Consider also completely forgoing the plastic of any kind.
I copied all my cd's to my main pc several years ago, using 128 bit mp3 to maintain near cd quality and small size. WMA does as good a quality sound job with 96 bit. I just put a stack of cd's next to the pc and fed them in every time I walked by. Took a couple of weeks, but it was fairly hassle free.
I then backed all the mp3's up onto a couple of dvd's, a cheap old external hard drive, and a copy on my laptop.
I bought a couple of "mp3 receivers" for about $50 each off of ebay. Dell and Rio both sold the same unit under their brand names. Look for "rio receiver" or "rio audio manager". Basically you run a little piece of s/w on your main pc, and the recieivers connect to it and stream play the music. You can wire them into a receiver or they'll power some small bookshelf speakers. The front lcd panel lets you search by artist, album, type of music, etc. You can use Musicmatch or windows media player to make up playlists. I can play an entire genre of 2000 tunes in random mode all week long if I like, or let the whole 20,000 go at random. We've put together playlists for each of the hollidays...push a button and welcome the guests.
It does require that you have your pc on to 'serve' the music, although rio sold a "rio central' box that acted as a receiver, held all the music on its own internal hard drive, and could rip and write cd's directly. It was WAY too expensive though and I dont see it selling at any kind of discount now that its discontinued.
I also snagged one of Gateways "connected dvd players". Its a fairly good progressive scan dvd player that also has a network connection on the back (wireless or wired) and pc server software. The pc server software can send music, photos or video (as long as its not high bandwidth video) to the dvd player, to be then fed to your receiver, tv or in my case, a projector. I can have hundreds of my digital photos displayed on the big screen while my music collection plays. A little more complicated to setup and use than the rio/dell setup but it has a lot of functionality.
For a while I was running the music on a little "pizza box" machine I made up from a low power, low therms VIA board with integrated cpu, network, sound etc. That whole package cost me under $200 to build given that I had some usable parts. I'm going to replace it with an old laptop shortly as I'd like the thing to have a local screen without having to take up too much space. I had been using "VNC", a freeware product that lets you "take over" another machine console from another pc with a screen.
Big hard drives are cheap these days...$50 for a 160gb. That would hold hundreds of albums even at 320 bit encoding.
Yes, ER is a lot of fun for NERDS!!!