Sunday, January 18, 2009

 

Digital Vinyl


I'm finished! After more than a year, I've finally converted 362 vinyl LPs to MP3 files for my iPod. Each album side was first recorded as a single WAV file, which I archived on a portable 500 GB hard drive. Then, using Cakewalk's Pyro 5 software, I removed some of the residual noise and converted each WAV file into separate MP3 files for each song. All these MP3s are also archived onto the external hard drive in case my iPod or this computer crashes. This has been a major project, taking at least an hour per record (including recording, processing and data entry). But it has been worth it.

So my iPod now contains 4656 songs, mostly stuff from the 60s and 70s, although I have also collected some of current music - usually groups I hear on WXPN's World Cafe radio show. This takes up 20 GB - about 1/8 of my iPod's capacity.

I mostly listen to my iPod while driving. Local radio is so bad I'd stopped listening a long time ago - that's what motivated me to buy an iPod in the first place. (The exception is the two-hours when our NPR outlet broadcasts World Cafe.) The iPod plugs directly into the sound system of one car, and I use a cassette adapter that relays the iPod through the tape deck in another car. I tried an FM transmitter with the iPod, but it carried too much static.

My next project is to record all of my CDs. I have 360 of my own, and my brother has at least 200 more. This should take a lot less time, since the CD's are already digital I won't be making WAV files, nor will I have to do any cleanup.

Comments:
Congratulations. Our LP's sit here collecting dust. My husband's two record players collect dust and sit next to the TV. I doubt they even work anymore. Since hubby has about 3,000 CD's it's no wonder he doesn't feel like converting the LP's.
 
"My next project is to record all of my CDs. .... This should take a lot less time, since the CD's are already digital"

Ah, famous last words! Personally I couldn't stand the way iTunes fills out the CD & track info, so changing that was a huge chunk of time... and now I've changed my mind as to how I should've done it.

Are you planning on recording in lossless format? I did in order to best preserve my collection 'cause I've noticed my oldest CDs are starting to deteriorate, but it's a space-hog on the iPod.

-schreechy from CChat
 
I decided to rip the CDs using Windows Media Player instead of iTunes. WMP imports the music info from an online CD identification service. This worked great for all my non-classical CDs. For the classical stuff on the other hand, this system made a lot of mistakes, which required quite a bit of manual input (with a lot of cut and paste).
 
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