Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap

Over the past couple of years, I have discovered the amazing world of record stores, and their fabulous sales sections. The dollar bin is BY FAR the place that I have spent most of my money. At first, records were fun, and more of a novelty item to me. But then, I started finding really good, must have records that I love, for even better low prices. That is when I found out the HUGE limitations on listening. I decided that I MUST have all of my wonderful albums available for listening at all times. So, I figured out how to convert my records to a digital format so I could put them on my ipod, and let me tell you, I AM SO GLAD I DID. So, if you have a record collection, and you have felt the terrible pain of ONLY BEING ABLE TO LISTEN TO THEM AT HOME, give this a try. It may be time consuming, but it is SO worth it. Best of all, you most likely already have EVERYTHING you need.

Step 1: Tools

Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap
Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap

You will need...

- Computer

-Audio Software (Audacity)

-3.5 mm Cable

-1/4" Jack

-Record Player

-Record(s)

Step 2: Find a Record

Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap

You can convert any record, however, those without big scratches will be best. Clean it off as best you can to prevent pops and static to be recorded.

Step 3: Set Up the Record Player

Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap
Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap
Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap

Find a record player, and plug in a 3.5 mm stereo audio cable (with a 1/4 inch jack attachment) to the headphone hole/subwoofer hole in the record player. Put the opposite end of the cable into the microphone hole in the computer.

Step 4: Set up an Audio Recording Software

Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap
Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap

Find a good audio recording software - I used Audacity (free!) and it worked very well, but I'm sure you could get a better software with more settings if you wanted to spend some money. Next, make sure the record player has the volume turned atleast half way up, and press record on the software. Then, drop the needle down on the record and let it play. When the first side has played all the way through, press stop on the audio software so it stops recording. Repeat with the other side.

Step 5: Splitting the Tracks

Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap

Now, on most albums, it will be pretty easy to separate the songs, but on some (aka, Dark side of the moon) it may be difficult. All you really need to do is look for the sound waves on the recording. If they are really low, or if the line is flat, the song has most likely ended. You can double check by playing from this point. After you find the end point of one song, copy the audio fragment, and add in a new stereo track (in audacity, click tracks, add new, stereo track) and re name the track to the correct song title.

Step 6: Putting the Album into Itunes (or other music player)

Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap
Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap
Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap

Once you have split all the tracks and named them, you will need to save the album and file it correctly. To do this, click file, export selection, and scroll through the formats until you find AIFF or MP3 if you want a compressed format. After this, go to iTunes and search for the songs. You can edit the information (see picture) and make it so they play in order on one album.

Step 7: Find Album Artwork

Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap
Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap
Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap

To do this, go onto google images and screenshot a picture of the album artwork. Then open itunes or your other audio software, and open the album you just downloaded. Click file, get info, and then paste the artwork into the album art box.

Step 8: Enjoy your Record!

Vinyl to Digital: Converting Your Record Collection on the Cheap

Put it onto your ipod, and appreciate the great music wherever you are.

 
 

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