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Network? You probably have one without knowing it, within a BT Homehub, used by most UK homes. It connects to the internet via a telephone line, through the ADSL socket at left. Your computer will be connected to one of the yellow Ethernet sockets, so you can get the internet. Just hook up the NAS drive to any other Ethernet socket for a fast, stable and reliable wired connection. But if you want to put the NAS drive under the stairs or in the loft, use wi-fi instead.



Now it’s a matter of getting your CDs onto the NAS drive, which means copying (ripping) them onto a computer first. Any computer with a CD drive can do this, making bit-perfect copies of your music collection.
   But to get best quality you’ll need to download a dedicated CD ripping programme. The good news is there are free ones that do an excellent job. 
For Mac I’d recommend XLD, while Windows users need look no further than Exact Audio Copy – although some people prefer the paid-for dbpoweramp utility. 



dbpoweramp is a popular CD ripping programme for PCs and does a good job of maintaining quality.


Crucially, all three will attach what’s called metadata to the music. These are tags that include the name of the artist, album and each individual track, as well as other information such as year of release, genre and the CD artwork – all needed for your NAS drive to organise the music so it can be found easily. 
   Once ripping software has been installed, insert the CD into your computer, open the programme and then decide whether you want to rip the disc in WAV or FLAC format (see box out) before pressing go. An average CD will take around five minutes to convert and save onto your computer, but this varies according to how much music is on the disc and its condition. Damaged CDs can take longer or, occasionally, fail to rip entirely, although this is unusual.
   Once done it’s best to save the ripped FLAC or WAV files in a folder on your desktop labelled with the artist and album name before moving onto the next CD.
After that it’s merely a matter of copying the saved folders onto your storage device. Almost all NAS drives come with software that enables your Mac or PC to connect to them – wired or wirelessly – and moving files is a simple drag and drop operation.
   After that the files can be safely deleted from your main computer as they are safely stored on the NAS drive.



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