I have a bunch of old vinyl records that I would like to digitize so I can listen to them when I’m on the road. How can I do this?
You think it would be just as easy as plugging something in from the record player to your computer to digitize your vinyl record collection but it’s not quite that simple. The output from the needle on a record player that is reading the grooves off the vinyl requires a preamp, someway of amplifying that vibration into something a computer can understand, so you need to have a preamp between the needle and your computer. This is a pretty cheap little piece of hardware, it’s very easy to find them at your local Radio Shack, if you still have a local Radio Shack. In any case, once you find your preamp you need some way to connect it to your computer. Most computers have an audio in-jack and you can connect up that way. Then you need some sort of software to do the recording. My favorite is Audacity, it’s a free program for both PC and Mac and it allows you to easily digitize the output coming from that preamp. There are record players that have a USB connection that bypass the need for the external preamp and you might find one of those easier to use. In addition, you might find it easiest to send your records out to a service to be done for you, but you can do it yourself. For more information on this process, check the link on our website.