Digitize Your CDs and Reclaim Your Closet

You can save space by listening to music digitallyQ. I have a closet full of compact discs (some out of print) that I’m not quite ready to part with, yet they take up way too much room. I’d like to convert them all to MP3 files, but my laptop doesn’t have a disc drive and its hard drive is too small to hold several gigabytes of audio files. What do you suggest?

A. The web is full of CD-transfer services that promise to convert music on discs to digital audio files for a price, but you can do it yourself with time, patience and inexpensive external hardware. Even though built-in disc drives began to disappear from laptops several years ago to make the computers lighter and more mobile-friendly, you can still find USB-based external CD drives for $25 or less online; Apple’s $79 SuperDrive, designed for its Mac laptops, is noticeably higher priced.

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