Cheapskate Filter
August 1, 2005 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Can I record LPs onto CDs by hooking up my PC to my stereo? I have a stereo, I have a PC with CD drive. I don't have a CD burner. Being a big fat cheapskate, I'm wondering if there's a way to record my LPs onto CD without buying yet another stereo component.
posted by scratch to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What? You want to burn cds without a cd burner? Do you mean that your drive burns?

If so just use a male/male audio cable, plug one into the stereo out, plug one into your mic/line-in. I seem to remember this question being asked rather frequently, but I can't seem to search up any results.
posted by cyphill at 9:13 AM on August 1, 2005

Best answer: I did it exactly that way. Player output -> sound card input. You can use sound recorder or any one of the free sound programs out there. I used Audacity when I was ripping LPs out.

You'll get a big-ass file, all the songs on one side in one. Audacity can split them up and encode them to the format you want. You need a fair bit of disk space but it's quite easy other than that.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:54 AM on August 1, 2005

Is this really an effective use of your time? I can pinch a penny till Lincoln cries but if you're working on hardware old enough it didn't come with a burner odds are you'll find working with files that big and doing the MP3 compression (not to mention the time involved in playback & recording in real time) kinda painful.

You'd be better served buying used CDs and/or mp3s from The industry might not agree but I think you're on pretty solid ethical ground buying mp3 versions of music you already own on LPs.
posted by phearlez at 10:05 AM on August 1, 2005

posted by smackfu at 10:10 AM on August 1, 2005

Also previously.

Phearlez, there are LPs not re-released on CD and songs not available on mp3, which is unfortunate but just the way the market's working now. Which might be what prompted the question. :-)
posted by Tuwa at 10:16 AM on August 1, 2005

Over 90% of the vinyl I have and care about and would like in digital form is not available on CD. I've did the conversion of some of it, but it is a pain, and takes time to do it right. If you have the money to spend and you can replace your vinyl collection with CD's then it could be considered an option...
posted by raster at 11:42 AM on August 1, 2005

Best answer: Can I record LPs onto CDs [...] I don't have a CD burner.

No, you can't.

But, even for a self-admitted cheapskate, CD burners are criminally inexpensive these days.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:47 AM on August 1, 2005

Response by poster: Wow, thanks, Civil_D. The real point was that I don't want to have to buy any more crap (including CD versions of LPs I already own) but the newegg link has me singing a different tune.
posted by scratch at 11:49 AM on August 1, 2005

(Also, DVD burners are about $45 nowadays.)
posted by smackfu at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2005

Tuwa - that's what I would have assumed if not for the talk about cheapness.

Re: DVD/CD burners, unless you're going to go the cheapie $20 CD burner route I'd suggest you drop $100 and grab one of the Plextor DVD burner models. Burners are definately a penny-wise pound-foolish thing - you can eat up your savings with coastered DVD blanks pretty quick, even as cheap as the media has gotten. I just ordered a 16x DVD burner from Newegg for $105 shipped.
posted by phearlez at 1:44 PM on August 1, 2005

Burners are definately a penny-wise pound-foolish thing

Sorta true. There are two manufacturers that are considered "cheap" yet are the consistent top performers in the 'biz. They are: Lite-On (for CD burners) and LG Electronics for DVD burners.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:48 PM on August 1, 2005

My take on this has always been: if PC audio is something you're really interested in getting into, then by all means undertake an LP -> digital project. If you just want to listen to the LPs without hooking up a turntable every time, though, then just buy/download some mp3s. There are caveats (you might be interested in archiving, in which case a compressed format wouldn't do), but in general be sure you know what your ultimate goal is - it sounds like less of a new hobby and more of a one-time goal (digital music), which is a lot easier to arrive at in the ways phearlez has given above.
posted by electric_counterpoint at 5:15 PM on August 1, 2005

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