Thursday, January 05, 2006

The search is over

I have a sizeable record collection. I love my albums; there is something about playing a record that heightens the tactile sensations of what would be an otherwise purely aural experience (give me 50 cents for using aural in a sentence!).

That being said, I love my iPod as well. Unfortunately, analog albums and digital iPods don't play well together. While it's possible to convert an album to an MP3, that involved more equipment and learning than I was willing to invest. Until now!

Ion has released the ITTUSB, "the world’s first USB turntable", which promises to make ripping my CDs to MP3 easy for a relatively small amount of money. As soon as I learned about this, I knew I needed one.

Unfortunately that was on January 1. You know what? These things were sold out nationwide. Amazon.com couldn't even get any. I was resigning myself to either waiting, or pestering local retailers with daily phone calls until I found one.

I chose to pester the stores and found success. I called the local Urban Outfitters this morning, and found out that one had come in. I reserved it.

This will be occupying me for a while, I'm sure. Look for a thorough review of the turntable over on This Are Music, as well as some reviews of some great old albums that I'll be getting reaquainted with.

Link to corporate site

9 comments:

Abishag said...

Ok, I'll be standing at your porch with my dolly full of vinyl as soon as you retrieve this nifty device.

Writer Mom said...

Very cool.

Segue said...

Oh my God, that is that biggest gimmick I've ever seen in my life.

If you already own a turntable, which is attached to a stereo with any sort of "Audio Out" connection, you can accomplish precisely what that thing claims it can do for less than $20.

All you need is a set of RCA cables with an RCA-to-1/8in jack on one end, and any sort of real-time recording software on your computer (You can buy a VERY good registered prgm online for about $20 that is designed for tracking vinyl recordings, with no unnecessary features... And you can try it for 2 weeks for free. It's called Polderbits).

But I guess if you want the new turntable, $140 isn't bad, although it appears to be a run-of-the-mill cheapy belt drive in a futuristic-looking body.

(I DJ, and I know turntables, which admittedly makes me kind of a snot about this sort of thing... But this truly is not a groundbreaking invention of any sort, unless you count the USB capability, which is entirely unnecessary, IMO. I've been recording high-quality digital recordings from my turntables for years with shareware and a $5 Radio Shack plug, and it surprises me how few people know how easy it is.)

Segue said...

Okay, that last comment was a little harsh. I'm sure it's a decent product.

But I'd like to point something out about the thing:

If you look at a picture of it, you'll notice the dual start/stop buttons on the left two corners of the turntable (they're the big oval buttons). The purpose of these are to make the turntable more DJ-friendly... Scratch DJ's often turn their tables sideways with the tone arm toward the back so they won't bump it.

I commend them on their clever marketing of a substandard DJ turntable to an entirely different market. Clever.

alpharat said...

Thanks, Segue. You really know how to bust someone's chops.

Segue said...

Sorry, I'm just a vinyl nerd.

I'm a big fan of the Technics SL-1200 turntable, which was designed in the 70's for broadcast use. The design has remained essentially unchanged ever since. I like them so much, I bought TWO. (that's a DJ joke)

Unfortunately, it costs about $450, not including a cartridge... Not a reasonable choice for the average consumer.

Mike said...

Segue, don't be hatin on the belt drive. Audiophiles spend mad money on fancy belt drives.

Obviously, they're not something that DJs can love because they don't stop and start on a dime, but the premise is (from a magazine article I read that prompted my roommate to immediately sell me his direct-drive Denon dirt cheap) that the motor being directly under the record -- and thus the needle -- creates noise that a belt drive, with its remotely located motor, doesn't produce. Splitting hairs, in my mind, especially with my Denon's motor encased in what amounts to a polished 2x4, but splitting hairs is what those expensive audio junkies are about.

As for recording with a regular turntable into your computer -- sure, that's swell, but the premise of plugging something directly into the computer, eliminating your (possibly stone age) stereo receiver from the equation, is a good one. Your sound is only as good as its weakest link, and I know that Denon sounds great until I plug it into my beat-ass 70s stereo.

Personally, I have a firewire sound input device I use for recording when I write music, and a mono tube preamp (for mics). Unforunately, until I spring for another mono preamp or a stereo one, I can only record the left channel of my records. Mind you, some records have great left channels (Revolver, fantastic left channel), but I think I'll still be over at Alpha's house with a bunch of booze helping us both to double our mp3 stash and preparing for the inevitable RIAA raid.

zilla said...

Hi. I'm an asshole.

Scratch that. (Pun intended)

I miss vinyl. Sadly, I gave it all away after about the seventh move of my first marriage. In hindsight, I should have been a little more "Vinyl ain't heavy, it's my brother."

So, so many regrets!

Congrats on your new purchase. We're going to miss you while you play, but we will feel happy knowing how much fun you're having.

And a little jealous, because we're human.

a PS is coming via e-mail.

Justin said...

Oh man this thing looks sweet! I have got to try it out once you get your grubby mitts on it!