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Don't Leave Vinyl In The Past

Nov 9, 2007
A few years ago my old record player died. A quick trip to the electronics store told me that repairing it would be expensive and I reluctantly decided to give up on it. I rarely used it anyway. It was time to move on. This was old technology and reluctant as I was I took my records down to the car boot sale.

Fortunately I experienced a moment of clarity and decided to hold on to my precious gems in the hope that I'd one day make use of them. I am delighted that I held out because there is now a simple and quick way to convert records to a format that I can actually use. The USB Turntable is here. The device enables the user to convert Vinyl records into computer files which can ultimately be converted into CD or MP3 format.

The History of Sound Recording.
The gramophone disc dates back to 1889 when it was introduced commercially in America. By the end of the First World War it had become the most popular recording format. 1948 saw the introduction of the first commercial tape recorder the Ampex 200. This made use of magnetic tape technology. By the late 1950s the 7inch 45 vinyl disc and 12inch LP vinyl disc had replaced the 78rpm gramophone disc as the music format of choice.

1964 saw the arrival of the compact cassette which was responsible for a demise in the popularity of vinyl records. The compact disc was placed on the market in 1982 and the Minidisc was introduced 10 years later in 1992.

Although MiniDiscs seem to have been and gone the CD is still extremely popular and more recently there has been a massive growth in the trend of having music in computer media file format or MP3. MP3 players and the iPod have become the music playing devises of choice.

What does it do?
The USB turntable allows you to record your vinyl records to your PC. It comes with a USB cable that plugs directly into your PC and a software package that makes it easy to convert the audio to a computer file. The USB turntable can also enable you to play your vinyl through your hi-fi. It even comes with an inbuilt speaker system so it can stand alone.

Some models come with the capabilities to connect a cassette recorder meaning you can also preserve your old tapes in computer file format. Most models also include a feature that enables the user to adjust the gain on the music. They typically include an anti-skating feature for increased stereo balancing and a feature that enables high speed vinyl recording.

What's on the market?
USB turntables can cost as little as 50 GBP and as much as 500 pounds. Although the bottom of the range items should probably be avoided you can get a good USB turntable for around 100 quid. ION offer the best quality and value for money in this price range with Numark, Stanton, Kam and Gemini also delivering products in this range. I am glad that embracing technology has not meant leaving my vinyl in the past and look forward to listening to my old classics on my iPod.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been selling DJ Equipment specialising in USB Turntable technology for several years. For more information visit Get In The Mix
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