Cheaply Digitising Old Records

Digitising old records

The problem – a bunch of old records passed on to me by my Mum that used to be mine when I was a kid. An old Vera Lynn 45 record of children’s songs, my Rupert the Bear musical I was given when I was 8, a Looney Tunes collection, and misc others. The answer – a cheap USB turntable and Audacity for the actual recording. Of course, for better quality recording you need better equipment (proper record player + a pre-amp apparently) and you need to spend more time cleaning records, removing imperfections from the recording etc. But that would guarantee this job would never actually get done or be worth the time and money ;-). And for children’s records of the sort I needed to record, sound fidelity was not much of an issue. The USB turntable was a Megabeat MB-USBTR04, the computer was running Ubuntu Linux 13.04, and I used Audacity 2.0.3. One potential gotcha – you need to select the USB line in option as your input from the drop down list (very long in my case for some reason) on the menu. Then save your recordings in the lossless flac format and you’re done.