Converting old vinyl into MP3s with ease
May 18, 2007
I know there are many of you out there who still have records and cassette tapes, and still regularly enjoy listening to your music that way. The younger generation may not even know what a record or a cassette tape is. In fact,I remember asking a friend’s daughter, “Do you know what a record player is?“She answered, “Someone in sports who breaks records.“Of course, my friends present at the table all thought it was funny and burst out laughing,yet we brushed it off while trying not to feel old.
That in mind, when I was at MacWorld this year I couldn’t help but notice a big crowd of people huddled around the ADS booth. It turns out they were demonstrating the Instant Music for MAC,a device you can use to import your old vinyl records or cassette tapes into your computer. With it you can easily convert the songs on your records/cassettes into popular digital music formats such as MP3,AAC, WAV, WMA or Apple Lossless format (with iTunes) and save it on your computer.
Granted there are a few other devices out there that do the same thing, but ADS’ version seems to be extremely user-friendly, all the while solving the problem that many seem to have - what to do with your records or cassette tapes. The device is a little box that could almost fit into your pocket, and it comes with a 6-foot USB cable, 6-foot RCA double jack set and a Y RCA jack for connection to your stereo unit.You don’t have to worry about a sound card or expensive studio equipment since it’s pretty much plug and play.
Your old LPs will eventually become scratched up and your cassettes will probably dissolve into nothing over time, so converting them into a digital audio format will keep your mind at ease, and let you enjoy your good ol’ music forever. The box comes with Roxio CD Spin Doctor 3 software you install on your computer, and with this you can record from any analog audio source, including your TV, VCR, tape deck, reel-to-reel or a microphone.
If you want a good-quality recording, make sure the needle on your record player is good. If you hear lots of scratching noises, and your record looks good, it might be time for a new needle. Having a good, scratch-free record would be helpful as well (clean it if it is dirty). I noticed each minute of recording takes up about 10 MB of space, so make sure you have enough hard drive space,or set aside a good-sized external hard drive on which to save everything. If it’s easier, you can just burn your songs to CD too.
Overall, this is a great product to use to save your record or cassette collection,but keep in mind it could be very time-consuming to go through everything you have (depending on how big your library is). Just ensure you have the proper amount of time to sift through your collection. It would actually be a perfect project for a retiree or if you just have lots of time on your hands.
You can find ADS’Instant Music for MAC at www.adstech.com for $59. For you non-Mac users, don’t be scared away by its name - you can also find the regular Instant Music for $59 (for both PC and Mac).You can use this on Windows 98 and up, and any Mac OS X machine.
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