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Converting From Vinyl Lp Records To Mp3 Or Cd: It All Depends On Your Turntable
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Converting From Vinyl Lp Records to Mp3 Or Cd: it All Depends on Your Turntable

Have you been collecting vinyl albums and singles since the days they were considered a technological breakthrough? Then you may have started wishing for a more efficient way to reduce their resulting clutter, as well as preserve your memories, by making them digital. It is possible to turn your turn your albums into CDs and MP3s without paying top dollar to studio engineer. But where do you start?

It all starts by taking a look at your music system for RCA radio plugs -- those red and white sockets. If they appear on your turntable, or next to "phono out" on the receiver, you've got a good chance of being successful. It means that the only hardware you'll need is a pair of cables: an RCA stereo cord that can connect your turntable or music system to your computer, and a 3.5-millimeter RCA stereo adaptor that will connect the cord to the microphone (input) plug on your computer.

If your music system, on the other hand, is almost as old as your record collection itself, getting a USB turntable could prove to be a very smart investment. You could still play your newer albums on it, and by connecting it to a USB port on your computer (not a USB hub), you can preserve your older records on MP3 or CD.

Either way, with your wiring in order, your next order of business is getting audio recording software. If that sounds like a major expense, this will be music to your ears!

There's a program called Audacity. It does not automatically convert to MP3, however: that requires a codec called LAME, to which they give you free download access. Otherwise, you'll have to convert the recording to WAV, then convert to MP3 with a CD-burning application. However, Audacity is an audio editor software which works with the Macintosh, Windows, and Unix computer platforms -- even the earliest ones -- and you can download it at no cost!

Once Audacity is uploaded and configured to your computer’s microphone input, just start playing your record and click on the Audacity “record” button. You can record just one track or an entire album side. It will show you how you can edit out unnecessary noises and pauses, and you'll be on your way to converting to MP3!

By the way, while it’s safe to talk while the converting of your records is going on, be careful about dancing around – you wouldn’t want to shake the floor and make and the phonograph needle jump!


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