VINYL - 2,200 LP's to CD or Hard Drive - HELP


Someone I know has an extensive LP collection - to the tune of 2,200 lp's which he has had for MANY years, he is 86. He and his wife are interested in freeing up some space and ease the ability to listen to the music on the LPs instead of looking at them.

He wants to get them onto CD - but I am wondering about getting them onto a hard drive storage facilty for him, as he wants to sell the entire collection after. That will be my lovely task, but before - how do I do the above and any experiences would be appreciated.

One by one is obviously the only way to do this - suggestions on CD versus hard drive storage? Are these folks that get paid to do such an event?

I am near SF, CA -

thanks for any and all input.

Dan
porschecab
Any and all input, eh?

OK then, if it were me, I'd go the hard drive route. That's because a) I'd be ripping to HD anyway, b) even at 86, should I still be around, I reckon I will find it easier to use a mouse to select or build playlists than to swap CDs in a player. Failing eyesight? My computer has a Universal Access control panel that lets me zoom the display.

I'd rip to HD, not directly to CDR. Saves a lost disc if the rip goes wrong, could probably save some of the file too, and no need to recopy to HD.

Other factors : I like the HD --> DAC via USB or FireWire approach. It saves buying and maintaining an expensive transport yet allows upgrades to the DAC. Sound can be great.
Definitely hard drive. I think that I've seen a USB turntable- it could make it easy if the highest fidelity isn't an issue...
A USB turntable would be ideal! Fidelity isn't an issue - being able to pull up an album and listen, easily, is.

I am leaning towards the hard drive - any suggesitons on which ones? I know jack about such.

Thanks.
Dan
Hard drive and off site back up is your best choice. You can always rip cd's at any time in the future if you choose and your music is always protected and saved, albeit in digital format. Unless you have a spare couple of months I'd hire a pro to do it, they would probably coordinate with storage also.
Good Luck
Check this out. It can be used with an existing record player, and will record straight onto a hard drive.

http://www.needledoctor.com/Gemini-iKey-Plus-Portable-USB-Recorder?sc=9
Maxtor makes a few good quality drives in the terabyte range which is what you'll need. The 1.5 TB drive is about $500. The model is One Touch III...or even IV.
That's going to be a lot of manual tagging!
Have a look at Pure Vinyl software for the Mac. I've only just begun to use it, it's pretty slick.
In addition to the garbage ION USB turntable, there are some decent ones, including a USB version of the Project Debut III and the Audio Technica PL-120. All include a built-in phono stage, DAC, and USB interface.

Project Debut USB

Audio Technica AT-PL120 with USB

I'd go for the Audio Technica. It's a quality knock-off of the Technics SL-1200, weighs about 24 lbs., has the detachable universal headshell, and the price is right. You could actually get some good transcriptions off this.

Oh, and I also vote for going HD server. Heck, you could encode at 24/48KHz if you wanted.
No one mentioned this, and I don't want to be a kill joy, but you might want to remind your 86yr old freind that copying the contents of the LP's to another medium, then selling the LP's is a violation of Copyright law. Once he sells the LP's he must destroy the "back ups" which is the CD's or digital coversions stored on the HDD. WIth that being said, transferring 2200+ LP's is a major undertaking and he will most likely go through at least two cartridges.

USB turntables are not built for sound quality but for ease of use. I doubt one would last thru 2200 LP's being transfered to a HDD. If you want a quality transfer, use a quality turntable / arm / cart / phono pream / sound card. Surely this will be a major undertaking no matter which path you choose. LP's to HDD is not an automated task. You will to monitor the job constantly to ensure there's no skipping, and unless you use a semi or fully-auto TT, you will have to be there to lift the arm at the end of the side which you will want to do becuase recording audio at cd quality to a hdd requires 10MB's per minute no matter if you are recording sound or the silence at the runout groove. I don't want to discourage you, but this will not be a quick and easy task.

A_L

06-12-08: Arnold_layne
USB turntables are not built for sound quality but for ease of use. I doubt one would last thru 2200 LP's being transfered to a HDD.
The Project Debut and AT-PL120 were built for sound quality. The USB section is an add-on. Both of these turntables have functioned and sold well for a long time as analog turntables. It's the ION that's made and marketed purely as a USB digitizing turntable that's a lightweight plastic POS.

Furthermore, the Audio Technica is a Technics knockoff, with cast aluminum plinth, close tolerance bearings, and targeted at the dance club market. As a $200 turntable it is simply unbeatable and should survive well past 2,200 LPs WITHOUT A BELT CHANGE! :) (though maybe the motor bearing could use a little oil along the way).

If you outfit it with an Ortofon 2M Red, you can replace the stylus after 1,100 LPs for a mere $69 retail.

The perfect is the enemy of the good, here. Sure, you could get a SME 20 with 12" arm, Clearaudio Goldfinger, EAR or Graham Slee phono stage and pro-quality A/D converter, but I seriously doubt the "client" wants to spend far more money on analog playback gear than he listened through for his entire lifetime.

If he already has a component turntable, maybe the best thing is to just get a USB A/D converter.
I make this out to be about 5 months of work, 12 hours per day, to do the transcription, tagging, and record manipulation;

Figure 45 minutes x 2,200 = 99,000 minutes = 1650 hours = 137.5 12/hour days, with no days off or weekends. If you pay a college kid $10/hour to do this, you're out $16,500. If only (?) four hours a day, it's well over a year and a half.

Are you sure you're up for this?
I would do both. CD's are more of a main stay for now than a hard drive as solid state hard drives may become the norm till the next craze. PC hardware can change fast as I'm sure you know. Take for instance what they are saying about newer OS's and the future of them my be internet based. CD space can be saved by using double sided sleeves, I use them.

06-12-08: Dfhaleycko
I make this out to be about 5 months of work, 12 hours per day, to do the transcription, tagging, and record manipulation;

Figure 45 minutes x 2,200 = 99,000 minutes = 1650 hours = 137.5 12/hour days, with no days off or weekends. If you pay a college kid $10/hour to do this, you're out $16,500. If only (?) four hours a day, it's well over a year and a half.
Actually, I think you can figure an hour for each LP, for the time it takes to mount each record, brush or clean it, clean the stylus, pull the record out, put it away, etc. 40 hours/day x 52 weeks = 2,180 hours, so this is a 1-year, full time job with weekends off, but no holidays or vacation.
Great suggestions all around - especially the mathematical ones - which makes me realize he is going to have to pick about 50 he likes! There is no way I am going to make this happen and no way he will pay $16,500 (or more) to make this happen, which leaves us one option.

Thanks for all of you efforts, legal and functional.
I will chase down one of the USB turntables and do some for him, but we will just sell the rest.

Thanks for your time - great community!

Dan
this endevor is not a good idea. just sort out the records he doesn't want and sell them. enjoy the one's that are left.
Could you give us feedback on how well those USB turntable (Target sells them) work and sound quality?