A friend recently gave me some LP records, some of which were still sealed in shrink wrap. Since they were in excellent condition, I decided to transfer them to my computer using my USB turntable and Audio Hijack Pro, an excellent $32 program from Rogue Amoeba. Here are the steps for transferring records to your computer and then loading them into iTunes.
1. Connect your turntable to a USB port on your computer.
2. Launch Audio Hijack Pro.
3. Click the + sign in the bottom left, and create a new Hijack point.
4. In the right pane, click on the drop down field next to Source Type and select Audio Device.
5.In the Input Device, select USB Audio Codec. Be sure that all other USB audio devices are disconnected.
6. The Output field can be set to Silence Output if you don’t want to monitor the recording. Selecting this setting can prevent tinny earphone sounds during long recording sessions. You can also set the Output to the headphones setting if you want to monitor what’s being recorded.
7. Right click on your audio device in the left hand column, select rename, and give it an understandable label, like Turntable.
8. Click on the Recording Tab.
9. Under the Format field, click on the arrow on the right and make a selection. I choose Apple Lossless. That creates large files with very good sound quality. You can choose any of the others you prefer.
10. I leave the two fields under Files with their default settings, but you can tell the program to store the new files wherever you choose.
11. The next field is my favorite: When Recording Finishes. Click on the arrow at right and you can tell the application to immediately take what you’ve recorded and export it to iTunes or to your iPod. I send newly recorded files to iTunes. In iTunes I right click on the file that says Audio Codec etc., then on Info, and enter information about the recording.
12. I leave all the other fields on Audio Hijack’s recording with their default settings. I change nothing.
13. You can now click on Tags and enter the name of your recording and related information, or wait to do this until the music is exported to iTunes (see Step 15 below).
14. I put a record on the turntable and place the arm on the edge of the record, but I don’t actually start playing the record until I’ve hit the Record button. One I click on Record, the button darkens to show it’s activated. It remains that way until you click it again, which is how you end a recording session.
15. If you told the software to send the recording to iTunes, iTunes will launch and you’ll see it importing something called Audio Codec etc. Change the name to something that makes sense to you and then either create a new playlist or add it to an existing one.
16. The next time you launch Audio Hijack Pro, the settings will remain as they were the last time you used it.
(In a future article we will discuss splitting LP tracks.)