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Switching from hybrid to streaming-only

vco1

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Has anyone here made the switch from a 'hybrid' to a streaming-only setup? I mean, removing their cd- and record players from their rigs and go full on streaming. And streaming could be services (Tidal, Spotify, etc.) or locally (downloads and ripped cd's)?

I am still a fervent cd collector. Have (what I consider) a respectable collection of probably somewhere between 1500 and 2000 cd's. And still buying around 20+ cd's a year (if and when not available otherwise or if it's something special). At the same time I notice that I'm buying more and more downloads (mostly on Bandcamp). When I'm doing, what I call, 'seriously listening', the ratio is anywhere between 60% streaming - 40% cd and 70%-30%. I enjoy the convenience of streaming. And I simply buy more music as download nowadays. My record player has been in storage for over 15 years now. And I never missed it. Even though I still have a few vinyl albums that have never been release digitally. Don't miss the clicks at all. ;-)

Removing the cd player from the rig would be the next step. Did anyone here do that? And if so, what did you do with your cd collection: did you start a huge ripping task? Or was (is) it more incremental? Personally, I know that doing everything in one (very long) go won't be a success. So I'm thinking of ripping cd's "as needed", i.e. whenever I want to listen to a cd for the first time.

Selling my cd collection is not what I intend to do. For that I'm too much of a collector. It's basically about simplifying my setup.

Curious to hear what you did. And what your experiences are.
 

Tangband

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Has anyone here made the switch from a 'hybrid' to a streaming-only setup? I mean, removing their cd- and record players from their rigs and go full on streaming. And streaming could be services (Tidal, Spotify, etc.) or locally (downloads and ripped cd's)?

I am still a fervent cd collector. Have (what I consider) a respectable collection of probably somewhere between 1500 and 2000 cd's. And still buying around 20+ cd's a year (if and when not available otherwise or if it's something special). At the same time I notice that I'm buying more and more downloads (mostly on Bandcamp). When I'm doing, what I call, 'seriously listening', the ratio is anywhere between 60% streaming - 40% cd and 70%-30%. I enjoy the convenience of streaming. And I simply buy more music as download nowadays. My record player has been in storage for over 15 years now. And I never missed it. Even though I still have a few vinyl albums that have never been release digitally. Don't miss the clicks at all. ;-)

Removing the cd player from the rig would be the next step. Did anyone here do that? And if so, what did you do with your cd collection: did you start a huge ripping task? Or was (is) it more incremental? Personally, I know that doing everything in one (very long) go won't be a success. So I'm thinking of ripping cd's "as needed", i.e. whenever I want to listen to a cd for the first time.

Selling my cd collection is not what I intend to do. For that I'm too much of a collector. It's basically about simplifying my setup.

Curious to hear what you did. And what your experiences are.
Yes , I have done that . 1994 I took the decision to ditch the vinyl player ( Linn lp 12 ) and bought a Linn cd - mimik . I sold all my records, and bought Cd:s. During the years after that, I have owned streamers from Squeezebox and Naim . A couple of years ago I bought a Yamaha wxc 50 . All this time I have had a big collection of music om my NAS in Flac . The sound was rather good , I thought.

This summer all of this changed. Apple unlocked its products to play high resolution and lossless. My iPhone 10 suddenly became a highend streamer with Apple Music .
I bought a USB bridge with 0.1 ppm clocks to connect directly to digital input on my Genelec SAM loudspeakers . The sound with Apple Music and the USB bridge took a leap forward. I compared this streamer with an expensive Linn Akurate DS player . They sounded the same. And TIDAL, Flac from my NAS and Apple Music sounded the same.

No need at all to have a NAS with music in flac anymore .

I can find all my music in Apple Music . I dont miss anything.
My Yamaha wxc50 takes care of the tv-sound now, good enough for movies but not as good playing music from NAS compared to Apple Music on my iPhone .
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/iphone-10-as-a-high-end-streamer.25833/
 

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dkinric

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Yes. Streaming only for over 5 years now. Hard to beat the convenience of having a nearly endless catalog all at your fingertips, especially now that lossless is common. Hardwired Raspberry Pi streaming to a Topping DX7PRO, controlled by Roon running on an iPad. Works flawlessly, sounds incredible. CDs sitting in a box in a closet, not touched in years.
Would never go back. A+ would recommend.
 

digitalfrost

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I have never owned a CD player. I always used my PC. First I played CDs through the CD-ROM drive, and then when MP3 happened, I quickly started to rip everything. Nowadays with cheap storage I have all my CDs as FLAC.
 

Leporello

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Has anyone here made the switch from a 'hybrid' to a streaming-only setup? I mean, removing their cd- and record players from their rigs and go full on streaming. And streaming could be services (Tidal, Spotify, etc.) or locally (downloads and ripped cd's)?

I am still a fervent cd collector. Have (what I consider) a respectable collection of probably somewhere between 1500 and 2000 cd's. And still buying around 20+ cd's a year (if and when not available otherwise or if it's something special). At the same time I notice that I'm buying more and more downloads (mostly on Bandcamp). When I'm doing, what I call, 'seriously listening', the ratio is anywhere between 60% streaming - 40% cd and 70%-30%. I enjoy the convenience of streaming. And I simply buy more music as download nowadays. My record player has been in storage for over 15 years now. And I never missed it. Even though I still have a few vinyl albums that have never been release digitally. Don't miss the clicks at all. ;-)

Removing the cd player from the rig would be the next step. Did anyone here do that? And if so, what did you do with your cd collection: did you start a huge ripping task? Or was (is) it more incremental? Personally, I know that doing everything in one (very long) go won't be a success. So I'm thinking of ripping cd's "as needed", i.e. whenever I want to listen to a cd for the first time.

Selling my cd collection is not what I intend to do. For that I'm too much of a collector. It's basically about simplifying my setup.

Curious to hear what you did. And what your experiences are.
I did the switch a couple of years ago. My main source is Spotify Premium, streamed to an old Chromecast Audio -> optical out -> DAC.
As for my personal 1000+ cd collection: I still have the discs but I have ripped them as flac files to hard disk. I then copied the whole bunch to a micro sd card in my android tablet. I am now able to stream them to Cca as well.

Ripping the cds is a mind numbingly boring process. Fortunately for the last 10 - 15 years I had done it immediately after purchasing the cd.

I sometimes miss the "sense of wonder" when cd was a new thing (1985). But I do not think it is enough to make me return to playing physical discs.
 

EdW

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I’ve ripped all my CDs to my NAS. I used dbpoweramp software on my PC to perform the rip to FLAC. This S/W does a checksum on the rip to ensure no errors and helps out with metadata etc. You get a free trial period with the S/W but it’s not expensive to buy. I also use S/W called Asset UPnP on the NAS to organise the files but this is not strictly necessary. With deeper pockets Roon is an option here.
Only thing I miss is the booklets which come with the CD . . .
 

Kal Rubinson

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Has anyone here made the switch from a 'hybrid' to a streaming-only setup? I mean, removing their cd- and record players from their rigs and go full on streaming. And streaming could be services (Tidal, Spotify, etc.) or locally (downloads and ripped cd's)?
Yes, years ago.
Ripped all the CDs to FLAC using dbPowerAmp and a Nimbie USB Plus.
Ripped all the DVDs/DVD-As to FLAC using DVD-Audio Extractor (or others).
Ripped all the SACDs to DSD using PS3 or Oppo 103/105 and SACDExtractGU.
Ripped all the BluRays to FLAC using MkV and XRECODE 3.
Playback is via JRiver or Roon, supplemented with streaming from Qobuz.
All discs now in plastic boxes in the basement.
Only thing I miss is the booklets which come with the CD . . .
Many downloads come with PDFs of their booklets.
 
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LuvTheMusic

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I took the plunge also. To set the stage, my listening is mostly classical music, with occasional jazz and even more occasional old (60's-ish) rock/pop. I gave up on LPs several years ago: although I had a decent turntable (Linn LP-12, Ittok arm, low end MC cartridges), the shortcomings of the medium were all too obvious, and the inconvenience and interruptions to the music involved in turning over LPs interfered with the listening experience. This past year, I got serious about streaming and realized that nearly my entire CD collection (hundreds) -- plus a lot more -- was available on Qobuz at CD or better resolution.

Three major improvements: (1) The selection! For example, just yesterday evening I listened to a new recording of Stravinsky's Firebird. No trip to the store, no waiting for Amazon delivery, and no extra spending. Then, being curious, I quickly compared that version to two others by playing a couple of segments from each. And after that, I felt in the mood for a little jazz before calling it a night. (2) The convenience! All of the above done while sitting in my listening chair and with a few taps on my smartphone. (3) The joy of discovery! Qobuz lists "new releases" every week or so, and I can sample all I want. If I don't like what I hear, I haven't wasted money or (much) time investing in the "wrong" CD or download.

I'm pretty doubtful that even careful comparison would reveal any sonic differences between CD, downloaded files, and streamed files, assuming the same masters. (In the classical world, this doesn't seem to be a major issue. When recordings are remastered, most often the newer one is at least no worse and possibly improved -- and is available for streaming.)

Those old CDs? A friend who doesn't (yet) have streaming because of limited internet access in a rural area took some, and Half Price Books got the rest. I did keep a few because they weren't available on Qobuz (notably Telarc and Hyperion labels) -- but now many of the Telarc hits have shown up on an obscure label using -- I think -- the same masters.

Finally, I should mention that I'm using a component (NAD C 658) that streams natively, which is incredibly convenient. Although the NAD specs are not great, they are "good enough" for now, and I have a planned upgrade in the works.
 
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SJ777

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+1 on dbpoweramp software and removing CD player from my set up. I only had around 500 CDs so not as many as you - it was my "project" during Lockdown 1.

I now use Roon, but like @Kal Rubinson above, I also use Qobuz. I also enjoy a purchasing spree on Bandcamp every now and again! To be honest I don't miss using CDs.
 
OP
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vco1

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Only thing I miss is the booklets which come with the CD . . .
Interestingly, I hardly read these anymore. Most of the times I don't even look at the track titles.

Finally, I should mention that I'm using a component (NAD C 658) that streams natively, which is incredibly convenient. Although the NAD specs are not great, they are "good enough" for now, and I have a planned upgrade in the works.

I looked at something like that too. I'm a bit reluctant though, as (streaming) software tends to change at a much higher pace than the audio 'basics' (amp, DAC).
 

Bombadil

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Yes, only input now is a Node 2i coax out streaming Spotify Premium to Anthem STR preamp(s). That latter is IMHO a superb nerve center for any system, esp those using subs (room correction, bass management, XLR outs for 2 independent sub channels, analog bypass if you want it, other useful features). Choose your amps and your speakers and you're good to go.
 

MarcosCh

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Hi vco,
I have a similar number of CDs and don't want to subscribe to any streaming service (but that's another discussion) so last winter i finally decided to rip my CDs to a NAS before getting rid of the last computer with CDrom in the house. These are my learnings, i hope they help you:
- I used EAC (it is free) to rip the CDs. It was a loooong boring process. Take it easy, it is worth it.
- i ended up with a few dozens of CDs that were copy protected and could not rip: you will recognise these CDs because they don't have the "Compact Disc" logo, and if you bought CDs in the early 00s you will have plenty of those. Your optical unit will be able to rip some but not all. Don't desperate, everything has a solution. I tried every trick i found and the only thing that worked well was to buy a cheap external cdrom unit in amazon. The new reader could rip almost all of the remaining ones, now i only have left Notorious Big born to die, a promo of The Streets and a few more junk, ah, and a external cdrom in a drawer, but I think i can live with the fact that Biggie didn't make it to my NAS.
- you will read many people here saying "sell the cds while you can". Well, that's up to you, but i don't plan to do it. On the contrary to what some people think, selling them will be more work than ripping them and won't result in any significant cash. Cds are worth nothing and i don't see that changing, ever, there are literally too many around. Cds don't need much space and i still enjoy reading the liner notes and looking to the pictutes.
- at first, i found streaming as convenient as lacking something... and i am still there... don't know, maybe it is too easy to skip to a different album... well, you will see, but in any case you won't look back.
- keep your cd reader: i don't have a reason yet for this, but i am sure there is one :D
 

Mansinthe86

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I used to collect Blu-ray movies. DVDs and CDs.
I had somewhere around 1000 blurays and a couple hundred dvds and CDs.

Sold all that clutter and I'm digital only. (Movies, music, books). Don't regret it at all.
 

levimax

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I think most has been covered. A few thoughts

1. If you can get some extra USB CD drives you can rip multiple CD's at a time... goes much faster. Db poweramp is your friend

2. I would rip your CD's, especially of older popular music, as the masterings on older CD's are much more dynamic than the latest remasters, which is all you can get on streaming
 

digitalfrost

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2. I would rip your CD's, especially of older popular music, as the masterings on older CD's are much more dynamic than the latest remasters, which is all you can get on streaming
To add to this, if you're into getting the best release or owning multiple relases of the same album, I would highly encourage you to store the catalognumber from the beginning. I write it into the tags, but it's also included in the folder name so I can find releases easily.
 

LuvTheMusic

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Only thing I miss is the booklets which come with the CD . . .

For those streaming, Qobuz does have the liner notes (they refer to them as "booklets" and the icon is indeed a book) for many releases....but not all. Presumably depends on what the publisher provides.
 

LuvTheMusic

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you will read many people here saying "sell the cds while you can". Well, that's up to you, but i don't plan to do it. On the contrary to what some people think, selling them will be more work than ripping them and won't result in any significant cash. Cds are worth nothing and i don't see that changing, ever, there are literally too many around.

Marcos is right. Given the price for used CDs, on an hourly basis I probably didn't make minimum wage for the time it took to stick the old CDs in boxes and take them to the store....:p

Like acbarn I was happy to get rid of the clutter. The room looks a lot better now without those silly CD racks!
 

Mansinthe86

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When I sold my physical collection of movies I did throw the leftovers away into the plastic collection bin.

Literally dried to give them away for free (eBay fees + shipping fees).

For "rare" CDs , there are plenty of ways to get them as rips.

I have for example multiple versions of every David Bowie cd (rykuo releases, high Res, different remasters, RCA releases).

But most of the time I listen to whatever I want on QOBUZ.

I'm not really into covers and booklets etc but for people that are , there is always audirvana and roon.
 

SJ777

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Sold all that clutter and I'm digital only. (Movies, music, books). Don't regret it at all.
I'm sure that copyright rules vary from country to country, but here in the UK you need to retain ownership of the physical media in order to legally hold a ripped digital copy. Strictly speaking, this applies even if you give the physical media away for free!
 
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