In recent years, music aficionados have sung the praises of vinyl records, saying that they deliver warm, smooth sounds you can only achieve when listening to a record. Whether it’s a 12″ or a 45, many listeners feel that records deliver superior sound. But in an era where people don’t want to be inconvenienced by carrying personal CD players (or walkmen for those who still enjoy cassettes), the LP format is even more lacking as far as portability is concerned.
So, for those who ignored cassettes and CDs, but want to load their favorite music on their portable device (without having to pay for it again, either on CD or as a download), there’s an easy and relatively inexpensive solution. Vinyl-to-MP3 USB turntables will bring your vinyl onto your Mac or PC so you can store your extensive record collection on the shelf and take that vintage sound with you on your iPod or other personal digital device. Many of these devices are plug-and-play, so there’s no need to troubleshoot or configure settings, meaning you can get right to transferring your music, albeit in real time (unlike ripping CDs, which is a much faster process).
You simply spin the record and it saves as an mp3. You don’t even have to worry about plugging most of these devices into an outlet for power, as many of them also draw their juice from the USB itself. Alternatively, these turntables also perform the same function that their simpler ancestors do; they serve as a home stereo and play your records the way vinyl was intended. Using a quick search, you’ll find these turntables won’t put too much of a strain on your bank account either.
E.J. Judge, WCBS-FM