Manually ripping CDs is not that labor intensive, I have well over 500 CDs and it’ll take a day or so.
Get EAC (Exact Audio Copy) and set it up. This will take 15 minutes and it’s a free program.
Then rip all your music to a lossless format. FLAC is the most common, but WavPack has better compression/decompression. APE is the best lossless codec (this is short for code/decode) for compression, but it’s not totally open source, so many don’t use it.
I’d use FLAC with a setting of 8, that is the second highest compression level. There is one higher but it’ll take forever to compress and you will only save a tiny bit more.
You can find 2TB external drives on Buy.Com or ZipZoomFly.Com for about $150.00 now. So those are excellent.
If your CDs are in good shape EAC will fly through the ripping prossess. Set EAC to reject the CD if there is a read/synch error. Then rip your CDs. This will fly fast.
So if your CD has an error, then remove it and set it aside, then rip your flawless CDs first.
You can get through this in a day or so.
Then go back and change EAC setting to recover data. This will take a bit longer and sometimes the data can’t be recovered. But first set EAC to recover data and then go through the remaining CDs and rip them. Set aside any that can’t have data recovered.
Then you can play with EAC with things like burst mode to see if you can get a readable rip. Sometimes you can.
Whatever CDs are left then you’ll have to buy again to get a rip. BTW if you have a scratch on the label side of the CD you’re pretty much screwed. It’s nearly impossible to get a rip off a CD with a label side scratch. The data is just under the label. You can often get a readable rip if the scratch is on the shiny side though
So now you have an external hard drive full of FLAC (or other lossless) music. The advantage to ripping to FLAC or lossless, is that you can easily convert them to mp3 or mp4(a4a) or any other type of lossy codec. Even in the future.
Go to hydrogenaudio they will give you all the details. Their forums are very helpful, just don’t ever mention file sharing they HATE/DETEST that over there
You can also use dbpoweramp. It has an excellent quality ripper too, but it is not free. EAC is and works great. EAC and dbpoweramp are the best for Windows. CDparanoia is another one you can use for MAC that is similar.