“ Your advice and ideas on how to convert vinyl records into MP3 files. „
This review is for all those DJ's out there wanting to upgrade from vinyl to MP3 without having to loose their vinyl collection (i've been there) all those who want to preserve their vinyl classics and those just looking for a bit more portability for their record collection. There are a number of ways to convert them, so choosing the right way is important depending on your needs and budget so here is the most number of ways i could think of to give you a wide choice of converting options.
Drop me a dooyoo mail for all your burning/ripping/converting enquiries, i've pretty much dedicated half my life to doing all three haha.
>>> OPTION 1 - DEDICATED CONVERTER HARDWARE - £50-£200+ (can be expensive)
There are many turntables and devices out there that convert vinyl as it plays to an iPod or other hardware such as a hard drive or even an SD card. Take a look at the ION USB TURNTABLE iPOD DOCK VINYL-TO-MP3 RECORD PLAYER - at £100 this converts the vinyl directly to your iPod but you will need to get it off the iPod and that requires a PC.
>>> OPTION 2 - USB TURNTABLES - £100 APPROX
The Numark TTUSB is a dedicated USB turntable which sends direct digital audio from the turntable to USB on a computer. There are many like this but this is the most popular one around and usually goes for around £100 brand new. You can usually find them on eBay used for much much less. Audacity is a free software program that i use which can record the USB audio from the turntable.
>>> OPTION 3 - PHONO TO LINE IN ON A COMPUTER - £FREE (Requires a computer)
If your computer has a Line in port (green one) you can get a female RCA to 3.5mm jack cable (if you don't already have one) plug it in and download audacity (free) and you're good to go. Set audacity to record from the Line In (little switch at the top) and it will record. This is the cheapest option if not completely free. All you need is the cable.
>>> OPTION 4 - CD WRITER - £100+ (Writes instantly to a CD, NO COMPUTER REQUIRED)
If you don't have a computer or want the tracks to go directly to CD buy a CD writer and plug your turntable into the back of it. It will write to a CD as you play the record.
>>> OPTION 5 - SEND IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS - £VARIES (Discounts for larger collections)
There are record converting companies that will convert your entire collection to MP3 for a fee. if you have a computer though don't bother wasting your money. Note that you also risk damaging your precious collection in transit so this may not be the best option for you especially as USB turntables are cheap enough when bought used.
This is a good option for people with no time on their hands, if you're busy you might wish to consider this but be aware for a shock when it comes to cost and be aware of the risk involved with transit.
>>> OPTION 6 - PHONO TO USB SOUND CARD - £30 OR LESS (I HAVE ONE OF THESE) (DON'T NEED A USB TURNTABLE!!)
The Citronic AC-1 (I have reviewed it if you want to check) is a sound card adapter which lets you plug in ANY RCA Phono (including a turntable, yes) and you can go directly to USB from a non USB turntable. It even regulates Line in gain and you can choose between phone, line in etc. Plug the red and white RCA cables into the sound card, plug the sound card into your computer, get audacity (free to download, google it) and begin recording, there are even output cables to listen to your record while it is being converted.
I hope you have found my guide helpful, if there are any questions drop me a Dooyoo mail i'd be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading this somewhat lengthy review.
HOW TO CONVERT VINYL RECORDS TO MP3 FILES BY KEVIN TAYLOR Isn’t it about time your collection of 45 or 33rmp vinyl records came to life instead of collecting dust! This article is about how you can easily convert your valued record collection to MP3 files for playback on your PC or any portable MP3 player. You need some equipment to do this and perhaps the most obvious is a turntable. I was lucky, the turntable I purchased back in 1979 was a Sony PS-X35 stereo direct drive turntable and despite languishing in my attic for the past 12 years (after having bought a CD player!) it’s still basically in good nick. If you haven't got a turntable, you might be surprised to know that you can still buy them. At one end of the price range there are the audiophile turntables. These offer top-notch quality but can cost from £200 upwards (take a look in any of the hi-fi magazines if you want to go down this route). Budget turntables are less common but Bush Radio plc have not given up on vinyl and offer the MTT1. What HI*FI magazine gave this a five star rating in their February 1996 issue and said "The sound's not only clear and listenable, but awash with detail". The good thing about this turntable is that it has a pre-amplifier built into it. So you can plug it straight into the line-in socket on your PC soundcard. The Bush turntable is available from the Innovations catalogue at £59.99p and Bush Radio plc have told me that you can also buy it from Argos and Currys. Back to my good old Sony turntable - this was built in the days when nearly every hi-fi amplifier had a pre-amplifier for magnetic cartridge. So I had to somehow amplify the signal from my turntable for it to be any use with the line-in on my PC sound card and you will probably have to do the same thing if you have an old turntable like mine. The solution was to purchase a RIAA pre-amplifier kit from Maplin (www.maplin.co.uk). You connect the output of yo
ur turntable into the pre-amplifier input and the output of the pre-amplifier to the line-in on your PC soundcard. Hey presto! The signal from your magnetic cartridge is amplified to a suitable level for your line-in. Alternatively; you could use a low cost audio mixer that has magnetic cartridge input. The output of the audio mixer would need to be connected to the line-in on your PC soundcard. Once you have your turntable set up and connected to your PC soundcard, the next step is to install software on your PC that can encode MP3 files. I’m using MusicMatch Juke Box 5.0. The basic version is available for free at http://www.musicmatch.com. This programme allows you to convert Window Media files into MP3 and vice versa. You can also create your own CD’s from your MP3 playlist. For this you need a CD-R drive on your PC and then it’s just a question of clicking on the CD-R button. The great thing about musicmatch though is that it allows you to record from the line-in on your PC soundcard and that’s just what we need to do. MusicMatch has various recording options. First, click on the Options menu and then click on Settings. Then select the recorder tab from the top menu bar. From the recording panel you can choose the recording quality. There are three main options: MP3 128kbps (kilo bits per second) is CD quality sound. This will be the largest file size but for something a little less byte hungry there is ‘near CD quality’ at MP3 98kbps. The third option is 68kbps (FM radio quality) but I wouldn’t recommend this. You also need to select the recording source: select Line-in. Now you are ready to make a recording. First click on the record button. This brings up the ‘virtual’ recorder and from here you have the option of typing in the name of the song, artist etc. Once you have done this set your turntable going and click the record button on the recorder. When the record finishes, click on
the stop button. The recording automatically enters the MusicMatch Music Library ready for playback on your PC. If you want to listen to your vinyl collection while on the move, you will need a portable MP3 player. You can use any portable MP3 player to listen to your recordings. I chose the Rio PMP300 player. Like all MP3 players, it stores MP3 files in its flash memory. It comes with headphones, a 15 pin data transfer cable and a parallel port adapter which you use to connect the MP3 player to your computer. Your PC should have the following specification. Pentium 90MHz or faster, Windows 98/95, 20MB free hard disk space, 1 parallel port, soundcard and CD-ROM drive. To download MP3 files to the Rio player, you need to install the Rio Port Audio Manager. This comes with the Rio player as a CD-ROM that you install on your PC. You also need to attach one end of the 15 pin data transfer to the Rio player. The Rio Port Audio Manager does not allow you to make recordings from the line-in on your PC soundcard. It will only allow you to create MP3 files from CD disks playing in your CD-ROM drive or from download over the internet. This is why I used the MP3 encoder in MusicMatch Jukebox 5.1 that I downloaded and installed earlier to actually create the MP3 files from my vinyl records. You will need to transfer MP3 files from MusicMatch Jukebox 5.1 to the Rio Port Audio manager software. The easiest way do this is to click on the file menu on the Rio Port Audio Manager and then select 'Search Hard Disks for Songs'. This searches the hard drives on your PC for MP3 files. The files will then be transferred to the Rio playlist ready to be downloaded to the Rio player. To actually download the MP3 files to the player, you just need to select a track from the playlist and click on the 'copy to portable' button. Some of my vinyl has become worn or scratched over the years but I do have some records that are in mint condition and they sound gr
eat on my Rio player.