Computer Illiterate.

  AlanRLong 10:59 05 Nov 2003

Im 49 and wish to buy my first computer.I currently use the library computers only for internet and email use.Its primary use is to transfer all 1500+cds in my collection to computer and to index each cd track by artist/title/time/date etc.The computer must be able to replay in hi-fi through my current hi-fi system.Additionally,I will also be using it for transferring/enlarging photographs in b&w and colour. My questions are thus;.1.What kind of computer should I go for that would best suit my proposed tasks as I would like to put the lot on a hard drive? 2.I understand that the barcodes on cds act as an index which can be scanned and loaded after a cd transfer has been made? Is this true and what is involved? 3.Can a listing by artist,or title,or year,be made separately once cd transfers are completed? 4.Is it then possible to select specific cd tracks from the computer to download onto a cd which can then be played on a hi-fi system? 5.How would I manually enter data on computer for cds which are both non-barcoded and for which I've made myself? 6.What type of device would I need to transfer pictures and enlarge them and also put them on a hard drive?If you can help me I would be eternally grateful but I ask that you keep your reply to non-technical wording as far as you can. I have no desire to connect to the internet yet until I move in 04.I thank you very much for your kind help. Alan Long. [email protected]

  graham√ 11:17 05 Nov 2003

Firstly, it's not a good idea to give out your email address. The envelope at the side of your name can be used if you invite someone to email you. Also, use the 'Add response' below to reply to suggestions.

Basically, any new computer can do what you want. A 80GB hard drive should suffice to start with, you can add additional hard drives later if neccessary.

To catalogue the CDs seperately, you will need a program such as Excel, or Works Database. Most PCs have one of these pre-installed.

For the pictures, you will need a scanner.

  24seven 11:18 05 Nov 2003

1) Large hard drive, at least 120Gb and a decent Graphics card at least 128Mb version and 512Mb RAM min.
2) There are websites that use the information at the start of the disc (that we don't hear) to fetch all the information for you automatically(artist, album, track length etc)
3) Yes
4) Yes
5)See 2)
6)Scanner (with a negative attachment, if req.)and photo manipulation software (comes with scanner)

With ref to 2) The details are quick to download, so using dial up access would not be a problem and any new PC will come with a modem anyway so you might as well use it.

Hope that helps,

  Peverelli 11:26 05 Nov 2003

Just for starters, transferring 1500 CDs to your hard drive would need a hard drive with a capacity approaching 1000 Gigabytes. I may be wrong but the largest drives currently available are about 200 Gb. There is software that will compress the music (that is, it'll take up less memory with almost negligable loss of quality) but even that will need a 75 Gb drive. The compressed music would be in the mp3 format.

You'll need a scanner with an image editing program to transfer and play around with photographs but once again, if you're transferring a lot of photos, it eats up hard disk space.

You can get CD track listings from the internet, there is software (such as the Nero CD burning program) that will connect to the net and find the details of the CD that is currently in your PC.

Q4, yes. You'll need a CD rewriter and a CD burning program to do it.

Q5, You'll need a database program, I'm sure there are free or very cheap ones around.

Finally, it would be advisable not to display your email address in an open forum. If somebody wanted to email you here, they can simply click on the envelope icon next to your name above.

Good luck.

  SANAP 11:34 05 Nov 2003


First off do plenty of reading/research in mags like this one, then look at reviews for all the bits eg scanners, printers, sound cards, graphic cards, cd writing software etc. The sound from modern day PC's is pretty stunning so don't worry about too much about hi fi and u only need a phono cable anyway. Get the 5 speaker set up from the outset.

One vital tip, get a PC with TWO and I mean 2 HARD DRIVES, one for the operating system and the other for all your CD's or when the PC crashes u will lose everything!! After putting on 1500 cd's u would not be very happy. Get 120gb storage.

A utility called MUSICMATCH is the way to go for your CD's.It is worth the money and it will let u do all the things u mention and more. Wait until new year sales for your PC purchase.

good luck.


  rickf 11:44 05 Nov 2003

I think you need a h/d of 120g to be on the safe side. Apart from that any PC with sufficient memory, good sound and graphics card with the appropriate sifeware as suggested would do te trick. If you convert your files to mp3s, it would require even less space. I have a Nomad Zen MP3 player with 30g and it'll take 8500 tracks happily.

  canard 12:14 05 Nov 2003

Everytime I buy a PC I think I know what I want and that I'm getting it. I never do because there's always something else I don't know about.
For a beginer one of those Time super jobs that do almost everything [see if there are upgrades available for graphics card, memory and sound] won't do all of what you don't know you want but wil cover most of it. Time don't enjoy the best esteem of PCA readers but it's still a good buy for the inexperienced.
Watch out for copy protection on your CDs!

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