Over the past winter break, I went home to WI and spent time with family. But with both of my parents working much of the time and Finale choking on the 700 MHz CTR eMac I had more time on my hands than I anticipated. Then I got this bright idea while browsing old LP records at a thrift store: Why not convert several favorite records that I already have at home. So with the help of my dad to set up a computer at the media station in our living room, a USB record player, and a freeware audio app called Audacity, I got started on “importing” the “big CD’s” onto the computer hard disk.
It was tedious work but I am happy with the result. 27 records, nearly 1 gigabyte of mp3s, were created, most of which are records that will never be brought to the digital age and all of which cost nothing to create, save the investment of time. It took the length of the LP to record plus about 25-35 minutes to edit each record.
Here’s how I did it: First I selected the records to import. Figuring out which LP’s are worthy of digitizing is not always easy, is it worth your time or can you buy a CD online of the same exact recording? Do you see you self actually listening to what you want to import after you are done? Second, after setting up the computer with the audio interface (a converter is needed for this to work) I did a sample recording with Audacity (This program is all you need apart from iTunes) by playing the record and hitting record in Audacity. After seeing the audio waves of the recoding I new that I got it and then proceeded to continue with the rest of the record. I recommend recording the whole thing all at once and then separating them and exporting them as mp3s later. It takes less time and you can enjoy the music as it plays. Third, After recording the whole record, I used some polishing tools found within Audacity. Tools like pop and noise reducer, and fade in and out. I divided the song tracks (or bands ) and named them. Be sure to put the track number first, like what iTunes does in the directories of music files, this helps you keep them organized. Fifth, after naming each track of the newly imported LP and exporting them as MP3s, I imported them into iTunes where I edited the ID tags and put all the desired info such as album, artist, genre, and track numbers, etc.
I am really exited with some of the recordings that I now have: Sacred music of Ovid Young, Sour Kraut Band (OK, not to trilled about that one, my dad made me do it ), Hale & Wilder recordings, Baroque trumpet music, some older “poppy” Christian music, and some old BJ records as well. I also reminisced with my old Patch the Pirate records, I have all 4 of the first original LP’s (including the classic and really cute “Goes West” front cover!!” Though, I already have them on CD and so didn’t bother to re-import them.
It takes time to accomplish but the result is well worth the effort especially when you have such good music to listen to during the process and especially afterwards.