Transferring records to CD / Digitizing audio

By Jim Hobbs

This page lists information resources on the process of digitizing analog recordings to transfer to CD form, or simply use in digital form.  There are also entries for general audio preservation and related areas.

Web pages and sites

Start hereTransferring LPs to CDR: Some Advice.  Excellent, last updated March 18, 2006.  (By the same author: Clive's FAQ About Audio on a PC.)

Braga, Mike. "How To Rip and Clean Your Analog Audio Collection." (June 22, 2010). (Uses Audacity.)

Broida, Rick. Alpha Geek: How to digitize cassette tapes. Recommends Audacity sound editing software.

Convert LPs into MP3s from Wired's WikiHow. (October 14, 2008)

Copying audio tapes to CDs from C|Net (April 7, 2005).

Copying Vinyl Recordings to CD. From the BBC. (October 14, 2002).

Dewey-Wright Enterprises.  "How to create a CD from Vinyl" (November 27, 2001).

Gordon, Whitson. "What's the difference between all these audio formats, and which one should I use?" Lifehacker. (July 28, 2012) Compares lossless and lossy audio formats.

Henry, Alan. Five Best Audio Editing Applications. Sept. 2, 2012. Reports the results of a Lifehacker reader poll.

How To Convert Vinyl Records (singles and LPs) to Audio CDs and MP3 files (Jan. 2, 2010, no author given)

Long, Chris. "Turning old music into digital." BBC News. (January 29, 2006)

McFadden, Andy. "How do I transfer my records or cassettes to a CD?" (Part of the CD-Recordable FAQ - Section 3.)

Nield, David. How To Digitize Your Old Music and Videos at Home. Sept. 12, 2016. With audio hardware and software (Audacity) and video hardware and software.

Silva, Robert. Adventures in CD recording : Preserving vinyl on CD. (no date, 3 sequential pages).

Skwarecki, Beth. Digitizing records and tapes with Audacity. (October 4, 2007).

Tarantola, Andrew. How to Digitize Your Vinyl Collection. Posted July 14, 2012.

White, Ian. Breathe new life into dusty vinyl by digitizing your LPs (the right way) May 9, 2013.

Printed resources

Magazine and journal articles

Unfortunately, many of these articles are no longer available online. Try your local public or university library.

Bass, Steve.  "LP to CD--Music Soothes Savage Bass."  PCWORLD.COM.  (From the May 2001 issue of PC World magazine)

Bass, Steve.  "Transfer Music from LPs to CDs and MP3s."  PCWORLD.COM.  (dated Wednesday, April 25, 2001)  Has links to many other Web sites.  Uses Roxio's Easy CD Creator 5 Platinum, EnhancedAudio's Diamond Cut 32 and the Plextor Speedwriter.

Dreier, Troy. "Make Your Music Digital." PC Magazine 21 (November 19, 2002):160-161.

Gowan, Michael. "Audio Nirvana: Cards to Speakers." PC World 22 (February 2004): 122-126.

Greenberg, Corey.  "Burn, Baby, Burn!" Audio 84 ( January 2000): 38-43.

Machrone, Bill. "Audio recording on the PC." PC Magazine April 9, 2002, p.57.

Menasché, Emile. "Make Beautiful Music." PC Magazine 22 (November 25, 2003): 162-163. Reviews of consumer products primarily for editing sound files.

Miatstkowski, Stan. "Surround Yourself with PC Sound." PC World 21 (November 2003): 192-193. Reviews of computer sound accessories, e.g., sound cards.

Needleman, Ted.  "Converting LPs to CDs" Poptronics  1 (April 2000):  47-48.

Norton, Patrick. "Rip Your Records" PC World 22:11 (November 2004) : 153-155. [Recommends Microsoft Plus Digital Media Edition )$20) over Magix Audio Cleaning Lab 2005 and Pinnacle Systems Clean 4.]

Pogue, David. "The Sermon on the Tapes." New York Times (March 29, 2007). Also covers video transfer.


Related resources

Preamps Commercial web retailer of phono preamps. (Contributed by Jerry Kazin jkazin at

Preservation, Cleaning & Handling

CDs are dying -- Archive your collection now! It's legal and it's smart.

And now it's time for some liquid refreshment (record cleaning solutions).

Care and Feeding of Vinyl Records from

Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs from the Information Access Division of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Entire document in plain text or PDF.

Cleaning a Record with Wood Glue from YouTube user ghettofunk13. Uploaded April 30, 2011.

Clean Your Records with Glue cover with wood glue, let dry, and peel away the dirt - at least that's the idea. Just don't use epoxy or cyanoacrylate glue.

Cleaning Vinyl Records from Instructables.

Cylinder, Disc and Tape Care in a Nutshell from the Library of Congress (U.S.) with solution formula and bibliography.

DIY Record Cleaning Machine.

Goldman Record Cleaning System review by Bruce Kinch, with many comments on record cleaning devices.

High Quality, Low Cost Record Cleaner a do-it-yourself cleaner.

How To Clean Vinyl Records & Get Better Sound.

IPI Media Storage Quick Reference nine-page PDF covering photographic glass plates, acetate-, nitrate- and polyester-base photographic films, photographic paper, ink jet prints, magnetic tape and CDs and DVDs.

Jerry Raskin's Needledoctor record cleaning machines.

Keith Monks Record Cleaning Machina at Audio-Restoration by Graham Newton.

Last Factory with a variety of products.

Loricraft Audio Record Cleaning System.

Mr. Smashy's Guide to Record Cleaning.

Moth RCM [record cleaning machine] from UK.

Nitty Gritty record cleaning machines
Nitty Gritty 2.5Fi Mk.II Record Cleaning Machine review by Andrew Chasin, January 1998.

Peskovitz, David. HOWTO clean LPs, DVDs, and CDs which links to the U.S. Library of Congress' document Cylinder, Disc and Tape Care in a Nutshell

Record Care, Cleaning, and Storage advice from The Vinyl Tourist.

Record Cleaning and Maintenance from Galen Carol Audio, San Antonio, TX.

Record Doctor II review.

Sleeves: Bags Unlimited, Sleeve City also cleaning supplies.

Sound Savings: Preserving Audio Collections, proceedings of a symposium held July 2003 and sponsored by: Preservation and Conservation Studies, University of Texas at Austin, School of Information; Library of Congress; National Recording Preservation Board; Association of Research Libraries. Many papers available in full text.

Thirty-three and 1/2: Tips for Caring for Vinyl from the LYRASIS library organization. Fairly short, with tips on handling, cleaning, storing and extra.

Tracertek record cleaning supplies and equipment.

Vinyl Record Storage and Care Protect Your Investment from a vinyl record dealer. Recommendations, information and links to shelving, album protective products, e.g., sleeves, and cleaning. Note: Amazon links make money for the linker.

Google search for phrase "record cleaning."


Audacity Open source: "A fast multitrack audio editor and recorder for Linux, MacOS, and Windows. Supports WAV, AIFF, Ogg, and MP3 formats. Features include envelope editing, mixing, built-in effects and plug-ins, all with unlimited undo."

Audiotools "A software [sic] with the option of direct to disk recording with CD-R, MP3 and Auto-track"

Cakewalk Pyro 5 Record, edit, and burn music. (Contributed by Jerry Kazin jkazin at

CoolEdit 2000 is no longer available. The Syntrillium company was purchased by Adobe, which has discontinued CoolEdit 2000 and changed the Pro version to Adobe Audition.

Golden Records for Windows, from Australia.

Linux Soundfile Editor Roundup From Linux Journal, issue 122, June 2004.

MAGIX Audio Cleaning Lab. Download $30, boxed $40. Works with WAV, MP3, AIF, WMA, and Ogg Vorbis. Also create labels and covers. Reviews: IT Reviews, and PC Magazine.

RIP Vinyl (from the U.K.)

Spin It Again Records and edits sound with noise reduction and effects and CD burning. Shareware. Reviews: Infopackets Windows Newsletter.


Sony USB PX-LX300USB turntable (new) and refurbished converts directly to digital format; plays 33 1/3 and 45 rpms.

TEAC GF-350: copies vinyl and cassettes directly to CD.

Vestax Guber CM-02 Japanese turntable with USB port.

What's The Best Record Player? with submissions from Lifehacker readers July 30, 2015.

Recording services

There are also commercial services that transfer analog to digital recordings for a fee. Search Google for some here.

Too good to miss

3D Printed Record 3D printers are everywhere right now, and here's one application: print vinyl records. Video with audio and a tutorial included. Also background on vinyl records and how and why they work.

Cardboard Record Player

Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project from the Department of Special Collections at the University of California at San Barbara Library: 8000 cylinder recordings from the 1890s to the 1920s.

Electron microscope slow-motion video of vinyl LP. Great detail and narration. Also includes CD and other formats. YouTube video Duration: 9:39.

Extracting Audio from Pictures. Taking an image of a record and turning it into sound. From Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA. Listen to several extracted recordings from this page. Stunning! (June 2012)

From top quarks to the blues about audio restoration using "a precision optical metrology system." More at From the Higgs Boson Particle to Leadbelly. NPR Story on this process from June 28, 2004.

Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment Aimed at those ripping CDs, but a very useful discussion on how to encode audio. (June 2012)

Hincha-Owensby, Melissa. Turn cremated remains into a vinyl record, Aug. 8, 2013. [Andvinyly the company behind the service. Up to 30 disks for 30 British pounds.]

How Music Has Evolved in the Past 70 Years

How to Pirate A Vinyl Record and Vinyl Records Are Made. from the blog "DO IT: Projects, Plans and How-tos" and based on a Discovery Channel program

IRENE Project (Image Reconstruct Erase Noise Etc.) Main page. Interview with physicist Carl Haber. May 2014 Northeast Document Conversation Center blog posting.

Kid Koala CD comes with a build-your-own-turntable kit and a flexidisc (October 2012)

O'Malley, Mike. Turn Your Digital Into Vinyl. ...And we come full circle. April 7, 2014.

Perfect Resting Place for Vinyl Lovers in the too weird to miss category. If you love vinyl, why not become a LP? (Can't tell if this is for real.)

Pescovitz, David. Jack White's tricked-out "Ultra LP" It's got the usual vinyl must-haves (180 gram vinyl, check), but Jack White's new recording Lazaretto also has two holograms, a side that plays from inside out, two hidden tracks (one 45rpm, one 78rpm), making this the most technically advanced vinyl recording I've ever heard of.(May 2014)

Set up a Turntable. From the Wired How-To Wiki.

78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings from the Internet Archive, to listen or download.

Slow and Steady: Vinyl Survives from National Public Radio March 2, 2011. Text transcript and streaming audio.

Sound And The Story - 1956 RCA Victor Vinyl Records Educational Documentary

Steampunk record player (YouTube video)

UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive "The UCSB Library, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Grammy Foundation, and donors, has created a digital collection of more than 10,000 cylinder recordings held by the UCSB Library. To bring these recordings to a wider audience, the Library makes them available to download or stream online for free." (University of California Santa Barbara - U.S.)

Vinyl And CD Release On One Disc From Jeff Mills and it was sold out on June 18, 2010.


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