If I rip all my CD's to flac files do I still need a CD transport?

I'm in the process of ripping all my CDs to .flac files with Exact Audio Copy. If I see a verified rip with no errors, is there any point in considering upgrading my CD player? Would I be better investing is a quality streamer and DAC?


I ripped all my CD’s to FLAC using dbPowerAmp, now they are just decoration on the shelf. I have no CD player. Yes, get good streamer and DAC separates. Don't believe those who say streamers don’t make a difference, they are a critical link to good sound. Also, pay attention to the user interface software offered by the streamer. The best sound in the world is not worth it if the software is lousy. 

First you ask, "do I still need a CD transport" and then you ask, "is there any point in considering upgrading" the transport. Those are two different questions. Even with CDs ripped to a streamer or NAS, I think it’s still convenient to keep a CD player in the system.

I could not manage many, many , thousand books in my past big house with 10,000 albums.... One part were distributed in many rooms and many in the basement... 😁

I begun ripping lossless music files long , long time ago...I Know that 1000 cd are manageable, 10,000 less so... It is a 4 walls content...Add the many, many thousand books it is many rooms..

Luckily after all ripping , then when i sold my big three levels house, i ended in a one floor smaller one, i had no more cd player for a long time...

And i kept 500 fundamental books for the most part already read...... All the others are in files format with 2 ebook-readers... 😊


We grow old, what we own is memories of all of what we had read and listened to ...

There is no collections keeped under our tombstone... 😁

By the way nowadays with basic acoustics knowledge audiophile experience is at our arms lenght at low cost...

I invested in music albums and books all my life not in expansive gear...

I already know that synergy is important but for decades i had no money to buy gear, all goes in music and books... And trust me specialized books are VERY  expansive...

When i learned acoustics by experiments i learn how to create sonic heaven at peanuts costs ... This begun 12 years ago, but i understood really only with EXPERIMENTS 7 years ago more or less...

This is why my system cost speakers+headphone +4 dacs  1 amplifier  = under 1000 bucks and is a top system in the scale S.Q. /price ratio...

Then think again before throwing money on false upgrade... Especially dac... 😊


I have all ripped audio files years ago and haven't used a CD player in about 10 years. I put my resources into the DAC and streamer. Plus the occasional HD as the library grows. Be sure to keep it backed up. 

No, transport no longer required.

Once you have a good streamer and DAC there will be no use for those FLAC files other than backup in case the wifi goes out.


After a couple years I started to get rid of all my CDs as well. 

Thanks for the confirmation. To be sure, I have a CD player. It is a Denon Professional DN-300Z. Handy to have in the system, but seldom used. I doubt it is even entry level audiophile quality.  My focus is vinyl anyway. But I still have quite a few CDs. 

With my focus being vinyl my current streamers are real-time Linux based built for purpose computers. My first DAC is also entry level being the SMSL SU-1. It will probably find its final place in my RV's system. It has been helpful as I enter the streamer/DAC space. I have yet to subscribe to a streaming service, but I have been test driving each one. I'll pick one before the end of they year...

@markcasazza , good for you. You do you, and enjoy the journey. I'm a CD player slut, but I am happy you found a way further down the road than I got, so to speak. Have fun!

I have a innuos zenith mk3 streamer which easily rips any CD in 5 minutes or less. However the sound quality of my Jay's cdt2-mk3 CD transport is definitely superior to it, even so they are both connected to the same dac with high quality cables. Meaning no way I'm parting with the CD transport. Obviously we all have different experiences. Hence no answer given here is ever the answer to it all solution. One must figure it out for their specific system and listening room. 




Some folks need to work on their digital front end. After I ripped my CD's on my Zenith 3 the Transport was sold and I never looked back. 

I ripped my CDs to an Innuos Zenith MKII. My CDs sit on the shelf and will likely stay there. I sold my CD player and haven’t looked back. 


"I've ripped Everything, including my Levi's; should I keep 'X'/'Y'/'Z' ?"

How much closet/attic/basement/garage space, if boxed up proper, can that entail?

Worse case: One CD player, with it's 'enhancements' + one turntable, ditto.

I've stored 2 VCR's & 2 double bay cassettes; still use the Blu-ray player on occasion, 2 turntables ditto, DVR, Wayy too much.....

...and then, there's the 'puters....all 3 of them, with 'varied responsibilities'...

Boxed, fill a small closet....sure.

Speakers?  Whole 'nuther thing.

2X the closet, and be prep'd to slam the door like the 'outta-town NOW' suitcase...*L*

Keep 'em.  Can't be as bad as that... ;)

Well you might do what I did.... I did away with my cd player years ago and gave away all my cds (hundreds) to a friend... which was good for a while. Then as years went by, I bought a Oppo DVD player to watch movies on. Then I read that you can play cds on a DVD player so I stuck an old cd I had laying around into the tray and magic came out of nowhere...... I'm now in the process of buying back the old cds that I gave away years ago. Yea sure what do you need with all those old cds.... would you like me to send you my address?

I also ripped all of my CD's with dbPoweramp after I started streaming.  I held on to my CEC TL-5 transport for another 2 years, just looking at it sitting on the rack.  I finally sold it and moved on.  All of my CD's(about 400) are on a thumb drive inserted into the streamer.  No regrets.  I just haven't been able to just give away the CD's yet, but I'm almost there.  

Maybe I am asking a dumb question, but does this depend on the quality of the CD drive used to rip?

I think that is a great question. My research led me to Exact Audio Copy as the software because it interrogates the CD drive and does not read the data as a CD player would, but rather as a data appliance. The audio CD format does not have much error correction/detection so the app reads each sector multiple times looking for consistent results. It also compares your results with previous users to identify problematic data. 

How to rip your CDs to FLAC | TechRadar

I have a CD player that's been collecting dust for two years after I put all my CD's into a storage system.  Sound wise no difference in my system that's why the CD player hasn't been touched in two years. probably should sell it. 

If ripping and streaming is done right, CD player no longer needed.  EAC should be fine (I tried it early on years ago)  but I ended up with dbpoweramp and can only recommend that one accordingly.   It's a waste of time IMHO to spend the time ripping and then streaming if one ends up going back to CD.   Just do it right and welcome to the 21st century!

10,000 cd albums takes the 4 walls of an average room...

Would you add 10,000 more or rip them all ? My house is a smaller one now...

I ripped them all...

I invested more money in music than in the gear anyway ...😊

I prefer my actual very good low cost system, which is audiophile one believe me, 😊 to a higher costlier one with ten times less music...

I own 100 Chet Baker albums...

I kept 15 versions of Bach art of the fugue... 5 versions of his complete keyboard...

I own rare Indian and Persian music....Streaming this is not possible...

I prefer files format of cd or vinyl....

Many music albums are not even on the market anymore....

I am a music lover first and last  not only an audiophile....

Long ago, when storage was expensive, I ripped everything to AAC to save space. I’m now selectively ripping some CDs to FLAC. But only some.

Probably 85%+ of my CD collection is now available as a high-quality stream on Qobuz. For those, I don’t feel the need to rip them. Only albums that I can’t get on one of the major streaming services wind up on my NAS in FLAC format.

The added benefit of this is, using Roon, I’m much more likely to explore related music based on the metadata, leading me to explore more, as well as learn more about those artists I like.

I ripped my entire CD collection (4000+) to uncompressed FLAC using dBpoweramp. Took me 3 years to do it. I still have my CDs and I have upgraded my transport to a Jay's Audio CD3 MK3. Why?

1. I wanted to be able to make play lists and have my recorded music available for streaming over my home network.
2. I still like to listen to the physical CD and read the booklet. I like the ritual of pawing through my CD collection and finding something that I hadn't heard in a while. I also have a pretty extensive LP collection that I feel the same way about.
3. I'm bumping 70 and some day I may live in a situation where I can't have thousands of CDs and records. A bunch of these titles are not available on Qobuz.
4. I collect audiophile versions of my favorite CDs and I have multiple versions of quite a few titles. I like playing these physical CDs. It makes me happy.

If you don't value the task of searching for and playing a physical CD I'm not sure why you would keep a CD player. I readily admit I'm a dinosaur and my kids are going to have to dispose of a lot of probably worthless CDs when I go to the great listening room in the sky.

I have also ripped over one thousand CDs. I have not gotten rid of any of the CDs, I just never play them anymore. They line my walls and help with acoustic dispersion. Also still serve as backups in case ever needed (footnote: be sure to always keep a backup copy of ripped CDs somewhere...ripping is time consuming and once is enough).

As time goes on, there will likely be fewer CDs that I feel I have to still own as opposed to just streaming on qobuz or similar.

I also still have a growing record collection.  I ultrasound clean those and play once to convert to digital and add to my flac format music library.    

if/when in a few years time comes to downsize my home,  I will have to make decisions about what to do with all the stuff I've acculumated over the years.   Lucky to have that problem!


If asked my answer would be “Yes- you should always have a transport/player as a fallback”. I don’t know how many discs I own but a large majority of them (what I listen to most often) are ripped as .WAV files onto a playback server. When I buy a new CD it gets ripped and then stored away (99% of the time). The other 1% of the time is when I use a transport to listen to the music prior to deciding which discs to rip. An example being when you purchase a large box set. Two weeks ago I purchased two sets which combined contained close to 90 discs. This is a case where I want to listen to each disc first prior to deciding which to rip.

I stream a lot of music as well- helps me decide what to purchase on disc beforehand. But if internet service goes down a streamer is worthless. The server will still work via Wi-Fi but if it has an issue I can always play the disc. CD’s are cheap and compared to what you make selling them their not really worth getting rid of (unless space/clutter is the issue). 
Keep your player and your discs!

What happens when your hard drive chashes?  If you have the Cds, you can still recover the music. Do you have a storage space problem. I put my CDs on hard drives, but I still keep the media - just in case.

What happens when your hard drive chashes?

That's what backups and restores are for.   ITs' important to not overlook that because eventually every hard drive will fail.  Keeping the CDs is another safeguard but ripping thousands a second time is not a desired use of time.  So unless you want to be forced to go back to a CD player at some point,   have that backup and restore solution in place.  OR at that point punt and go mostly with streaming from services like qobuz, etc.



I had 2 hard drive of 5GB  ... One conected all the time...

The other is a safe...

What happens when your hard drive chashes?  If you have the Cds, you can still recover the music.

I have 3 copies of my music library, one master and then two backups. It is super simple and cheap to backup a music library. In fact it is orders of magnitude easier than saving CDs and then potentially re-ripping the audio files.

Yes all HDs fail eventually. One thing that helps a lot is to NOT keep your music library files on your boot drive. If your library HD is on a separate disk (or NAS  drive etc) it is MUCH less likely to crash and burn. That outcome almost always goes to the boot drive. 



All of my CDs, about 1k, have been ripped to FLAC files, and reside on my server. I stream Tidal, but mostly listen to my CDs and I still buy CDs. I have  a Cambridge CXC transport, but it doesn't see much action. As of now, I have no plans on getting rid of NY CDs.

@markcasazza , Get a high quality drive such as the Pioneer BDR-S13U-X and install it in your PC for ripping CDs. Don't skimp on the quality of the drive. 


Rip CDs, put files in NAS and sell CDs to fund other hifi purchases!!

(You need a good SACD player though if you have a significant collection of SACDs, of course...) 


I have not used a Streamer or been demo'd one in use in own my System, but have used my owned CDT>DAC Source in Systems that have Vinyl, CD and a Streamed Source.  

I have come to viewpoint based on my limited experiences of all the above Sources, that the Streamer as a device is excellent, especially for the user interface and the opportunities to be able to experience musical encounters of various types of genre at the touch of button.

In these limited experiences of a Streamer Device being used in a system that I am familiar with.

The Streamer Experiences that are much lesser in number than any other Sources encountered and experienced in use, have resulted in a outcome that  I am yet to discover a Streamer Device that impresses sonically in the same way a Vinyl or CD Source can. 

I would suggest the OP keeps their CD Collection, there might be a time arrive, where a different CD Source is tried out.

A discovery that is made, could be the sonic offered from the use of a CD Source, has made the bigger impression and is proving to be the one that has the most attraction. 

+1, @designsfx

Don’t give up on CD’s if you own a decent CD player. I made a great choice of buying Aurender ACS100 few years back. I still buy CD’s, rips them for easy access or play them on my ‘tube’ CD player when mood strikes. The ACS100 has expandable storage, superb file management app that allows you to manage the library of your rips, edit metadata, album art all from the iPad. Not to mention, a very capable streamer with a robust app.


Any optical drive that rips 100% with Exact Audio Copy is the same as any other one. You don't need a fancy drive as long as you are getting good rips as EAC reports.

Try Roon as the front end software...also happens to stream Tidal and Qobuz.  You can use a PC/Mac as a front end and server and stream to a streamer or raspberry pi (or another PC, but might not sound as good if the PC is a busy one).  

Don't fall for the need to buy fancy digital reproduction gear until you learn about digital audio yourself.  There are a lot of spend-a-lot belief systems out there that aren't backed up by science or engineering. I do believe in good DACs and I suggest that the streamer should be separate from the DAC (most likely connected via USB or SPDIF) so that you can have separate upgrade paths for them. 

Oh, and BTW, keep the transport.  You can hook that up to your DAC too. 10 years from now you'll have some nostalgia with it. 

“Any optical drive that rips 100% with Exact Audio Copy is the same as any other one. You don't need a fancy drive as long as you are getting good rips as EAC reports.”


It appears you have some experience in ripping CD’s. Would you be kind enough to lay out for OP what all he needs to rip his CD’s and storage (NAS) solution? 

Rip CDs, put files in NAS and sell CDs to fund other hifi purchases!!

This is copyright infringement by the way. If you sell the CD you’re selling your right to the copyright.

Anyway, EAC is a great piece of software. Configuration is complex but it sounds like the OP already has that done. Be sure to get the metadata right...programs like Roon rely heavily on certain conventions to identify albums and present them correctly.

I have also used Foobar2000 to rip which is easier to use and faster than EAC but doesn’t have as robust methods of digging data out of difficult disks. EAC will work on a disk for 24 hours if it has to. DBPowerAmp is also an excellent tool for all of this.

Roon is a great front end that also streams from Tidal and Qobuz, and treats those services the same as your library...you can mix streaming and local tracks in the same playlists, etc. You need at least one computer and are best off with at least a second "endpoint" that the music is streamed to.

In terms of storage, a NAS is great. For a long time I built my own UNRAID servers but that is somewhat complex. But be sure to have more than just redundancy in the NAS in terms of backup. A RAID array of any sort is for availability, not backup. You’ll want another solution, preferably off-site or in the cloud, to store your hard work as you won’t want to rip your CDs twice.

Right now what I have is a basic Windows 10 machine using StableBit to create a virtual RAID array out of standard NTFS drives. This way I get redundancy but if any drive or any RAID chip fails it doesn’t matter because the data is readable on any PC. It also comes with great tools to manage drive health. Then I have a copy of the music on a drive installed in the Roon server so I have a local backup that is actually what Roon pulls from. Same system at a different lake home so I have at least 4 copies in two states of the music, plus various other large USB external drives that have copies until I need them to move some other data.

My Roon server feeds the data over a wired network to an Auralic Aries that is plugged into a Schiit DAC and a Mytek DAC so that I can compare between a ladder NOS DAC and a Sabre ESS DAC - totally different D2A methdologies.

I just have well constructed cables. I don’t believe in fancy digital cables. Especially not on the network side - it just ain’t how it works.

On the analog side, DACs feed a Balanced Audio Technologies preamp into a variety of power amps - a Krell, a Parasound, a Proceed, a Levinson and into PSB, KEF, or Magnepan speakers (the last are actively biamped).

Sounds nice.


Said well.  I am an old IT pro so I backup and backup again. My flac files are on each real time Linux streamer as well as my NAS which I backup to 2 other NAS devices both of which are remotely located and online. Call me paranoid.

Indeed EAC is a bit fun to configure. I put a link to the article I used to guide my configuration previously in this thread. 

I have no intention to sell my CDs. They are a proof of ownership to the tracks as well as one my level of backup. Not to mention they are handy in the car from time to time.

I do enjoy using a MALP client on my phone and the room filling with sound. I don't even have to get out of my listening chair. But nonetheless, I really get a visceral pleasure from vinyl. I can't explain it, but it still sounds better

We debate the sonic differences between streamers and CDPs, but the bottom line is that one can obtain great results with all of them. The question really is life style. I listen to Classical Music almost exclusively and the software management programs for this genre just don’t cut the mustard. I can go to my CD shelves and find a CD faster than I can locate it in the software programs. I don’t believe that other genres have this issue. The point is that retaining my CDs, and a system to play them with, remains important to me. There are other times I am content to park my rear in my chair and play the same material from the streamer. The other reason I enjoy having the CDs on a NAS is that I can play them from other zones in my home without having to specifically venture upstairs and pull the CD from the shelves


well said! We can debate the sonic differences between digital and analog all day long but the truth of the matter is, both are capable of visceral experience. I have recordings that sounds superb on both formats. I often see folks praising or preferring one format over another don’t quite have the same level of commitment in their respective setups. 

I am in a good spot with my system which allows me to spend time enjoying music and chasing elusive and rare recordings on Vinyl and CD’s that are painstakingly transferred from analog tapes. 


I listen classical , indian and persian etc , half the times, and the other half is less known jazz...

I am not interested in streaming...

Streaming choices is made for occidental masses...

go and look for choices in pygmies chorals choices or gamelan or koto or erhu or sarangi ...

There is more in youtube...


Music first, sound is in second....

And i look more for musicians in any styles more than to a style even in classical; for me all is about interpretation and playing...I listen Furtwangler not classical "per se" ... I listen Mauesberger Schtuz, not Schutz; i listen the children chorus directed by Mauesberger to be precise...

I dont listen folk music more of the time it is boring for me  , i listen Bob Dylan and some others ..


It is why i appreciate many unknowns artists from not well known styles...

Forget styles, listen the playing musician....

Streaming is for genres more than made for music player discoveries...it is my perception ... I never used streaming  and never feel the necessity though then i can be wrong ... Correct me...


All my CDs are in FLAC on a server. The PC drive is sufficient for ripping with 100% integrity.  ( something no transport is capable of as it does not re-read, buffer and use error correction or compare to well known checksums.)   So, not for quality. Now, if you have CDs lying around, friends bring them over etc, then a transport can be handy.   Use case, not quality. 


The PC drive is sufficient for ripping with 100% integrity.  ( something no transport is capable of as it does not re-read, buffer and use error correction or compare to well known checksums.)

You are mistaken. The compact disc standard includes two levels of error correction using Reed-Solomon code. Some transports (such as PSAudio) have extensive buffering and re-read capabilities.

Would I be better investing is a quality streamer and DAC?

I say yes; however, YMMV. I ripped my high quality CDs into my server/streamer and have never looked back at a CD player again, considering I had owned fairly alright CD players like McIntosh MCD 1100, Audio Research CD9, and Meitner MA-2. No regret.