Digital music library: gear notes

I am edging closer to the point where I will start ripping my 1,000+ CD library to hard disk, and I’ve been collecting gear notes as I go. An interesting TidBITS discussion on the use of the AirPort Express with AirTunes to stream music has raised some interesting thoughts and ideas:

  • Stereophile says that the optical out on the AirPort Express “allows the AirPort Express to assume a respectable role in a true high-end audio system.” Of course, to take advantage of this, I’d have to have an amplifier with more than one optical input…so that might have to wait.
  • A reader mentioned that noise was a factor for listening, and recommended a hard drive enclosure from AMSElectronics for low noise and good price. I had previously decided I needed an external drive even if I used a Mac mini as the focus for my digital audio system, based on the small capacity of the 2.5″ drives that can be used in the mini.
  • Also, it appears that 400 GB hard drives are becoming affordable, which is good news.

I also have an advantage of watching Fury’s process and brave blogging of the odder corners of a massive CD collection.

Other notes on having music on both a laptop and an external drive, courtesy of Playlist Magazine: How to shift iTunes libraries.