Help me organize my CD collection. (storage ideas)

Ok, I’ve got about 5,000 CDs, about half with the little booklets, half without. I’ve run out of room for 'em all. So, a couple months ago I decided to buy a bunch of these 224 CD wallets before I realized how many CDs I really had. I alphabetized the CDs by artist, and dumped the cases along the way. I got about to H before I ran out of space with the 13 cases. I figure I’ll have to spend over $500 more to finish it this way. On top of that, when I have to add CDs to these folders, it’s a big pain in the patootie.

I thought about buying CD envelopes but that’d be about $300.00 and then I’d have to find some way of storing 'em all.

What’s an obsessive compulsive to do?

You could give them to me. :slight_smile:

Err… sorry, I don’t know of any real solutions… I’ll go now.

I highly recommend these Can-Am storage cabinets. Unfortunately, they’re not cheap but they’re modular, well-built and have a 270 CD capacity per drawer. Of course, my collection is only around 700 so I was able to get by with one MC3D cabinet and have room to spare.

Keep in mind I’m speaking as someone with less than 10% the number of CDs you have.

Buy a new hard disk for your computer. A big one. Plus, however many more cases you need to finish storing all your CDs. As you take each CD out of its jewel case but before you put it into the binder, rip it onto your computer. This will take you, as a rough estimate, for-fucking-ever. But when you’re done, you don’t ever have to look at your CDs again. Stick 'em in a box in your attic. Keep the last binder out to add new CDs to until it’s full, then stick that in your attic and buy another binder for future CD purchases, at least until we get to the point where selling music on an actual CD in an actual walk-in-off-the-street store has become totally obsolete and all music is purchased over the internet on a song-by-song basis. Which should happen around the time you’ve finally finished ripping the last of your CD collection, otherwise known as the dawn of the 23rd century. Then, for portability, invest in the latest iPod, which by that time should be about the size of a postage stamp and be surgically implanted under your skin.

Damn, man. Five thousand CDs? I don’t own five thousand of anything, and that includes my bank account as expressed in pennies.

Try here instead. (use the drop down box and check out the 3200 price)

Much cheaper and that’s a good company.

Where to put 'em, of course…

Don’t tell me you threw away the boxes that your Converse All-Starts came in! :eek:

I use plastic storage crates from Staples. Since I collect show music, I have one for each show, but you could do it by artist.

Not only do they work very well, they also make a nice wall arrangement.

I’ll second that. Great cabinets.

I only have 2600 CDs. This necessitated another kind of storage that didn’t have a slot for each jewel case, because every time you get a new one, you have to shift every one of them down a slot to accomodate it. I looked into cabinetry and wire racks and all manner of storage that cost an arm and a leg. Finally, I went to Lowe’s. I bought three shelving rails, 24 brackets, and 8 pieces of 8’ x 6’’ x 1/2" lumber. Now I’ve got The Wall o’ CDs. Problem is, that now CDs R through Z are sitting in two rows on the floor because I have to make another Wall o’ CDs. Fortunately, I have the wall for it. If you don’t particularly care how snazzy it looks, this is a good, inexpensive solution. With 5000 CDs, nobody is going to notice the shelving, they’ll be all agog at your Wall o’ CDs.

YMMV, but I’m one of those people who likes jewel cases and artwork. I don’t like plastic sleeves in binders or zippered wallets, because the pressure transfers the ink from the label of the CD onto the inside of the pocket. When you take out the disc and you can see what it was by looking at the space it occupied, that’s bad.

I’ve still been thinking about this problem and I’ve been playing with Miller’s idea a bit of ripping them all and sticking them on my computer. I figured I’d need about a 300gb hard drive to store all of em without sacrificing too much quality. (My goofy calculations were based on my full 40gb iPod having 8700 songs on it, divided by 12 to get the number of albums=725… 5000/725=6.89. 6.89 x 40=275.60gb).

Now here’s where it gets goofy. I thought instead of buying a (3rd) harddrive for my computer (which would be at least $300.00), couldn’t I just rip and burn the collections to DVD-RWs or DVD+RW since they can hold 4.71gb a piece? I’d only need about 60 at this point and that would be less than $100.00 and then I can just put the CDs in storage.
I’m not sure which would be the one I’d need, the “+” or the “-” and what kind of software to use to burn 'em.

Any advice on if this is a really horrible idea or if it’s a workable one and some things I should think about?

Not really an arts-related thread, is it? I mean, there’s music on the CDs, but you’re asking for help with a storage problem.

Looks like an IMHO thread to me.

Oh…cozy up to somebody who smokes cigars. My father-in-law used to go through several (wooden) boxes of Cuban cigars every month, and I still have a nearly unlimited supply of sturdy excellent boxes that show just enough of each coever that you know you’re in Jazz McGhee-Monk or Classical Scarlatti-Suk, and just fit 15 CDs each. I’ve filled shelves and shelves with these.

you’re onto something with the DVD backups. That’s what I’ve been doing for my collection of cd’s. For data purposes, you can use either - or + … pretty much every DVD player made now supports both formats. For purposes of backing up your audio cd’s, you can rip them to your computer in WAV format, and then use the FLAC compressor which will cut the filesize about in half, without sacrificing quality (works the same way zip files work). This should allow you to hold about 14 CD’s on one DVD (assuming every CD is 80 minutes long, which they won’t be). I don’t really care about jewel cases, so I put all of my cd’s onto spindles and remove the liner notes and put them into shoeboxes, and dump the cases. If I ever wanted to restore or sell one of my cd’s, I could always get a replacement case.

Keep in mind though that this method is only effective if you only plan on listening to music through your computer. I have an ipod which I keep AAC/MP3-compressed copies of most of my cd’s on, so it isn’t really an issue for me. These DVDs would be useless for taking on the road, although much more convenient than trying to track down a single cd in a collection of 5000, especially if you give every DVD a 3 digit label and keep a list of which cd’s are on which dvd. This way you could always burn an audio cd from the archive.

Sell them on ebay and travel Europe for 2 years.

Seems to me the real problem is not “storage” but knowing what you have and where to find it. Alphabetical is not practicle. You end up with too many of “S” or “T” or something.

Cover a wall with peg board. Set up a 10x10 matrix. This will give you 100 hooks poking out. Number your CDs with a 3 or 4 digit number (doesn’t matter what order- you’ll see why) Catalog them by last 2 digits. Print a master list out however you want to catagorize them with a “peg number” that matches the last 2 digits. Thats where it hangs. You should only have to look thru about 50 cds max to find the one you want. New additions are distributed thru out the entire collection without regard to artist/title/genre. I developed a similar system for retail special orders. Instead of having 26 shelves for “name” (of which everything ended up on the “S” for Smith shelf and the rest sat empty, mocking you!), I had 10 shelves, all moderatly full, that matched the last digit of the special order. Worked like a charm.

Problems: 5000 cds will weigh a whole lot! Peg board or your wall might not take it!
They won’t have any protection, and will be rubbing against each other every time you mess with them.

If I was you, I would cull out the ones you don’t really listen to anymore (and that has got to be a bunch, there are only 24 hours in a day), maybe burn the one good song off some others onto a “greatest hits” collection and shit-can them.

I have over 5,000 CDs myself, and keep them alphabetized by genre. Straight A-Z wouldn’t work for a number of reasons, but alphabetizing by genre is very useful. I built a wall of shelving with 1"x6" lumber and the shelving itself is hardly visible–I keep my discs in their cases and only the edges of shelves and CDs show. Building it yourself is cheap, takes few tools, and there’s no need to use high grade wood. I also recommend against painting the shelves. Or, if you do, paint only the edges that face out.

I don’t know what stpauler’s story is, but I use my collection as a reference library in my work. That said, I try not to be a pack rat about it–I’ve culled thousands of discs since the '80s and often find myself in the position of really needing something I used to own.

I’ve been a binger on music most of the time and have purged twice. Once in '91 when I went off to college. I started switching from cassettes to CDs and decided to dump the cassettes (about 500 or so) and just bring the CDs up. There were quite a few artists that didn’t make the translation to CDs so I regret that. Then, about 3 years ago I took about 700 CDs into a local shop and sold 'em because I was out of room. They were my least listened to but I still find myself from time to time searching through the pile to find one only to realize I amputated them earlier. :frowning: