By Richard Menta 12/15/06
I not only have a sizeable a collection of vinyl, I own quite a few shellac 78's. So when I first saw the posting for the Ion Audio iTTUSB it caught my attention. I say that because I have had the notion to convert my old technology music into a more convenient digital form, but frankly have not had the energy to spend the hours necessary to run line-in to line-out to make the conversion. Unfortunately, such recordings are made in real time, which requires hours of effort.
Ion Audio's iTTUSB does not look like it will shave off the time it takes to convert your music, but it does look like it will transcode - if that's the right word - the peaks and valleys found in those analog grooves into the MP3 format in a more convenient manner. Most interesting, it will convert old 78's despite the fact that the unit only has two speeds. Accompanying software called Audacity allows you to play your shellac disks on the 45 speed. Audacity will then will speed it up to the proper rate digitally. The phonograph also comes with SoundSoap 2 from Bias, a tool for digitally removing the skips and pops from dirt and scratches.
Ion Audio iTTUSB turntable is available on Amazon
How good it is will require further investigation, but Ion Audio is confident there is a demand. Stores like JC Penny and Circuit City are already selling the unit, which retails for about $150.00. I will say this, as more old timer pick up iPods not for their grandchildren, but for themselves they are getting more comfortable with digital. The suggests a significant upside for the analog ripping market.
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