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And I thought vinyl was dead. . .
Vinyl is dead. Or is it? While most folks have long abandoned records in favor of CDs and music downloads, and if Apple gets its way, a totally media free media, ION Audio, a manufacturer of USB turntables and other devices, has quietly shipped its one millionth USB turntable.
That's right, one million USB turntables that spin records that record songs onto your computer and iPod. Wanting to be nostalgic more than anything else, and to show my son what can play those "big, black compact discs," (It all started with a visit to grandma's house where my 14 year old saw one of my old Metallica albums. He marveled at the cover art of . . .And Justice for All, and when he pulled the record out, he asked if I had a compact disc player that could play it.) I had to just check one of these turntables out. And to tell you, ION has put together a pretty nifty package for turning those vinyl tracks into digital files.
Getting your vinyl tracks onto the computer is easy with the EZ Vinyl Converter software. Essentially it is a simple process whereby you hit the record button in the software and place the needle of the player onto the track on your record. The software does the rest, even accessing Gracenote to get the proper name of the track. If you aren't connected to the Internet, you can fill in the track information manually. Once your recording is complete, EZ Vinyl sends the songs to iTunes, where you can synch up your iPod with the songs via the turntable's built in iPod dock, called the LP Dock.
That is really all there is to the ION Audio USB turntable. If you've got a bunch of records collecting dust, and you don't have the digital versions of that content, the ION Audio LP Dock can get that music onto your computer and into your iTunes Library very quickly, (well as long as it takes to play the albums). In addition to the music, you'll get the snaps, crackles and pops in your audio files as well, which for us who grew up with records and record players, will bring back a bit of nostalgia.
ION Audio LP Dock
- Record directly to iPod video (5th gen) and iPod nano (2nd gen)
- Record directly to your computer via USB
- Works with all docking iPod models when used through iTunes
- 33 and 45 RPM belt-drive turntable (78 RPM using bundled software)
- Line-level RCA outputs (built-in phono preamp)
- EZ Vinyl Converter 2 (PC only) software included to automatically name your songs
- Audacity recording (PC and Mac) software included to reduce vinyl noise and pops
- Easy to set up - No special drivers needed
For more information, visit http://www.ion-audio.com/lpdock
John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org