Giving away my classical CD collection. How best to do this?

I recently finished ripping about 500 classical CDs and would like to give the physical disks to someone out there - to be found - who might be interested in starting, or adding to, their own collection. Any thoughts on how best to do this? Btw this would have to be a local person (in the Washington DC metro area) because I don’t plan to mail them.

If I were on the receiving end I would first like to know what I’m getting. Five hundred thumbnails of cover art seem a bit daunting but perhaps doable, for example, by screenshotting Roon’s display of my library. But the details of how to do this for all 500 are unclear to me. Anybody got any ideas?

Needless to say (but saying it anyway) it isn’t really feasible to create a list of filenames from the ripped files. The folder and file names are just too inconsistent for this to be usable: the folder names are sometimes the performer, sometimes the orchestra, sometimes the composer, and other times utterly wrong. Plus, album art is nicer to look at than a list of album names, at least in my opinion.

Any and all thoughts will be appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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Technically you cannot give away the physical media and keep the digital copies.
That’s a violation of copyright.
It may well be a wonderful gesture but fraught with headaches unfortunately.


Sigh, I hadn’t even thought of that. Drat.

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Do as I did, stick them all in boxes and put in the loft.
Bit of a shame but possibly safest option.

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Shame indeed. But the right thing. Thanks.

Either case logic or Amazon make good storage cases that hold up to about 300 with covers.
Not prepared to admit how many I have in the attic :grin::see_no_evil:


I’ve always wondered if there was a single case of someone getting in legal trouble for ripping a cd and then selling it.

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I am from Germany and I know the right to private copying for non-commercial purposes. The LP or the CD still plays a big role for very few audiophiles, the rest dispose of it and give it away and prefer to use the streaming services. For selected rare stuff there is a collector’s market.

In our case, even 7 private copies given away to friends would not be copyright infringement. What is the legal situation in the Washington DC area. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act has certainly changed things in favor of creators.

In Germany, the agreed levies on blank storage media are considered a sufficient substitute for digital copies.

It’s interesting how some people think there is a “world law” that applies everywhere. Different countries and regions (such as the EU) have different laws and regulations.


Give them right to the recycle bin.

Hi Steve… I gave my CD/DVD collection to charity when we moved apartments. I didn’t have as many as you though, and the Salvation Army shop would probably have sold them off individually I suppose.

When I upgraded my hi-fi and went with the Tidal/Roon combo I figured I didn’t really want to have separate CD and DVD players. I look on the Tidal collection as ‘my’ collection - even though I only rent it out each month and don’t actually own it, ha ha!

I still have my vinyl and Linn LP12 though, couldn’t bring myself to offload that as vinyl doesn’t take up that much space anyway. The cost of even one 2nd hand vinyl these days covers the cost of both Tidal and Roon for the month. Really good value I reckon.

With the downloads… wouldn’t you have been better downloading the Tidal lossless files instead of from the actual CD’s which would have a lower sound quality?

Maybe you could consider donating your collection to a music college or university? Good luck with your quest.

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It also took me 4 decades to get to that point. My old Dual turntable remained in the house, so that I can also digitize a rare LP or single if necessary.

If the legislator wants to punish me for being charitable and non-profit on the road and bring authors with purchases and rent appreciation, he should do it. In Germany, I see the legislator on the right track to balance the interests of customers and creators well.

I am for a strong music business and growing markets no contradiction to charity. The number of music lovers can only grow this way. As a customer, you can’t do more than buy, rent, borrow and give away to show your love for music and artists. The beloved discovery begins with the gift, every good musician has understood that.

Strictly speaking, even the music industry itself is giving gifts today, because that attracts new customers. Apple gives for every occasion and as a bundle up to 6 months free of charge , Spotify makes half of all streams without charging the customer only against the smallest advertising revenue, which goes down in the total revenue and all other providers come just as with permanent or temporary offers, for little or no money. Many more people get so your new love for music, even in times when purchases collapse and sink into the niche. .

I now use and pay for Spotify Family, Tidal and Qobuz on a permanent basis, and also visit Apple, Amazon, Google, Deezer and Napster from time to time. Purchases are not at zero, but the exception. It is actually the case that a music service with purchase offers (e.g. Qobuz) would be completely sufficient.

The offer is 95 to 99% the same. If you want to find differences, you have to dig deep or bring up subjective things. I try hard to hear differences between a very good OGG and a lossless FLAC. Certainly, this also requires better technology, which only a few buy and which will also become cheaper when FLAC establishes itself in the mass market.

I don’t think price dumping is good, but all price segments need to be addressed and artists’ revenues should grow, not decline, so they stay creative and share their love for us. But it’s the distribution between label (rights holder) and artist that doesn’t always work out because there are no professionals negotiating for good contracts. This is where Bandcamp, Soundcloud and many other start-ups come in. Unfortunately, 3 big ones determine the business and make the few millionaires. I hope that in the future the business practices there will no longer be determined by crisis management, but charity towards artists. They can afford again to make big deals not only with Neil Young, the Beatles or other artists.

Music must never be just business!

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Hi Uwe, there’s still something very tactile about slipping a record on a vintage turntable isn’t there. Dual make fantastic turntables. My Linn came out to Australia with me in 1989 along with my records. Still sounds amazingly nice - I know I could drop endless money on upgrading… but just happy with what I’ve got. KEF LS50W and Linn LP12. I had my last system for 30 years, ha ha… hopefully this one will get me into my 80s!

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Then bring them out 20 years later for the Antiques Roadshow and amaze everyone!!


If you want to make a catalogue of the albums in your library, a good starting point would be to use the Export to Excel function of Roon.

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I have many thousands of classical CDs that I have ripped. After I did so, I paid my daughter to grab the discs and liner notes and put them into cd sleeves, then recycled the (mostly plastic) jewel cases. Now I can keep my whole collection in a couple of file cabinet drawers.

This means I can pass my digital collection on with legal confidence.


I doubt there is anything on a case by case basis, but when settling someone’s digital estate, you have to prove some ownership. Having the discs makes this easy.

Lydell “Dell” Glover, a rank-and-file worker in a North Carolina pressing plant got ~three months in 2010. Bizarrely the story starts with respected German research institute Fraunhofer Institut and their development of the MP3 (coughs, apologies for using foul language here) and the relative ease of sharing said format. Things then get ugly… suggest read:

How Music Got Free: The End of an industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy (2015) Stephen Witt

For further history, search Napster or Shawn Fanning

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Thanks! But these are pretty different circumstances, no?

Right, the full story is also here:

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