Instructables

Easiest way to download albums to my pc?

I have been totally confused by audacity, is there an easier way to achive what I wish to do

I am guessing that you want to rip,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripping
an audio CD to a set of compressed music files, like mp3 or ogg, or something like that.
 
The best tool I have found for that task is CDex, a free, open source,  CD ripping application, um...  here:
http://cdexos.sourceforge.net/

From your question it is not entirely clear to me what you want to do, since you have not mentioned the source of these "albums" you wish to "download". 

Maybe you're just looking for a good place to leech some free music?
dave_6t (author)  Jack A Lopez1 year ago
I wish to download my vinyl albums via my turntable to my pc, not leeching thank you very much. Audacity totally baffles me, so was hoping I could just use adaptable RCA jacks
Audacity should be very easy .

Open it

Hit the red record button

Start your Turntable (assuming your turntable is connected to your PC of course)

At the end of the record/track Hit the stop button on Audacity

If you want to save in MP3 format you will need the Lame codex which is free.

Save the tract filling in all the details as requested

Repeat until finished.
Forgot the image
dave_6t (author)  rickharris1 year ago
Well gonna show my brilliance at this, done that but can't find it. Sure, roll on the floor laughing.
I removed the image after a week of no response because they take up space in my library and there is a limit.
Here it is again
Audacity.jpg
Wow! Vinyl! Wow. I was not expecting that.

Other options

If what you've got on those vinyl records is popular music,I mean if digital copies of it already exist, somewhere, then I think the best and easiest way to get a good quality copy would be to seek out a digital copy (like ripped from a CD) that someone else has already gone to the trouble of ripping, tagging, and uploading to the internet, somehow, maybe via some peer-to-peer thing like BitTorrent, or even one of those mega-super-upload file sharing sites.

I would not consider it stealing, provided you have the physical vinyl album in your possession.  I mean you already bought the album.  Of course the RIAA would like you to keep buying the same album over and over, and over again, but they're funny that way.

The next best option for getting a good copy, would be to borrow, or worst case, buy a CD copy of the album, and then just rip that using CDex.

The reason I am mentioning all these other options is because ripping music from a vinyl record is going to be a lot of work, resulting in a copy of mediocre quality.

How To

But if you really, really, want to do this, I suppose Audacity
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
is a good choice for the software for recording the raw audio.  Also necessary, will be a decent sound card, the kind that comes with  what is called a "line-in" input.  Most desktop computers come with a sound card of this kind, although, strangely, there are many notebook/laptop computers out there, without this, having only a "mic(rophone)-in", but no line level input.

Line Level

So the next trick is to connect the line level output from your phonograph to this line-in input on the computer's sound card.  I think usually line-in is usually light blue in color, with line-out being green, and mic pink. Supposedly this "line level" signal is a kind of standard thing. It is a voltage signal, analog, not more than about 1.5 volts peak, relative to that wire called ground. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_level

Not sure if an analog amplifier, or attenuator, will be necessary in between the phonograph and the sound card.  Hopefully not. You will find this out later from looking at the recorded waveform.

Sound Card Driver

Then the next trick after that is finding the controls for that other little piece software called the sound card driver, and telling it you only want to take audio from line-in, by "muting" all the other inputs, e.g. the mic(rophone) input, audio from the CD drive, etc. I think in Windows(r) there is little speaker icon in the system tray, and you right click on that, and it is called "Volume Controls", or something like that.

Amplitude

I think the next most important thing is to check the audio level to make sure it is not clipping,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipping_%28audio%29
and you can see that by looking at the recorded waveform. If there are little flat spots on the loud parts, on the top and bottom of the waveform, then that means there is clipping.  That is to say the incoming signal is too big in places, and it physically outside those limits of - or +1.5 volts, or whatever the exact limits are, on the A-to-D converter of the sound card.

It is also possible to have a line level input that is too small, but hopefully that won't happen either. Hopefully that waveform will fit neatly in between its top and bottom rails, at all the places in time, in the music.  I mean the places where it's loud, the places where it's quiet, those will all fit.

Audacity Tutorial

I cannot directly help you to learn Audacity, besides some words of encouragement:  I have used Audacity before, and it's not that bad. It kind looks and feels like other audio editors.
There are probably tutorials out there on how to use Audacity.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=audacity+tutorial

And if you really hate Audacity, there are other audio editors out there:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_digital_audio_editors


Slicing, Dicing, Tagging, and Bagging

The real pain in ripping audio from a phonograph record is going to be cutting the, typically one hour or so, time length into songs, and then organizing them with filenames, and in the case of ripping them to mp3, doing all the other whatchacallit? Metadata? That's a good word I guess.  I mean all the text that goes in those mp3 tags,like the name of the artist, album, song title, genre, year, etc.

Yeah. That part is going to suck. I am not sure what tools Audacity comes with for that task. I mean it would be neat if there were a way to tag a whole folder of files with the same artist/album/year/genre tags, and then do the song title tags separately, but I don't know if there is a tool for that, in any software application. Seems like there must be, but I don't which one.  Sorry if that seems unhelpful.

Links to other 'Ibles

That's mostly all I've got for you, except the encouragement that it has been done by others, and here are some links to other people trying to explain the process:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Rip-Vinyl-Records-To-Your-PC/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Transferring-vinyl-to-PC/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Extracting-audios-from-DVDs/
http://www.wikihow.com/Change-Your-Records-Into-CDs
http://www.ehow.com/how_5772454_convert-vinyl-mp3-audacity.html

As I mentioned earlier, there exists a good possibility that someone else has already ripped the albums you want to hear (especially if you listen to the same music everyone else does), in which case you may be able to just find a copy of the same music already in digital form.
https://www.youtube.com/results?q=how+to+record+vinyl+to+pc
Read this Instructable on how to record your vinyl records to your PC. The author explains everything in 5 simple steps, tells you what you need for cables and equipment and shows you how to use Audacity (with images and a good explanation). :-)