The Ion Audio ITTUSB turntable let’s your mom and dad’s old vinyl albums to your PC and hear what they were groovin’ to during the Summer of Love. Now sure, this unit has been around for awhile, but Ion has turned things up to eleven with some very notable improvements. First off, they’ve added two additional models which bypass the PC altogether and allow users to rip directly to either their iPod or burn straight to CD. That’s an awesome feature that’ll make it easy as pie for the convenience oriented consumer just lookin’ to preserve their old favorites without having to shell out an additional $20 for CD or $10 for downloads.
Those who don’t mind the nostalgia that comes with the cracks and pops of playing the album while capturing can look to the LP Dock or the LP 2 CD models for convenient digital transfer. However, those audio obsessed who wish to clean up the recording and play “sound engineer” can simply get the ITTUSB model and capture the album all at once using the included open source software called Audacity. Audacity does take some getting used to, however, and is not for the weak of heart. It’s open source development make it free to use (you can download it on the Internet), but the learning curve may be steep for the “blinking VCR crowd.” Still, the journey will be worth taking and your patience will be rewarded as you learn to clean up those old albums and restore them to practically new but in a more updated digital format.
Thankfully, Ion also includes some notable utilities that can make the process more automatic and streamlined. EZ Vinyl Converter 2 for PC (EZVC2) and EZ Audio Converter for Mac (EZAC); the best way to record and convert vinyl directly to iTunes. EZVC2 features Gracenote® MusicID technology, which analyzes your vinyl and automatically retrieves album, artist and song information for you. EZAC also lets you easily enter track information.
The Ion Turntables are completely plug and play and you can pick up a refurbished model for under $100. The LP Dock and the LP2CD models, however, will run you a bit more, around $250 for the iPod model and $400 for the LP2CD (which isn’t bad considering it has a CD burner built in).
Is it easy to use? Absolutely. Especially the LPDock and LP2CD which will rip and record directly to digital with no worries of connection or humming issues. And when you consider the cost of replacing all those LP3 to CD or even MP3 download, the investment is more than worth it. And considering that many classic albums (like those recorded in 78 RPM) simply aren’t available in a more current format (like those Japanese bootlegs you have hidden), the ability to rip those old albums to mp3 become even more important.
Consider investing in these, and it’s sister product the Tape2PC – which will rip cassettes to mp3 tracks as well.
Too bad there isn’t an 8Track2PC available. I’ve got hundreds of cartridges just waiting to be digitized!
No Comments »