wimble has, as those who know him are already aware, a very impressive MP3 server. This is what I concluded we needed, on the grounds of having a Wall'O'CDs and the main CD player currently being, well, a bit on the flaky side (it's probably 12 or 13 years old at this point, maybe a bit older, and it didn't really take too kindly to our move; it also doesn't like playing CDs which have been created on computer CD writers).
So we loaded up Linux on the server, fitted it with a nice large extra hard drive which we happened to have lying around (40Gb; the existing internal drive was 15Gb), and started converting CDs to MP3s. (Yes, I know that Ogg is considered a "better" format. However, my in-car CD player handles MP3s and wouldn't know what to do with Ogg if it were handed an instruction manual.)
This is, obviously, an ongoing project. I had several gig of converted CDs on my laptop, as did rotwang (plus he also had 13Gb of Live Aid radio broadcast in the form of WAVs). Those are now uploaded and I've gradually been working through the rest... it's getting me more exercise than usual, anyhow, from pottering up and down stairs to swap CDs in and out of the machines which are doing the conversions ;)
wimble has various arcane methods of feeding the music to computers round the house, but those are a bit heavyweight for our needs. I want to be able to get music to my laptop or desktop, for which HTTP over the network is fine; we also need to be able to get music onto rotwang's iPod, for which FTP is just dandy. The sad bit is that he was convinced that all of our music collection would fit onto the 40Gb iPod and I just don't reckon it's true; currently there's somewhere in the vicinity of 25Gb of MP3s on the server, and I'm about half-way through the process.
And yes, those of you who are paying close attention may have noticed that (25Gb * 2) + 13Gb (Live Aid) > 15Gb (original disk) + 40Gb (extra disk). Yup -- going to have to go and buy something larger....
If nothing else, this has brought home to me quite what a