Snap, crackle, pop. The sound of somebody dropping a needle on your
new record. The vinyl cut so deep that you get a repeat of the same
groove, over and over and over.
Remember those days? If so then read on. If not stick your iPod
back in your ear and check out
iPod Access for Windows.
Then there's the second story. You got a brother-in-law? If you
do you've experienced a version of this story. If you don't have one you're missing out on a
great source of humor/shock/horror and general all around fun.
My brother-in-law lives in another part of the country so I don't get to see
him often. Last time I visited I noticed a turntable that looked very,
very nice. I mentioned it. "Oh" says he "yeah, I got that to play my
vinyl. You know vinyl is just so much cooler than
digital." "It's a very, very nice turntable" says I. "Yeah" says he
"the cartridge ran about $1,500 and the turntable was..." but by
that time I was numb and I was beyond hearing. I realized that his
complete setup cost more than my house.
So you've got Barry McGuire and the Doctor's "South of the
Border" or that Fresh Today album with "Stoned in Saigon" on it or
even Jack Bruce "At His Best" on vinyl. Or maybe, if you're really cool like
me, that Stanley Turrentine record that never got released on CD.
So you might be able to find the old turntable (if you haven't
given it to your brother-in-law), find a receiver with phono inputs
(not that easy) and spin it up. Oops, those cereal guys suddenly
make their presence known. You know; snap, crackle and pop.
Wouldn't it be great to transfer vinyl or even cassette (if
you've got 8-track I don't even wanna hear about it*) to digital
without bringing the cereal guys along? I've been trying for years and I've tried
everything out there and after holding my mouth just the right
way....it never happened the way I wanted it to.
That is before Acoustica released "Spin It Again".
Firstly a bit about Acoustica. I've used a lot of their products
because 1) they work and 2) they're so blasted easy to use. I've
never had to spend more than a couple of minutes and do much more
than punch the mouse a couple of times and I was up and running. I
was hopeful that Spin It Again would be the same. Acoustica didn't
First you're going to need a turntable or a cassette player to
hook up to a sound card. The software comes with a hookup wizard
that will help you out but you may end up needing a cable. I did and
it ran me a whole $5 at Radio Shack. There are other cases where you
may need a pin adapter to change an RCA jack to a mini-plug, but
none of this is going to run into big bucks or involve anything
approaching building a nuclear reactor or setting up Windows
There are also wizards for setting level adjustments, recording
and editing along with a spiffy control panel that puts everything
in one place:
Click on image to enlarge
Now the fun part; Acoustica included a Mikey cereal eater that
automagically eliminates the snap, crackle and pops. Indeed it will
even eliminate snakes. You know; tape hiss.
It'll create audio CDs and/or convert recordings to MP3, OGG, WMA
and hi-fi WAV format. Automatic track detection will split your
albums into tracks ready for your iPod, MP3 or CD player.
You can even record in hi-fi sampling rates and bit depths and
render out to hi-fi DVD audio ready files (take that
Have something big, perhaps a fourteen tape set of an EST seminar? No problem, Spin It Again will capture them all and then
split into as many CDs as required.
All this and 1) it works and 2) it's easy.
I might not have my brother-in-law's zillion dollar turntable but
by golly I've got "Stoned in Saigon" on my iPod. And no, he's not
getting my vinyl copy.
$34.95 from the publisher
Since writing this article my opinion of Spin-It Again hasn't
changed except that I think I probably appreciate it more. I've
played a number of ripped songs for a good dozen people and they
can't detect the difference in source between a digital or analog
original. I know, it's hard to believe, I probably wouldn't have
believed it unless I'd seen (and heard) it firsthand, but there it
* Second addition after the fact: I put the 8-track
reference in there trying to be funny and thinking that there
probably weren't any around. Sure enough I received an email from
NATANNI poking fun back at me because he actually hooked up an
8-track to Spin-It-Again and had had great results ripping some old
8-tracks! Hats off to NATANNI (who actually has 4 8-track players)
for showing it CAN be done and taking the time to let me know about