LP to iPod

Ok, there must be someone out there who has rigged up a system to convert LP's to AAC or MP3 for an iPod. Let's hear about how you did it, and how it sounds!
It's not a simple process, but here's what I did. I downloaded a freeware program called Audiograbber that I used to cnvert the analog feed from my preamp to digital on my PC.


I also bought an external sound card-type device called a Power Wave (made by Griffin Technology) which is a much higher quality device [than a typical sound card] that allowed me to use my laptop which I could place close to my preamp.


The Power Wave connects to a PC via a high speed USB2 port. I then recorded the LP on my hard drive using the Audiograbber software. The resulting files are in the .wav format. The program even allows you to split the tracks. Again, this is not a simple task. In fact, it is quite time consuming since there is a lot of trial and error involved. Often times the software will screw up the splitting of tracks, so you sometimes have to start over and manually split the tracks. There is definitely a learning curve here, so, once you get the hang of it, things go smoother.

After recording the LP to the hard drive, I then burned would burn it to a CD. Lastly, I would rip the CD to AAC using iTunes. The sound is quite good, so if you really have an LP you love, it's worth the hassel getting it to the iPod.

If you want a super easy way to convert LPs to mp3 files for an IPOD, another way is to use an external cd burner (I use a yamaha cdr d651) connected to your amplifier. you load the cd, drop the needle, and start recording. you set the track markers with the remote. When you are done, simply put the cd into your computer and use music match or i-tunes to rip the tracks into mp3 format and then your IPOD.
The first sugestion sounds super expensive. You could buy Magix Audio Cleaning Lab for $19.99. It's a super easy to navigate program. You just record the LP, it sets the track markers which are almost always right on, you just right click add/remove track markers to fix missed ones though. Then they have a bunch of filters, compression, dehissers etc. that I never use unless the LP is screwed. There are recording "wizards" to walk you through the process. The tracks will be wav files and you will either need to upgrade the software to be able to convert tracks to MP3 in this software or you can find a freeware program for this. The 2005 version of the program may include this already. It's also great for making mix CDs as you can master all the songs, equalize the gain, and crossfade the tracks. It's cool!
Actually, it doesn't cost a penny to use Audiograbber and a PC with a sound card built in. It just so happens that my PC is upstairs and would require a 50-plus foot RCA cable to reach it from my downstairs audio rig. My laptop only has a mono microphone input so I purchased the Power Wave ($100) to use as an external USB sound card. It has gold-plated RCA inputs and also is powered to allow you to hook up speakers to play music from your laptop.
You can also do it with apple's grage band program and iTunes. The sound is very good (better than a ripped AIFF file from a CD), if you have an audiophile quality LP player, needle, and preamp. If not, use a CD.

If you want a audiophile DAC for a computer, check out the wavelength audio "Cosecant USB Computer DAC" at www.wavelengthaudio.com

hope this helps
Oh, I thought you were using a $500.00 sound card. For $100.00 that's great. Also the M-Audio Audiophile sound card is good for $100.00. I'll have to check out wavelength. Keep in mind you are going to compress the audio files so a $100.00 sound card should be more than fine. Also, it looks like with an Ipod you do not need to convert to MP3 cuz i-tunes does it for you?? So you could burn a CD from ACL, etc, etc.,
This is great news! I've got an IBM Thinkpad though, so adding on cards is not going to happen. There is a microphone input and of course USB. Do I need to use the "burn a cd" approach, or can I go direct?
Your MIC input is probably mono, so it won't work. You will need an external USB sound card unless you have a stereo mini-jack input somewhere on your PC which I have not seen before.(See my post above) I don't know if you can rip a wav file to AAC from the hard drive with iTunes. I think the AAC sounds better than mp3.
Ok, so either I go external, or I get a device that can burn a cd from a stereo input. Got to think about this. I wonder which would sound better?
I've experimented around with this for the last year.

My original goal was to simply burn the LP's to CD for listening to in the car. I started out by hooking a Dell laptop up via the tape out on my amp by way of an RCA to mini-plug adapter and recording using CoolEdit software. I wasn't real happy with the sound quality though - most probably due to the soundcard built into the laptop.

I then purchased a Pioneer CDR burner which worked out well - but I did end up making quite a few cdr-coasters by not setting levels correctly or pressing the start / stop button a bit too late, and so on.

The best way I've found so far is I purchased a Yamaha CDR-HD1000 CD/HD recorder for $300 shipped from vanns.com http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/features/534499582

What this device allows you to do is record straight onto a 20Gb hard drive within the unit - so if you mess up you just simply erase it and start again. You've got all sorts of editing ability once it's on the drive too. You can do fades, erase portions of the track, and a lot more.

Once it's on the hard drive as you like it you do a high speed direct digital rip of it to an CDR-Audio and you're done! If you want it in MP3 you can rip it to your hard drive from teh CDR and convert it with MusicMatch, etc. and dump it to your i-pod.

The Yamaha unit does a great job and the sound quality is fantastic. I've ripped hundreds of LP's and have been very happy with the results. At $300 shipped it's a steal considering its original MSRP of $1000.
Check out the external Waveterminal U24. You can run analog to the waveterminal from your LP setup....and USB to your ThinkPad.