Day 5 Notable events, and putting cassettes & vinyl onto CD

Yesterday, my blog passed the 2000-mark number of viewings; small beer for some blogs, with that number and more in a day, I believe, nevertheless, a notable event for me. I feel it is also auspicious that when I complete my resolution of 20 days of blogging I will have reached the 99 mark for the number of blog posts. By then, we will also have passed the notable time of 12 seconds past 12 on the 12th of the 12th, 2012; a time I would write as 12.12:12 12/12/12. And the days will be getting longer, something that always makes me feel better with life. This year’s winter solstice -the moment when the North Pole is furthest away from the sun – will occur at 11.12 GMT on the 21st December and days start getting longer from then on. Interestingly, last year the solstice was on the 22nd December at 5.30 am (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/dec/21/when-is-winter-solstice).

In a previous post I mentioned downsizing and dumping old cassettes. I have a similar intention for vinyl. But I just do not want to say goodbye to some stuff forever. I suspect this is not an uncommon problem and I thought I would share my recently discovered easy way to save cassettes and vinyl to CD. Previously, I bought a record deck that had a USB port so you could take music off vinyl and into a computer to produce a CD. This worked for a short while but stopped after about 20 records. By which time it was nearly a year old and I thought it was not worth returning to the manufacturer in the far east. In the past I have also bought software to do the conversion but, whilst it’s very versatile and possibly good for removing hiss and making other adjustments, I found this much too fiddly. So on to my latest wheeze.

This method involves the “Sound recorder” utility that I found in the Accessories folder of the Program Files on my computer, a co-axial to co-axial plug lead and the earphone or Aux out socket on a record player, cassette player or Walkman. Plug all this together, the co axial cable goes into the Microphone socket of the computer, and open the Sound Recorder utility. Start playing the tape or record and adjust the volume on your player until the sound bar on the Sound Recorder display is mostly green, this avoids too much distortion. When you have this adjusted start the tape/record again and click Start Recording on the little Sound Recorder box on the computer. When you have recorded enough, click “Stop recording” and save the file to a suitable place and with a suitable name. You then need to write this file to a blank CD. I use Roxio Creator to do this but there are probably lots of other ways. The resulting CD will not be high fidelity but it will enable you to listen again to your favourite music and discard old tapes and records, if you want. Good luck.

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