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Tech: USB Turntable question

GUEST,Azoic 05 Jan 12 - 10:34 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jan 12 - 01:05 AM
Hamish 06 Jan 12 - 02:54 AM
treewind 06 Jan 12 - 05:48 AM
Will Fly 06 Jan 12 - 06:02 AM
Phil Edwards 06 Jan 12 - 06:56 AM
GUEST 06 Jan 12 - 11:30 AM
Edthefolkie 06 Jan 12 - 05:51 PM
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Subject: Tech: USB Turntable question
From: GUEST,Azoic
Date: 05 Jan 12 - 10:34 PM

I am thinking about buying a USB turntable and loading my lp collection on hard drive but all I can find mention of is the MP3 compression option.Does anyone know if I might load w/o any compression for better sound e.g. wave or aiff?


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB Turntable question
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 01:05 AM

Hi, Azoic-
I haven't heard good things about USB turntables, but it may just be the absolute purists that are agin 'em. Most sources I've read say that it's better to use RCA cables to the phono input of an amplifier, and then connect your computer to the amplifier's "line out" jacks.

In general, a turntable (USB or not) should send uncompressed signals to your computer, which then will store them as Wav files or compress them as MP3 files. What you're reading may describe the software that comes with the turntable. Audacity is a good freeware program that can edit and compress those files.

Good luck.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB Turntable question
From: Hamish
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 02:54 AM

And oddly enough Audacity's free version won't save directly to MP3: only to an uncompressed format. I have found it excellent - when you take due care over setting the recording levels high whilst avoiding clipping.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB Turntable question
From: treewind
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 05:48 AM

Joe:
I think the problem with USB turntables is that you don't get much choice about the quality of the turntable, pickup and cartridge. Doing it with separates isn't inherently better, but it does give you the option of choosing a really good record player component.

Hamish:
Pedantic clarification: Audacity doesn't have a "free version", it is free software. It saves stuff in its own project format that enables editing info like labels, multiple tracks etc. to be saved with the project. It also exports to lots of other formats including WAV and MP3.

Some Linux versions of Audacity are supplied without the MP3 encoder library, but that's because the MP3 library code is always available as a separate package as it's used by lots of other prpograms.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB Turntable question
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 06:02 AM

I have a 30-year old Garrard turntable which is linked to a 10-year old Teac amplifier - into which I plug a mini-jack-to-min-jack lead and then from there into my Mac Book Pro. I play the album while recording with Audacity. When it's done, I create track markers in Audacity (thanks, Joe Offer, for the heads-up on how to do that, many threads ago!) and use the "export multiple" facility in Audacity to split and export the tracks as wav. files. I then use the "add to library" function in iTunes, followed by converting them to mp3 format in iTunes.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB Turntable question
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 06:56 AM

I think the problem with USB turntables is that you don't get much choice about the quality of the turntable, pickup and cartridge. Doing it with separates isn't inherently better, but it does give you the option of choosing a really good record player component.


My turntable gave out the other day & I bought one of these. I was mildly excited when what was delivered appeared to be one of these - the same thing plus on-board pre-amp and USB socket - but it turned out they'd just used the wrong packaging. Anyway, there are USB turntables for the low-end audio buff, as well as the Ion ones that are advertised all over the place.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB Turntable question
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 11:30 AM

I have used a USB turntable to rip LP's to mp3 format. I am not an audiophile, and find that the "standard" mp3 format from Amazon MP3 and other sources is quite acceptable when listened to on my iPod or 'puter. Using a USB turntable and associated out-of-the-box software is perfectly adequate for my purposes. There is some hand work involved if you need to record separate tracks, titles, and other tag info, but it's not horrible. I put a link to a review of several options in an earlier link a week or two ago.

If you require high-end audio, this may not be your best bet, but if not, it will get the job done.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB Turntable question
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 05:51 PM

Pip, Pro-Ject turntables are great, although not as cheap as they used to be. Made in the Czech Republic by the way. Don't be sad about the lack of onboard preamp - I find mine to be most peculiar, but this may be because it's plugged into a Linn Classik which seems to have weird input impedances.

IMHO the Ion and similar USB turntables are frequently overpriced for what they are. This also goes for the battery USB cassette player - PC World wanted £40 for one last time I looked. They gotta be kidding.


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