and away from my HiFi room.
SSDs ARE HDDs. They are superior to HDD spinners in many aspects including power required.
I have used Lala, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, Amazon HD and Qobuz. I kept Qobuz because I like it best for the price (it is the standard at HiFi shows.)
If you are enamored with HiRez tracks, good luck identifying them blindly. Statistics approach random guessing. Pundits usually refuse the test on BS grounds.
A close view of most tracks on Qobuz shows that they are compromised. There’s a high noise floor between tracks (at least) and spikes at the beginning of most, sometimes in additional places.
I enjoy collecting tracks and remastering my favorites to make them sound better to me.
Content providers dislike ripping because they lose ownership control. Audiophiles often dislike it because of the (albeit one time) "work."
It is a pleasurable hobby for me, not "work."
If you’d rather stream (especially waiting for any video) please enjoy.
Flac sounds good enough for me. The only advantage of wavs is that they require "less" processing power during playback, noticeable on some lightweight systems.
As noted streamers can "lose" content at any time. If you collect it you have total control. Recording them is legal. I started out recording AM on a 3" reel recorder.
"Collecting" tracks is no more than a personal choice.


Still old school here - burning to redbook CD’s and storing the media on my shelves in labelled DVD boxes. I had been downloading files from until they quit accepting USA credit cards and starting offering only bitcoin purchasing. Now I download from Quobuz as .wav files. Allflac had more offerings (which were easy enough to convert from .flac to .wav in JRiver) but Qobuz does pretty well in its offerings though it is much more expensive than Allflac. It is probable that Allflac wasn’t giving much royalty if any back to artists which is what got it in hot water.

I am using Jay’s Audio CDT3 MK3 CD transport which is a beast feeding into a Holo Audio May KTE DAC, feeding into a Primaluna EVO 400 tube pre feeding into a pair of Audion Mk3 monoblocs feeding into Klipsch Cornwall 4’s and Rel subs. The sound seems more than adequate.




I agree with most of your post, but having just Googled the definition of a computer file, you are mistaken there


I believe I wrote classified, not defined.

In any event you are free to take what you want and leave the rest.


I'm still setting up my digital audio chain.  Like many, I have planned to rip my CDs to hard disk in a Roon Nucleus+ by DBpoweramp where I plan to stream via  Qobuz and maybe Tidal also.  My Linn DAC/streamer will be connected directly to the internet.

Are you guys suggesting that I'm wasting my time with this ripping?

I rip CDs daily.  I don't think that I am wasting my time.  It's the eye of the beholder (a Valentine Day sentiment to be sure).

Ripping and/or buying files was the first couple decades of this century… by and large is over.

+1 @ghdprentice 

I see no point in ripping / storing content that is available via streaming (I use Roon with Qobuz). However, I do rip CDs to my NAS when that content is not available online. I have a bunch of obscure titles and CDs I picked up traveling around the world, and it doesn't look like any of that material is available via most streaming services.