Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 10 July 2008

The slob's guide to LP - CD transfer

Sentiment pulled one way and the enormity of the task pulled another. Our disc turntable was a space-encroaching anachronism yet we still had 220 LPs. Convert the LPs into CDs then? But a pickup arm only functions in realtime. A complete transfer would take about 92 hours solid.

The decision was precipitated when we opted for a custom-made unit to hold the TV, the amp/tuner, the player, the VCR (now, of course, a DVD unit) and the CDs. One or two observations:

How likely are you to want to hear one of the Diabelli variations separate from the others. Not very, eh? Good, then simply record each side of the LP as two continuous chunks. However, with Schubert songs each will need its own track. Fiddly but necessary.

Clean and re-clean the LPs before playing them with a Dust Bug. You won’t eliminate the scratches and the needle will occasionally catch – usually when you’re buttering a slice of toast – causing you to rush in and clumsily give it a nudge. You could re-record but that’s not me. It probably won’t be you after 15 – 20 hr of this nit-picking work. Don’t despair. On the CD the repeated groove will be agony but with an underlay of comfort. It will right itself!

With 220 or more LPs there’ll be those you haven’t played for ages. Epiphanies await. In my case Schoeck’s “Notturno”.

Finally, after it was all done I swapped the turntable for a mobile phone.


marja-leena said...

Very timely article for us while we are doing a major purge of ancient stuff in our house. We haven't gone as far as dealing with LPs yet for it seems too time consuming! We're having difficulty finding places that will accept all the older technology for reuse, even the secondhand tech shops have too much of it. It's a shame for working equipment to be trashed into bits of metal and waste. But apparently there are some collectors of old LPs still out there.

marja-leena said...

Oh, forgot to ask exactly how you did the recording, eg. connecting the turntable to your computer.

Plutarch said...

I don't know why but it always seems to me that a discarded piece of electronic equimpment has something sad about it. With mechancal equipment it is different: you feel that it could more easily be repaired or come in useful in an unforseen way.

Barrett Bonden said...

Both: If a customer is killed by a defective used TV, the vendor's third-pary insurance will not cover this unless there is proof the eqpt was checked before sale. Also: passage of time. Most stuff (esp computers)rapidly becomes incompatible with the systems that succeed it.
Marja-Leena: The answer is bit like yours about scanners. A cable from the aux. socket on the amp to the cd recorder/player is all. Don't even consider this job in your presently crowded house. Tranquillity is essential. Irritation is always round the corner. Or it was with me.

Frank Lynch said...

There will come a time when you'll look at all those CD jewel boxes in a row, and remember that the 'C' stands for 'compact.'

We moved all our CDs to individual plastic sleeves (such as those made by Case Logic) and bought a dresser from the 1940's - - it had sufficient wood in the bottom of each drawer - - and started using depth to store them. Far less wall needed.

Barrett Bonden said...

Frank: I take your point. In fact I have to take it since my last job before retirement was as editor of a logistics magazine where efficient storage was a recurrent subject. Three rather feeble attempts at rebuttal: (1) I can switch to your suggestion later if I wish, (2) Don't sleeves make it difficult to read the spines? (3)The CDs' bulky presence is something of an intellectual comfort. (I know, I know, I'm a weeb.)