Copying albums

I have a massive record collection, what I would like to convert to MP3 albums or *.ogg CD’s. Problem is – I am not sure what software will perform the function well AND what is the best format to convert my music too!

You could use a USB turntable, capturing software normally comes with them, but Audacity would also be good software to use.

“Capturing” analog audio played from a turntable to your computer
where it can be “cleaned up” by definition will be saved as a .wav
file, a LARGE one.

From there it can be split into distinct “Tracks” the pops, clicks and
other noises filtered out, then from wav it can either be saved that
way, OR you can continue and create the compressed codec of your choice.

Personally I prefer mp3’s because they are defacto the universal
compressed audio standard.

There are several audio programs that’ll handle this process
from Roxio’s Easy CD Creator to dedicated programs like NCH’s
"Golden Records" (commercial $29.95 software) and many others.

I have no personal experience with ANY of them, but I still have
600+ Vinyl albums that will eventually require my time and effort
to deal with… First I need a working turntable, or at the very least
a new cartridge for the turntable I already have.

The kindest things I can say about the process are “Tedious” & "Time Consuming"
and comments go rapidly downhill from there

which is why I’m creepingly replacing those albums with pressed CD’s


Hi Mr. D,

I’m assuming you have everything you need to connect your turntable to your computer. There are a few tricks to know there.

People generally want several things in vinyl ripping software:

[li]Recording the Audio
[/li][li]Making CDs
[/li][li]Splitting each LP side into tracks
[/li][li]Tagging files with song titles, album art, etc, preferably automatically over the Internet
[/li][li]Saving/converting to your favorite format- MP3, FLAC, WAV, OGG
[/li][li]Removing clicks, pops and hiss
[/li][li]Normalizing (raising) volume

Audacity is free, Mac, Windows and Linux compatible and accomplishes a surprising number of these things.

The only things in the list it won’t do are: Burning CDs, looking up album info on the Internet and inserting album art.

If you’ve never used Audacity, be prepared to spend some time learning.

There are lots of great programs out there for $50 or less that will do it all and make your life easier. Allen mentioned a couple. Spin It Again and VinylStudio are a couple of more.

As far as formats, for MP3, you don’t need to go over 192kbps. For WAV, 44.1 and 16-bit. This is also the same bitrate you need for a CD.

The standard CD quality will outperform even the best turntable/pre-amp/sound card combination. Unless you plan on doing some serious tweaking with your files after you record them, there’s no need go higher than CD quality.

If you don’t have a turntable, you can always go the USB turntable route. All come with Audacity (it’s free anyway). Some come with additional software.

All of the programs that come with these turntables (except Ion and Numark’s) can be purchased separately and used with a regular old turntable.

Allen is absolutely right about how much effort is involved in ripping vinyl.

It’s not like ripping a CD where you pop it in, press a button and 4 minutes and 30 seconds later you have tagged MP3s with album art.

The equivalent in vinyl ripping will take you the length of the LP plus another 10 minutes if you’re very effecient.

Hope that helps.

In the greater scheme of things my time is better spent searching for used CD’s to replace much of my vinyl.

Even if that means I get CD’s that cover Vinyl that was released well before the digital era and have subsequently been re-released several times on vinyl with various (dubious) improvements on each subsequent re-release.

Being honest and speaking major heresy in the minds of some purists the worst of the “loudness wars” studio repeatedly “Remastered” CD’s can’t do some much much harm.

I mean what can you possibly do to say… Megadeth or Quiet Riot?
Or Even AC/DC’s “Back In Black” yeah it’s louder, So what? because if you are playing AC/DC it’s kinda the entire point!

Or for that matter a Led Zeppelin album originally recorded in 19friggin69…

face it 1969 “State of the art” equipment would today be used to hold newer equipment up off the floor in the event of flooding.
and in any event even the worst of mutilation at the hands of the remastering techs still leaves yo with a better recording than you are likely to get at hime off of NEW (sealed never played) Vinyl let alone used vinyl that is at an unknown state of wear.

And That is one thing the record companies probably really miss…
Records that actually wear out in a finite number of plays forcing you to buy them again…

But enough of my philosophised rambling:)