CD Ripping, Backup and Remote Access Workflow

I’ve been using Roon for about 6 months and I thought I’d share my workflow as it might help others. First a little background. About 20 years ago I ripped my CDs to digital files. I used the AAC format, FLAC didn’t exist back then or wasn’t popular. It took a long time and sound quiality was good but not the same as CDs. About 7 years ago I had a hard drive failure and lost many of the digital files. At that point streaming was becoming popular and quality was as good as my AAC rips. So I simply moved online. Then CD quality streaming became available. But my biggest grip with online services is music disappears as licensing agreements change. I love how Roon integrates with Tidal. It has allowed me to discover new music and encouraged me to listen to CDs that have been ignored for too long. This got me thinking I really need to rip all my CDs again. This time as FLAC and make sure I don’t lose the files again. Computers are much faster today, disk storage is cheap, redundant online backup is also affordable.

Objectives:
FLAC or hi-res music files stored locally and accessible to Roon
Cost effective offsite backup
Mobile access
Limited maintenace required

Soures:
CD, Tidal

Tools:
Roon (local listening)
Tidal app and CloudBeats app (mobile listening)
dBpoweramp (Ripping)
Hazel (OS X file orginazation/automation app)
Synology NAS (local stoage in a RAID array)
OneDrive (off-site back up and mobile accessibility)

Results:
One click CDs ripping.
After a successful rip via dBpoweramp, Hazel automatically moves the files the NAS and cleans them off the ripping computer. Once on the NAS, music is automatically recognized by Roon. The NAS automatically backs up the music to a OneDrive account. If you have Office 365 Home Subscription and aren’t using all 6 licenses, this is a free way to get at least 1TB of online backup space for music. Simply create an additional family member user account that is just for the music backup. Once a CD is ripped which takes about 5 minutes, it is accessible within Roon almost immediately. Within another 5 minutes is automatically backed up to OneDrive and also accessible on my iPhone via CloudBeats.

Limitation:
Not true Roon access while away from home. I looked into a VPN option but not worth the effort as I’m an iPhone user. So mobile access to my library is via CloudBeats ($6 app) or Tidal.

After 10+ years of using iTunes, my Mac hiccuped and destroyed my iTunes library file. None of the music files were destroyed, but all my playlists, my favorites, my ratings, my inventory of CDs - POOF!. For example, I had a playlist of maritime music from dozens of ripped CDs. Gone. Even though a week-older backup of my iTunes library file was stored, Apple Help could not make it work on my Mac. I’ve been trying out multiple alternatives to stay far away from Apple ever since.
I write all this background to explain why I found your post so darn useful. Geez, all the data anyone needs to need to adapt your approach. I can’t thank you enough!

Michael, sorry to hear of your experience. Overall our devices (computers, phone, tablets, etc.) have gotten so reliable we often forget about disaster recovery until it is too late. There are still many variables outside the computer itself that can contribute to data loss. Did you have a Time Machine backup? If so you should be able to retrieve the playlists.

When the cost of storage became insignificant, I moved from ripping CDs to FLAC to AIFF - the latter effectively being WAV but with greatly improved meta data

When I buy from Bandcamp (for example) I choose AIFF over WAV or FLAC when the files are CD quality