How do I digitize my LPs?

Q: Hi Eric; I have a collection of 45s and LPs in my basement that I play and enjoy. I would like to upload them to my computer. Could you give me ideas about what equipment and software I would need to do this? Thanks.

— Bevin Prussia

A: If you have a turntable, Griffin Technology's iMic ($34.95; is a good choice. Attach your turntable to the iMic, then plug the iMic into your computer's USB port, and flip the iMic's switch to "Mic" so it will amplify your turntable's sound. Record your records using the included Mac software (Windows users can download the free audio recording software Audacity from It's created by ordinary geeks who like making software, but it has stood the test of time.)

Got a turntable? I suggest the Ion Audio PowerPlayer LP ($49.99;, which can connect to your computer's USB port and comes with software called EZ Converter, which will record your to your hard drive. You'll need Apple's iTunes software to organize your recordings, convert them from mp3 format to wav files, play them back, and burn them to CD.

Now, audiophiles are going to rip me for suggesting these low-cost options. The digital-to-audio converters in these units can't come close to high-end DACs, and the thought of converting warm LPs to mp3 files sends them — understandably — into apoplexy. But I've got to tell you, most people won't hear the difference, and if they do, you won't mind.

You'll be too busy listening to your dusties on your portable music player.

Have a question about your computer, cellphone, camera or any gadget? Let us know! E-mail Eric Gwinn at, and you could be featured in an upcoming Gadget Q&A column.

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