Recent technology has made it relatively inexpensive to get back into collecting vinyl. On top of that, there are many inexpensive used records for sale, sold by people that do not recognize their increasing value. The only bad thing about this medium is that it is difficult to enjoy when the evolution of technology has focused more on things becoming more portable. Luckily, there are a couple things that can make listening on the go sound like vinyl without you having to purchase digital versions of your vinyl collection.
There are a couple ways to transfer a vinyl collection to digital files. Many popular electronics stores sell custom-made setups that interface with a computer, using USB to transfer the files at as high a quality as possible. This method is good for some, since the setups come with software to improve sound quality and take away some hiss, but overall, it is far from optimal. Players made this way usually have very inexpensive components. This makes for inadequate sound quality for audiophiles, since the sound is significantly degraded both in the transfer and following compression. Most of these players will cost a substantial amount of money, and even then, the post-processing will take away a lot of what makes vinyl special.
The other method of transferring is obtaining a high quality record player with standard analogue outputs. One can easily obtain an audio interface that has the same jacks as turntables (usually RCA) for less than one hundred dollars. This method is a bit trickier, since one may need to obtain recording software, but there are many free and open source recorders that work for the simple process. Most people play an entire side of a record at once, going back into it to cut each track apart from the others. This makes separate files for a collection of Metallica vinyl albums, so one does not have to start at the beginning and wait for a few tracks before arriving at their favorite song.
Next, a person can compress the files into various formats to be placed onto a portable music device. Wave files offer the best quality, but are much too large for the purposes of transporting music. Instead, the choice is between compressing songs to a lossless or a standard format. Lossless compresses the file but leaves the sound quality completely untouched so it sounds like there is no compression at all. If the files are still too large or one does not mind the lower quality, they will want to look at compressing files to high bitrate MP3s. These files still sound flawless at 256 or 320 kbps and are also universal, so most players will have no problem playing them.
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