Well, Linette in her Bird’s Eye View seems to be rallying against the onslaught of digital files and streaming whereas I’m once again embracing the new format. I had a great time with the little QED uPlay streamer I reviewed and this has prompted me to get hold of a Squeezebox Touch again (this will be my fifth) to see if I can finally get to grips with digital streaming.

Many of the reasons I’ve previously fallen out with computer stored files have been outlined by Linette, but I just can’t help thinking that it is down this path that the future of audio lies.
As people are increasingly finding themselves short of domestic storage space and they look to declutter their lives, the advantages of audio stored on a hard drive become increasingly attractive. The convenience of having all your music in one place and being able to access it over a smart phone or tablet computer are also major influencers I think.

But where do you start? OK, I’ve tried using the free Exact Audio Copy to rip my CDs but I’m not particularly computer savvy and found it over complicates the process. In the end I went for the very simple to use dbPoweramp linked to the very useful Bliss software so that all I need to do is plonk the CD in my computer drive, click an on screen button and the software rips to FLAC and finds me the artwork. Simple! Actually I can’t believe how simple it’s all been so far and I’m waiting in trepidation for the day when all my files spontaneously delete themselves or the hard drive goes belly up. Come to think of it there’s one rule of ripping I’ve omitted despite me harping on to others about how important it is – BACKUP YOUR FILES!
I can’t stress how vitally important this part of the process is, I really can’t and I really do need to take myself outside and give myself a serious talking to.
The first time I tried to get into streaming audio I went out and bought myself a 1Tb hard drive and ripped about 500 or so of my CDs over a period of a couple of weeks – hardly the most interesting of tasks – only to find a week or so later that my hard drive didn’t want to play with me anymore and I couldn’t get into my music at all which resulted in the Squeezebox being sold and me forgetting about the whole idea for a while.
So I will persevere this time and I’ll be writing about my experiences over the coming months. Wish me luck!

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