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Chapter 5. Ripping and Encoding: Creatin... > Roll Your Own Compact Discs

5.5. Roll Your Own Compact Discs

When compact discs first appeared, they were "black boxes"; unlike LPs or cassettes, few people understood how they worked. In the mid-'90s, writeable CDs appeared for the first time, enabling anyone to create their own audio or data CDs at home... as long as they were sufficiently wealthy. By the end of the '90s, however, the cost of CD-R (the "R" is for "recordable") devices had fallen to well within the casual user's reach, and the cost of blank CDs dropped to the point where CD-R had a lower price-per-megabyte than any other storage medium.

MP3 collections typify the kind of problem CD-R was meant to solve: What happens when the amount of data you want to keep around exceeds the amount of storage space available on your system's hard drives? True, the price of hard drives has plummeted as well, but no matter how big a hard drive you install, it won't be long before your MP3 collection is even bigger.


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