Tips for digitizing your old music

It's hard to find anyone who doesn't use an iPod or MP3 player to get music these days. If your vinyl record collection is collecting dust, you can salvage your music with some modern technology.

Bob Blank produces music for TV shows and movies. People also have him transfer their old record albums onto CDs and MP3 players. He says a lot of people really like the sound of vinyl.

"Sometimes the clicks and the pops and the scratch at the end of side one has a significance, and they say, 'leave it in,'" said Blank.

There are several ways to convert old music to a digital format, whether albums or cassettes. But Consumer Reports says to be aware that it's time consuming.

Tester Rich Hammond says 40 hours of music takes at least 40 hours to transfer.

"And in some cases, that 40 hours includes you having to monitor the transfer and mark the end of each song to create the separate tracks on your CD," said Hammond.

Consumer Reports says using your computer is one option for transferring music to CDs or an MP3 player. But you'll have to master the computer software, so this option is best for the tech-savvy.

Another option is using a CD player-recorder. It's the easiest way to transfer old tunes. You'll need a good turntable or cassette player, because the sound quality is only as good as the playback equipment you use.

Consumer Reports recommends the Sony RCD-W500C. It costs about $300.

Consumer Reports says if you only have a few records or cassettes, you're better off using a service to convert them. You can expect to pay $6 to $15 per album or cassette.


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