CD's, and I borrowed a friends collection as well, friends are happy to lend if you tell them you will give them a thumb drive when you return their CD's. It is a little bit of work getting started but not much after you figure out the process and get a bit familiar with the software - I used the procedure you describe above except with Apples software instead of windows - basically just stuck a cd in and let it copy & replaced with the next cd the next time I walked past the computer, if you are watching tv and your cd will copy at 2x or 3x playback speed you can sort of swap every time a commercial comes on.Where do you get your music for your USB drive? CD's? That seems like a not of work. Insert CD, copy files with Windows Media Player to thumb drive, repeat?