No. of Recommendations: 5
Been there, done it, and recently took the next step to iPod (for travel, but just bought a Kensington iPod Speaker, which we leave it on all night in the bedroom on "shuffle").

About 3 after-Christmas sales ago, I bought a Sony CD recorder for the stereo (to replace a dead CD player) with the idea of transfering my collection of some 600 records, much of it out of print folk music, to CD. It took me about 2 years, but a lot of that was because I realized I could record classical off the radio (legal), which is mostly what we actually listen to (I now have about 1000 hours of classical, including multiple versions of most of the A list stuff, on top of maybe 100 hours worth of classical CDs bought over 20 years).

I used re-recordable Music CDs (it won't work with data CDs), which are hard to find, break down after a while, but still worth the money and effort. I then edited them on the computer and burnt cheap data CDs as music CDs that work on any CD player. The editing is what took time, though could mostly be done in the background.

The program I used for editing was from Arboretum Systems (they have a new version called something like Hyperengine as a free download for basic cutting of a single track recorded on the CD recorder into multiple tracks, e.g., for each song, or just to get Beethoven's 5th and not all the rest of the stuff that got recorded). I use a Mac, but I think they have a Windows version. If not, someone else should.

What Arboretum sells is something called Ray Gun, which is to get rid of noise, including scratches on records transferred to CD. I used the cheaper, automated, version (just use the scratch removal and follow the directions: trying to reduce other noise destroys the sound). They also have a professional version, whose price is now a lot less than when I was doing it, but that takes a lot more work.

Here's their web site:

The scratches are still hearable, but now that we are listening on the iPod, I'm realizing for the first time how much wonderful stuff I managed to save, and my classical recordings off the radio would have cost well over $10,000 to duplicate (probably $20,000, when you figure I've been able to pick and choose).

Because it is so time consuming, a lot of the records I just copied onto Music CDs without editing or doing the scratch processing. This let me put the turntable in the attic. I processed most of the records that were high priority as I was recording them (on the re-recordables) and have gradually been processing others. There are still a lot to go (like almost all of the authentic blues), but no hurry.
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