How To Transfer Vinyl To Digital

For many music fans, there's nothing quite like the sound you get from vinyl records. While there's a long debate about which music format is best, many vinyl purists espouse the benefits of the analogue sounds created by vinyls - with many insisting it's superior to that found on CDs.

But while many people wouldn't be without their vast collections of vinyl records - which for some individuals might stretch back decades, having other options for playing music gives people the freedom to enjoy their tunes anywhere and secure their favourite songs for the future.

Why transfer your music?

One drawback of vinyl is the size of the machines you need to play them. While they're perfect for relaxing in your living room, singing along in the car or listening to your favourite songs when out for a jog isn't exactly an option. But nobody wants to re-purchase tracks they already own just so they can transfer them to their iPod or CDs, so for many, the best solution will be to copy their vinyl records to digital.

What's more, as any record collector knows, there are many recordings and special editions that have never been released on digital formats. As well as being able to play these anywhere, it could be essential to have backups in case the originals get lost or damaged, as vinyl is a fragile material. You also never know where issues such as flooding or fire might affect you and you don't want a carefully-acquired collection of music to be lost forever if the worst should happen.

The right gadgets

With the right equipment, this can be a straightforward process. But first, you're going to need to invest in some hardware capable of making a transfer. Fortunately there are a range of options for doing this and you don't need a huge level of technical know-how to get started.

An easy way to create digital versions of your songs is a turntable/CD burner combination. This can automatically burn an LP to a blank CD as you play it. There's no need for a PC as all you have to do is hit record.

However, if you want to create files for your iPod, transferring to a PC via a turntable with a digital output such as a USB cable is the best way to go. Simply connect these to your PC via a cable and install the software that comes with the turntable and you're good to go. Just follow the onscreen instructions and you can easily create MP3 files that you can take anywhere.

Maintaining the quality

Of course, if you're going to the trouble of digitising your collection, you'll want to make sure its of the highest quality. Don't forget basic steps such as cleaning your vinyl records before transferring and make sure there's nothing that can interfere with the sound quality of the recording.

If you're transferring items to a PC, you can also clean up them up to remove any imperfections. Depending on the connected turntable you're chosen, this may come with suitable software, but there are a range of alternatives out there, from basic free programs such as Audacity up to expensive professional-grade solutions that can give you all the editing controls you could ever need.

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