How to Take your Vinyl Tunes with You!

By Tom Ledford | The Practical Computer

1961 Dodge Polara

We’ve been toting our tunes around since there have been recorded tunes. Vinyl, 8 track, cassette tape, CD and mp3 digital files. Now, I hear that vinyl is making a comeback. For me, it never really left.

Too bad we can’t get an option like the ’61 Dodge’s record player, on new cars today. Thankfully, you don’t need to be James Bond, Matt Helm or Betty Draper to take your vinyl tunes with you. All you have to do is make mp3 copies.

Don’t fret though. It’s easy…

Everything you need, to enjoy the music you have on records, while on the go

All you really need to take your vinyl tunes with you is a 1961 Dodge Polara convertible. If you have trouble finding one, don’t worry. There are a few more options available. Although, I have to confess, the Dodge is my favorite.

1961 Dodge Polara Convertible

USB turntables and all in ones

If you don’t want to buy another car, you can buy an “all in one” solution. They are among the simplest devices you can use to convert LPs to digital format. The biggest advantages of this type of unit are, you don’t need a computer and they are very easy to use.

There are a few companies that make these types of devices, but Crosley Radio is the one I am most familiar with.  I gave my wife a Crosley CD recorder turntable for Christmas a few years ago. It’s a groovy contraption!

Crosby CD recorder turntable
Crosley CD/Tape Recorder and stand

The recorder will record your LP and 45 records to mp3 files, and write them to a CD-R,RW disc. Since my Honda Civic’s CD player will play mp3 files from disc, I can tote hundreds of tunes around on a single CD-R! 

I usually burn six or so albums to a CD. I think I have Joss, Janis, Frank and Susan on the one I have in my car now. You know, Stone, Joplin, Sinatra and Tedeschi! A couple more would fit, but I can carry a couple more CDs. I figure that’s around 700 songs a CD at 3 to 5MB a song.

Another neat feature of the Crosley unit, is a mini phone jack for audio in. I can set my laptop, phone or tablet on top of it, plug it in and use the Crosley as speakers. Just right for listening in the dining room and kitchen. Having my home network’s digital music collection at hand is cool. I like listening to the radio while I cook or clean the kitchen.

Crosley has been making radios since 1920! They have an awesome lineup of radios, turntables, and “HiFi” stereos. From portable USB turntables, to beautiful oak consoles, you won’t find another selection of devices quite like Crosley’s. 

I like the Executive Portable USB-Enabled 3-Speed Turntable too, especially the one in brown leather.

Crosley Executive Portable USB-Enabled 3-Speed Turntable


Don’t need a new piece of furniture or a new turntable? 

Grab a box of Roxio Easy LP to MP3 software

Roxio’s Audio Capture USB device

For $50 you get the Roxio Easy LP to MP3 software, Roxio’s Audio Capture USB device and complete cable kit. Provide your own computer and turntable and it’s everything you need to digitize, clean and convert your records to mp3.

Easy as pie!

You see. It’s easy to convert your music collection to digital, no matter their format! So dig out your zerostat and discwasher, and spin some LPs!

Zerostat and Discwasher

Update February 2, 2015 (Groundhog Day!)

Regrets and Adventure

One of my big regrets is the thinning of my LP collection. I guess you move more than a few times in 50 years, and if you are lucky, you’ve had that many friends. I still love playing them, but I have lost most of my ambition to be an audiophile.

LPs are more fun too. Do you remember spending hours in record stores reading liner notes? There is a cool vintage store in Lexington called Pops Resale, that specializes in used records. I can still spend considerable time browsing records there. Pops is always trading for and buying old LPs too, so they have “new” stuff to see each time you go. They also sale used stereo equipment, instruments, appliances and vintage clothes. Going to Pops is always an adventure. 

But the best part – Used LPs sell for $2 to 4 bucks. We have bought several that look like they’ve never been played. Rediscovering music can be more rewarding than discovering it. Nostalgia can color in beautiful tones.

Pops Resale – Over 6,000 square feet of stuff you WANT


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