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The Questions You Must Ask Yourself About Converting To Mp3 Or Cd From Records Or Audiocassettes
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The Questions You Must Ask Yourself About Converting to Mp3 Or Cd From Records Or Audiocassettes

Maybe you’re worried that the records or audiocassettes you’ve had since you were a teen are wasting away. Maybe you don’t listen to them because your turntable, boom box or audiocassette deck is as worn out as they are, but it doesn’t make financial sense to replace them. Or maybe you just miss listening to the songs you loved, especially these days when dressing to resemble a side of beef is what defines musical talent.

The great news is that thanks to reasonably-priced hardware and VERY reasonably-priced audio editing software, converting to MP3 or CD from records or audiocassettes can now be done at home even by the technologically challenged. But like any important undertaking, a little strategic planning is required. Before spending your first cent on converting to MP3, you need the answers to these five questions:

How many albums or audiocassettes do I have? If you don’t know, go and count them. Seriously. Separate the 45s from the LPs from the EPs, and the albums on audiocassette from the music you have on 60, 90, or 120 - minute cassettes. If you decide you don’t have time to convert them all, you can then decide which should get priority, such as old out-of-print music or a concert you taped from the radio.

Where do I want my recordings to end up? There are two paths your recordings can take once they’re in your computer – converting to MP3 players or CDs. If you don’t already have a MP3 player, buying one should be included in your budget (unless you’re good at hinting for gifts). CDs will need storage, both in individual cases and in containers or racks. And think about what you’ll do with your original music: legally speaking, you’re not supposed to sell or give them away if you’ve made copies of them.

Do I have the time to invest? It’s very important to keep in mind that converting to MP3 must be done in real time, that is, as the record or audiocassette is playing. It can’t be compared to high-speed audiocassette duplication, because all the cassettes involved are moving at the same high speed. But there’s no need to fear being chained to your computer. All you have to do is be there when it’s time to turn the album over, and most audiocassette converters turn over automatically.

Do I have the money to invest? Probably. There’s no reason to pay more than $100 US for either an audiocassette converter or a USB turntable. You can save big on music management software if you buy a program that works with iTunes or Windows Media Player. And there’s certainly no reason to pay for quality audio editing software when it be downloaded for free! In addition, you’ll need extras like cleaning kits and DVDs for 120-minute recordings.

Do I want to catalog the music? Of course you do – what you don’t want do is to catalog it manually. That’s where the music management software comes in: it can access a database of millions of songs, identify it within seconds, and supply you with the song’s title, author, album, and date!

Now you’re forearmed with the knowledge you need in order make the best decisions about converting to MP3. But don’t take too long to decide – your albums and audiocassettes aren’t getting any younger!


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