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Final vinyl, at last!

June 7, 2011

Like many millions of people around the world the arrival of iPods or similar music players led to us utilising iTunes (or similar) to rip our CD collection into our chosen computers. The convenience made it well worth while, and ripping CDs was easy and quick, we did most of ours before we retired to Cyprus.  However, the elephant in the room in Cyprus was our legacy of music still on vinyl.

Ian had little in the way of vinyl, but Mands had a significant number of LPs and EPs and a small collection of limited releases all linked to loads of growing up memories.  Three years ago we decided to attack this problem, aided by the timely offer of an old but perfectly useable stacking stereo system complete with record deck.  There have been numerous interruptions to the process including moving house and the like but finally it is done!

It’s not a straightforward or a quick process; albums must be played at normal speed and the sound collected in digital form into the mac.  Then some form of audio software (Wire Tap Studio worked for us) is used to chop the continuous sound file into the individual tracks.  Then the metadata, including song titles and album art, were added.  Then into iTunes and onto an iPod near you.  All told it worked out at about 2-3 hours per album, all of which needed to be monitored.

So, it’s taken time but we are finally there.  The final count is: 58 albums, 645 tracks, 2.4 gigabytes of nostalgia.

As Ian has learned the hard way some of this music is very significant.  Playing The Levellers leads to Mands demanding cider and much more volume and the Stones Sympathy with the Devil leads to dancing on the furniture, perhaps best not to ask to much more.  Of course there’s been some real one hit wonders, particularly on the hits of yestayear compilations.  Who remembers Boxerbeat by the Joboxers  from 1983?  Sadly its burnt into the brain here and we may never, ever forget it.

For his sins Ian had to listen to all of this as it was recorded.  Fortunately the really good stuff seriously outweighed all the not-so-classic so he is not scarred for life.

To ensure that he left a true classic to finish on.  Meet the Beatles,  12 tracks from 1964 recorded in Stereo the album notes proudly announce.  Readers under the age of 35 or so will need to find an older music-lover to explain why this was a big deal!  On that note there was just one album in mono: a very early, and subsequently withdrawn, Rolling Stones album.  That caused a storm when it was first released and eventually Decca gave into pressure and withdrew the original and re-released it.  And the language that caused such controversy?

If you don’t have the bread, see that blind man knock him on the head, steel his wallet and low and behold you have loot, if you put in the boot, good, another one sold!

For those of a curious mind the images that top and tail this piece are artwork from our current iTunes library.  It includes the vinyl that’s been ripped, assorted CDs and logos from podcasts that we subscribe to.   

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