How to Convert LP to CD or MP3 for FREE

February 18, 2013 by Karl

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This article will show you how to convert vinyl records to CD or MP3 for FREE. This assumes that you have the appropriate cable, a computer, and a turntable to play the record. This conversion can be very time-consuming (about one hour actual time per LP), but if you don’t mind spending the time, you can save lots of money in CD purchases, or in sending it out for professional transfer.  My personal reason for doing this has been to convert the approximate 150 albums that I have into something I can listen to without having all this heavy equipment taking up space in the house.  Once I am finished with all of them, the turntable is likely to go.

Some audiophiles will tell you that this method of conversion is not going to give you the best quality recording.  This is true, but for 99% of the population this will provide a very good quality recording, and we are, after all, talking about vinyl records with all their hiss, pops, and skips.

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First, if you still have a turntable you are in good shape.  Others will need to beg or borrow from friends who still have this stuff sitting in their attics.  Check Craigslist.  You may be able to find one locally for free.

The next thing you need is a cable to go from the turntable to your computer.  A laptop is very handy for this, but you could use any computer that you can move close to your turntable.  In most cases the cable you will need has RCA connectors on one side, and a 3.5mm microphone jack on the other.  If you don’t have this type of cable in your house, you can buy one locally from Radio Shack, or on Amazon HERE.
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Now we need some software for the computer that can be used to record and edit.  For this we use a free program called Audacity.  Download and install the program on your computer.

The rest is fairly simple.  Just follow the video below:

How to convert LP’s to CD or MP3 from Frugalberry.com on Vimeo.


5 Comments »

  1. Don Verboom says:

    Wow
    How did you ever learn how to do this, I have had Audacity for nine months and have never been able to use it, no matter how hard I have tried.I watched your video twice and now I’m an expert. Thank you for putting your knowledge and all your time online for others to view. I bet there are a lot of relieved people like me out there.
    Regards
    Don Qld Aust

  2. Mike says:

    I was able to follow the video until the 15 min. mark. When he deleted the top track, he then exported it? Huh? He just made track 2 below track one. Why did he not export the bottom track where all the songs were separated. This is confusing.

    • Karl says:

      Mike,

      When you cut each song out and past it into a new track below, eventually you have nothing left in the original track. I simply removed this track to make it less confusing. Sorry that it wasn’t more clear.

  3. Fernando says:

    Looks like you plug the mini plug into the mic input, in that case you gonna have a mono recording. 99% of laptop don’t have line input which you need to get a stereo recording

    • Karl says:

      I believe you are misinformed. Most laptops built within the past 6 years have stereo microphone inputs. You will see from my video that both left and right tracks are recording separate sound levels when I zoom in on the laptop screen while explaining the software at about the 7 minute mark in the video.

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