Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Holiday Gift Guide

Ion Audio (digital transfer products)

Looking for something to get the audiophile in your life (or just yourself)? Do you have a rare John Coltrane, Joe Henderson or Doug Carn album on vinyl? In this new digital age we sometimes forget that allot of what we are hearing was originally on vinyl. For some of us vinyl is still king. I wanted to let everyone know of a great way to transfer your vinyl to digital. For sometime now I've been using a Vinyl 2 PC turntable from a company called Ion Audio.

Ion makes great digital transfer products (cassette, VHS, vinyl and more). The set up is quite easy. You install the software, plug in the USB for turntable to your computer and go. There are some advance features which include volume/pitch control but that requires a little more studying in the manual book which I have chosen to ignore at this time. There a couple of different versions of the vinyl-to-PC at varying price points but all are effective for what you need to do.

If you have a couple of boxes of old cassettes (live Grateful Dead bootlegs, Doors, Beatles, Miles Davis, etc.) the Tape 2 PC can solve that problem too. It includes a noise reduction button that takes out a whole lot of the hissing from cassettes. Now before forewarned that the transfer is only has good as your cassette. I found that allot of my pre-recorded tapes (i.e. the ones I bought from the record store not the mix tape I made at home) sounded better when transferred to digital. Your old mixed tape might not sound so great now but you can make that decision. The Tape 2 PC helped me get rid of over 50 cassettes I had in storage for the last ten years. Whew, glad that's over. Now its nostalgia time.

The sound is impressive as well on the Vinyl 2 PC. There is very little vinyl crackle and pop. But if you are a vinyl junkie there is enough here to keep you satisfied and dreaming of the days when you would listen to an old Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk album at home while looking at that big vinyl album cover. Once the vinyl is transferred on to your computer the program automatically searches a database for the track information. Sometimes you may have to input the track info yourself which really isn't that big of a deal. The info is then imported to your iTunes or other mp3 device and your ready to go.

Yes I know it sounds too easy to be true but it is. And yes there are even better digital transferring devices on the market now but if you want the basics and you want an easy to understand manual Ion Audio is a great gift idea. I've been very happy with my turntable and it's spurred my desire for vinyl again. So if you've been wondering when that Sun Ra live album you owned when you were younger was every going to come out on CD don't wait spend the money and turn it to digital yourself. Prices start around $99 bucks. You won't regret it.

Ion Audio

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