Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Vinyl Frontier

If you're like me (and I know I am) and grew up in a world before MP3s (or even CDs), you have many vinyl records. Many of them date from high school or earlier and thus are best kept in a dark corner of the basement never to be seen or heard again. But then, we still have our favorites. Some records I own and like have yet to appear on CD (like Warren Zevon's The Envoy, for example) and, of course, several years ago I got in an "I refuse to buy crap I already own" mood and thus have not "upgraded" some vinyl oldies to CD. But how then to rip vinyl to MP3 and play those old Tull records (like the appropriately named "Living in the Past") on my iPod? Well, you could do what I did, and run an audio cable from a stereo into a Powerbook and use a very good piece of audio recording shareware called SoundStudio to record vinyl to AIFF files, which can then be burned to an audio CD and subsequently ripped to MP3. (With a little tweaking, skips and pops can be fixed and the result actually sounds better than some of the el cheapo CD releases of old albums.)

Or, you could pick up this new USB turntable:
This belt-driven turntable plugs into the USB port of any computer. Fire up the included Audacity software and begin ripping those fabulous songs that you felt the need to listen to one last time.

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