Electronic Illiteracy

OK, all you guys are younger than we are, but even most of you grew up with records for a while.

Does anyone know of a machine that will play & record old records? There is one I found on google – and it is sold by a variety of sellers. When the first one proved a bit slippery (leave a phone message, send us an e-mail), I began to think it was pretty weird. When I googled some more and a really bad review of the merchandise showed up, I was quite ready to believe it. The seller I had been trying to get probably erected all those devices to distance himself from complainers. (That is the Songwriter which does seem not widely available but available.)

So, we still have the problem. I’m tired of having old players sitting around our living room & gather yet more dust; my husband has not used them in literally years (I suspect literally decades). But he doesn’t want to part with his collection nor the capacity to play them. (Well, you might want to suggest counseling for such things and I’m not going to argue with you.)

Thanks in advance if any one has a bright idea.

8 thoughts on “Electronic Illiteracy”

  1. I don’t think I understand.

    He wants to keep his collection, understood, especially if they are 78’s, or first pressings of certain things, but like all collectables, even the follow ons will become valuable in time.

    If you want him to record them on cassette, or onto the computer and then burn them, then your husband should know how to get all of the equipment necessary.

    Start with the turntable, then run it into a reciever/amp that can interface with the turntable, and interface the amp with an audio card that has inputs (you might need special wiring, but the price should be cheap) then you just create a wave of the audio as it plays, you edit the wav to get rid of or keep what you want, then you encode it as an mp3.

    I think, there are prolly easier ways now, but if you can make a wav, you can make an mp3. If thats what you mean.

    Oh, it might be time consuming, but if you are talking 78’s then it should be a bid deal.

  2. If I understand the problem correctly, you have a record collection and you want to copy the music on the records to a computer. First of all you need to get a strong enough signal from the record turntable to the PC with the correct cables; second, you’ll need a way to separate the tracks on the records into individual song files on the PC; and third, you’ll want to clean up the snaps crackles and pops that typically appear on records over time. Here’s a link to a site that sells a complete package to accomplish all this: Cassette and LP Conversion

    It’s a fairly geeky site but they have instructional videos on how to accomplish what you want. Once you get them converted to MP3’s on the computer and into a music library like iTunes, you can then set up playlists, burn CDs, copy playlists to an iPod or other MP3 player. I’ve transferred my entire CD collection to iTunes and the sound quality is just fine for my older ears. Have fun!

  3. HGTV I Want That Tech Toys also recommended the ITTUSB model and reported the software that comes with it takes out or mitigates the pops and other audio flaws that vinyl is so renowned for.

  4. Ginny,

    The previous comments seem like good places to start. I might also recommend you search gizmodo.com. I’ve seen a lot “old-media to new media” type devices on there. It’s a legit site too. Glenn Reynolds even contributes from time to time.


  5. I think your husband would like to “hands on” the process of cleaning up his collection.

    Most direct way, is dump the the albums (in the same way) onto a BRAND NEW, once run casette (for some reason I have always been told to record a cassette without input, on each side, then to record over the absent noise. My father said “it removes noise” my friends said “it makes the noise obvious” so I don’t know) and then just do what I described in my first comment, and what pretty much everyone else agree’d with.

    The easiest way to ditch noise? compress the wave by about 60%, and then expand it to it’s original size. It makes for a hollow sound, but it works for getting rid of the pops.

    Again, it’s been years, and there is a LOT better stuff out there now.

    I don’t know if you want to share this info with your audiophile husband, he might keep playing with his recordings.

    I know I did all the way back in 93 when the awe32 came out.

  6. Joachim,

    You know full well that every contemporary operating system has a wave editor. You can easily record any input from any audio card as a WAV, especially since it’s the basic format, and then later convert it into whatever audioform you please. MP3, WMA and crap.

    If you can get it on your drive as a wav, it will become easily whatever you decide it should be.

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