Thursday, December 01, 2011

Digitizing LPs

Facing the prospect of actually, finally getting rid of my vast LP collection, I have been going through and identifying ones that I would still like to listen to again and digitizing them. To this end I bought a USB turntable to minimize the effort involved in getting them onto the computer.

Then, after doing several LPs using Sound Forge - recording each side, then opening the resulting files, running a click and pop filter on them, cutting them up into songs and saving them individually, I looked around a little on the internet and discovered a wonderful tool that cost a mere $29: VinylStudio from AlpineSoft in the UK. It makes the whole chore so-o-o-o much easier. Input the album name and it automatically names saves side 1 and 2 for you with appropriate names. Then you can download cover art and track information (titles and lengths) from your choice of online database (from Amazon, Diskogs, or several others) and it will automatically insert track markers at the appropriate places. You can easily adjust the markers if they are a little off, then clean up pops and clicks, and finally save the album in any of the usual compressed formats like MP3, or FLAC if you prefer lossless compression. It does this by creating a directory based on the artist and album title, then saves each song with the track name and the beginning and end as defined by the track markers, and with the cover art (if found) stored in the file. Just import into iTunes or whatever player you use.

Just might be the best $29 I've ever spent...