Convert vinyl to mp3, connect turntable to computer

Whilst I wholeheartedly support paying musicians by buying their music as CDs or downloads... there are gems that were languishing in my record/tape collection that are un-released in digital format (this music is therefore analog).

These forgotten vinyl/tape gems can be digitised, tagged and loaded onto any modern music playing device; PC, MAC, mobile phone, digital portable music player... iPod, Creative Zen Etc.

There are a number of proprietary digital music storage file formats, however, when saving music I prefer to use the format universally interchangeable between playing devices i.e. the MP3 file format.

MP3 files can be saved with a variety of compression levels expressed as a bit rate where the higher values thereof have substantially large file sizes.  There is a trade-off between storage and quality.  Personally, I find that 192 Kbps provides sound almost indiscernible from hi-fi quality whilst retaining reasonable file sizes. 

When inputting music into your computer for the purposes of digitisation it is worth remembering that most computer audio line inputs are neither stereo nor capable of amplifying the signal from a turntable.  The alternatives are to purchase a turntable which has a USB or Bluetooth output connection or to purchase a USB or Bluetooth device to be used as a preamplifier between your turntable output and the computer's USB or Bluetooth input.  This is much better if you have a Hi-Fi Turntable. (Analog to Digital conversion occurs in the input to the computer, and the data is then recorded in the computer via recording software).

There are several software music recording applications, below are a selection of the ones I like for you to consider.

Audacity (which uses GraceNote allowing the recorded music to be identified and tagged using an internet connection), Total Recorder, Stamp ID3 Tag Editor (for use where the music recorded isn't in the GraceNote database or GraceNote gets it wrong.)

This page is a work in progress. I will add more when I have time.

N.B. Much of the foregoing discussion is also relevant to recording on a computer from a microphone, electric guitar or other musical instrument with amplified output - However if you wish to set up a digital recording studio my advice under these circumstances is do not record in a compressed mp3 format, use uncompressed file types instead. Recording studio equipment and configuration fall outside the scope of this website

The contents of this page are the opinion of the author, the author also reaffirms that copyright for all products mentioned rests with the copyright holders.

The information on this page is believed to be accurate at the time of writing, but is subject to change without notice.

Whilst I have mentioned a number of companies products on this page please note that any warranty and performance issues rest with the producers of these products and not with me. I hereby acknowledge all copyright rests with the respective owners and cannot be held  responsible for the performance (or not) of any of these products nor can I guarantee that services available from external websites will continue to be available or will continue to operate as described above.  You should always maintain an up to date backup of essential data and never install new software without disabling all running programmes and ensuring that your backup is readable.