Convert Vinyl Records into Digital Files
Rating: 4 WaterTowers
If you are like us you have some old 33’s and 45’s collecting dust in a closet. You may, also like us, have tossed your old turntables and have no way of listening to that great music of your youth.
This Christmas, my wife bought me a really cool gadget. The “audio-technica AT-LP2D-USB USB Turntable and Digital Recording Software”.
In short, this device, and the included Cakewalk Pyro 5.0 software, allows me to play our old LP’s and 45’s and, if I so desire, download the music to my computer as a WMA or MP3 file.
Listening to Music
The USB Turntable comes with a USB cable and audio RCA connections. It has an internal pre-amplifier if needed. After I opened the box, all it took was about 5 minutes to install the platter and rubber mat, hook up the audio output to our Bose Audio System, and play an LP. Very cool!
The sound quality is excellent and much better than I remember our LP’s sounding. This, I strongly suspect, is largely due to the Bose sound system we have now compared to the relative junk we had 20 years ago, and, also to the quality of the audio-technica USB turntable.
We also quickly found out how lucky we are to have CD’s that do not need to be turned over every 10 minutes or so and replaced far too often. My 16 year old daughter has now learned about “phonograph needles”, “turntables”, “33”, “45” and those little inserts that convert the big hole in the 45’s to the small hole on the turntable. Hmmmm, why did they make the 45 hole so large? If I remember correctly 45’s came out long after 33’s and (for the real old timers, 78’s). Someone probably had a relative ready to make a killing on those plastic hole converts.
Downloading Music to My PC
I first installed the Cakewalk Pyro software on our Dell computer (no installation problems) then plugged the audio-technica USB cable into the computer. The Windows XP automatic installation procedure continued thru several installations, but, after a few minutes of clicking thru the processes, the USB turntable was ready to go.
I rarely follow directions (there are very good instructions provided) preferring instead to test the ease-of-use process. It was pretty easy. The only problem cropped up when I had neglected to set the audio recording device in my settings to the audio-technica. Once I did that, I started the record, clicked on “record” and was rewarded with a WMA file of my once lost Spyro Gyra music! Super great!!
Once the music is in digital form, the Pyro software allows you to edit the tracks, make playlists, move formats (for example between WMA and MP3), and ultimately burn a CD.
One very interesting feature for my daughter, who has been struggling to download a “Halfway to Hazard” ringtone for her Razer, is the ability of the Pyro software to produce a ringtone and deliver it to her phone. We did a test and it worked great, but, will wait until the phone bill comes in before proceeding to make more…..just to see what hidden costs may be involved in this process. 😉
The software provided by audio-technica works on a Mac as well.
If you want to listen to your old LP’s or 45’s or if you want to download the classic music of your youth to your computer, the audio-technica USB turntable will meet your needs. This unit is very easy-to-use and the audio quality is excellent.
One thing that impressed me is that audio-technica included all the cables you need to listen to and/or download your music. The only downside is that the RCA audio cable is very short, so to hook the USB turntable into it’s final location (instead of on the floor like we have it now) I will need to visit Radio Shack to extend the RCA cable a few feet. But, that is a very minor complaint. The USB cable is long enough for most applications.
Gotta love YouTube….here is what you are missing if you have never heard Spyro Gyra.