It had to come. My initial prediction, which said that 275 GB would be enough for my collection, was just a little too smug.
As of today, tracks from The Project, my endeavor to losslessly rip all my CDs to a hard drive, comprise 7746 songs from 569 albums, lasting 24:17:58:02, at a total disk cost of 166.57 GB. Unfortunately, the other tracks in my library—those purchased from eMusic or the iTunes Music Store, or ripped from CDs I no longer possess, or downloaded from other sources—also take up space on the drive. So, at the start of digitizing the other half of my collection, my rock and pop CDs, I only have 70 GB free on the drive—about half what I need.
What went wrong? Well, for one thing, I think I underestimated the number of albums I owned by about 100. (Oops.) For another, I underestimated the number of classical discs that I owned that were actually 2 CDs in length. Each album weighs in, on average, at 0.2927 GB—somewhat fewer than my anticipated 0.297 GB per album. So the biggest contributor to “scope creep” appears to be undercounting the discs I own.
What to do about it? Well, “purchase more space” is certainly an answer, but not the one I want right now. Should have gone RAID to begin with, I’m afraid. So for right now, my answer has been to halt the digitization until I can figure out the best solution to add the additional disc space I need. The other option—to use lossy ripping for the rest of the collection—is one I’m not comfortable with.