She wanted very little material for Christmas, but there were a few "honey-dos" on the list:
- Help clean the house
- Move her LPs to CD/digital media
If you are interested in ripping vinyl, I can recommend:
- ARTcessories USB Phono/Line capture
- FLAC -- Free Lossless Audio Codec
- Ogg Vorbis -- a compressed format similar to MP3
Audacity is a free, open source sound wave manipulator. It allows you to capture the LP and then break it up into individual tracks. I used (at least so far) no automation to break the tracks up. (You can try and detect "silence" and use that to auto detect the track breaks.) Rather, I used Google Music, Wikipedia, and the album jacket and album itself to learn the track lengths. That information is sufficient to do a straight-forward job of disassembling the LP side into individual tracks. NOTE: This tool is available for Windows, Mac or Linux. I use the Linux version, but my wife uses the Windows version. Caution: The native Audacity file format (.aup) isn't really useful and is a space hog. This is done in order to make audacity very responsive to edits. You will always want to "Save as..." and export to a more usable format once the editing/post-processing is completed. I didn't try and do any pop and hiss cleanup on these files. A lot of folks use Audacity specifically for this purpose. Only one or two of the files would have benefited from this but I didn't have the luxury of time to use this tool/technique.
K3B is a CD/DVD authoring tool capable of creating audio or data CDs and DVDs. I'm familiar and comfortable with the interface (though it really has no especially unique features.) It's a Linux tool.
It takes "play" time to rip the vinyl properly, so each LP is taking "LP time", about 45 minutes to capture and then about 30-45 minutes to post process into tracks, convert to wave files, flac files, and ogg vorbis.
FLAC -- the free lossless audio codec -- is a format akin to WAV but has the advantage of using less space. By saving the FLAC files along with the original LPs, I'll be able to recreate either the CD or the Ogg files at a later date in a fraction of the time.
Ogg Vorbis is a free, unencumbered format that competes (and beats) MP3 format for space and quality. I use it to store all my CDs and LPs for computer playback (and even use a Samsung "mp3" player as it directly supports ogg. Samsung apparently no longer supports ogg vorbis--having sold out to the DRM Nazis. See Defective by Design for a DRM discussion.)