questionsany reason to keep all my cds?

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Yes and No. Legally you should keep the CD's to prove that you really have a right to the music and if you are concerned about an EMP event wiping out unshielded flash drives/ magnetically stored music. No if you don't care or believe these could happen.

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@mybestuser1: Thanks for the answer.

If I donate the CDs to the library and keep a record of the titles I donated, would that work in the "proof that paid for them" category?

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I'd vote for keeping them, but that's because I just enjoy having a physical collection. I somewhat doubt you'd need to prove you owned them legally... imagine what a nightmare used record shops would be if that were the case.

Really the only reasons I can think of would be simply liking having a CD collection, or wanting a hard copy back up should something take out all your digital copies.

That being said, I'd be happy to take the collection off your hands! :P

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The will be an antique some day, think of the grand kids!

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Strictly speaking, you are 'supposed' to destroy the MP3 files once you no longer maintain ownership of the CD itself.

Functionally speaking, you're not going to be harassed about it.

Personally speaking, I had a storage unit broken into in the past, and a bunch of CDs stolen. Take a wild guess as to whether or nor I made a mad rush to delete the MP3s. Go ahead, guess.

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Trun them into drink coasters - like the old AOL 3.5 floppies I use to use a beer coasters when I was in college.

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You could make a CD disco ball with them :)

I see no reason to hang on to them - they take up space and no longer have a use for you, ditch it. The odds of the authorities coming after your legally obtained music are really low.

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I got rid of most of mine. Kept the ones I love most.

Caveat. Not every album can be purchased in a digital version. (Anyone know where a digital version of the 3 CD Springsteen Live 1975-1985 album can be purchased?)

If you have some rarities or CDs not available as digital versions, you might keep those.

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If you don't keep them, at least make lossless copies first. If you have a master copy in .flac format, you can use that to make copies in whatever new formats come along.

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@rayray8822: If you donate the physical CDs to the library, you have given your rights to the music to the library. Legally, it doesn't matter if you have a record that you once owned the CDs: once you give away the CDs, you legally no longer own the rights to the digital copies. If the physical CDs are stolen, I believe that's a different situation because you haven't given away or sold your rights: technically, something that has been stolen still belongs to you. Realistically, this is unlikely to be an issue unless you otherwise get tagged for downloading illegal files; however, if you get tagged for one illegal file and a search reveals 100 files from the CDs you no longer own, that's technically 101 illegal files.

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Before you get rid of them, ask yourself this question: what bitrate did you rip those MP3 files at? If it has been several years, I'd wager that you ripped them at 128 kbps, or less. You have a lossy file as a pretty bad bit rate: even on a halfway decent audio set up you should be able to hear the difference between the MP3 files and the source CD.

If you really want to get rid of your physical media (which really, I don't recommend) rip the files in a high bitrate in a lossless format: I'd suggest a non proprietary one like FLAC. From there you can transcode to MP3, AAC, or whatever you want to use.

Of course, if you do this you would have to be very careful about backup: 2 copies at least onsite, and one offisite copy as well. Then, maybe, you can get rid of the physical media.

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@wilfbrim: That's an all-around very sensible suggestion.