Jan 04 2007

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vinyl to digital

Recently you may have seen adverts in a wide variety of publications for a USB turntable. This product is aimed at people (like me) who have a collection of old vinyl recordings but no longer have the means to play them as they have moved to CD and/or digital recordings. Most of the turntables I have seen are priced at around £110. You don’t need to spend that much. And you certainly don’t need USB connectivity. Any turntable which includes its own pre-amp will do (but the pre-amp is necessary, it is no good buying a turntable without one). I bought one made by Bush for less than £50.00 – I’m sure a conversation with your local audio supplier will unearth others.

Once you have the turntable you can easily connect it to your existing HiFi and rediscover the joys of your old vinyl. But the best bit (and this is where the pre-amp comes into use) is that you can plug the turntable directly into the line-in jack on the sound card of your PC and record to disk for conversion to digital format (MP3 if you must, but OGG vorbis for preference). The key to this magic is a nice piece of open source software called Audacity. If, like me, you run Linux, then you can probably simply install the package supplied with your chosen distro, If your distro doesn’t provide it by default, then the website has pre-built packages for most of the popular distros. You can, of course, build from source if you wish. Audacity is cross platform and is available for Windows users. Windows users can then discover the power of free, open source software

Give it a try.

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