Reducing CD Storage Space

Dear Computer Lady,

I have been a subscriber to your newsletter and still find something useful and new to learn after all these years.

I have a question regarding decluttering:

We have decided that this year will be our year of decluttering; I want to rip our music CD collection and save them on our PC/Mac with backup to disc. The idea is to get rid of the 300 odd CD’s.

We have used the Mac and scanned several into iTunes; created playlists, sync’ed with iPods, iPhones, iPads. This has been fine, actually pretty good. But I have a concern that iTunes is too locked into Apple hardware (and recording format, AAC). What happens 10 years from now when we move away from Apple (or iTunes isn’t supported), and there are different preferred formats? Future-proof portability?


Dear Salome,

I have a couple of cautions for you in your quest for less clutter.

First, the physical CD you purchased, is your proof of ownership. Once you have ripped the music to your computer, you should either store or destroy the CDs because if you sell them or give them away, you are selling or giving your ownership of the music on your computer as well.

Second, is the format you are storing them in. When I rip my Cds, I store them in MP3 format, which is a more universal format. Your apple devices will be able to play MP3 files, along with most other music devices.

If the digital copy of your music is your only copy, you want to make sure they are backed up. I like to keep my music in three locations. On my computer, on a backup drive, and on an online server.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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