vinyl – digitized
One of my favorite hobbies is hunting for new additions to my vinyl record collection. I have been itching to buy some Mumford & Sons or Fun. to fill my shelves with some modern recordings, but for now I have settled for scoping out my neighborhood garage sales and estate sales for some classic records that don’t break the bank. I’ve managed to snag some amazing finds, like a German release of “Rubber Soul” by The Beatles and a mint condition collection of every Stephen Sondheim cast recording.
If you are buying newly released vinyl albums, most come with a digital download code so that you can get a digital copy for listening on the go. But how can you convert your older albums into a digital format? To be honest, converting an entire record collection into mp3 format is a time consuming and arduous process. The sound quality will suffer in the conversion, and it is a real time process where you need to sit and label each track as it is ripped to the computer. Your time and money is much better spent buying the digital version of the album. The only albums worth preserving in a digital format are ones that are not still available commercially.
First, you need the proper equipment to perform the conversion. The easiest option is a USB turntable. I managed to find one at a yard sale for $10, but they are available at a number of retailers for anywhere from $60-$300. Most will come with conversion software, but if you happen to pick it up at a garage sale like me, you can download an easy program from Ion Audio. After you have your turntable hooked up to your computer, the process is a fairly simple one of laying the needle down, hitting record, and labeling your tracks.
There is something truly special about listening to an album on vinyl. The sound is fuller, the recordings somehow always more real and personal. I hope the medium never disappears like sad Mr. 8-track. Do you still have a vinyl collection? What are some of your favorite records that you can’t find anywhere else?