Tekzilla #4: Converting vinyl to audio files, inspiration for inventors, the Wayback Machine

Posted in Operating Systems, Graphics, Podcasts on November 11, 2008

The ladies are in the house at Tekzilla this week as Sarah Lane tells us how to convert vinyl records into audio files, we get some inspiration for aspiring inventors, and Jessica Corbin shows us how to go back in time.

Remember records? Vinyl? Those black slabs of plastic with music on them? If you have a large record collection and you've been wanting to convert those records to audio files for archiving or loading onto your ipod, then we've got the recipe for you.

First, you'll need a record player. There are some affordable options out there, but if you have your parents old record player, you could probably get by with just changing the cartridge (the thing that holds the needle). Next, you'll need a phono preamp to connect the record player to your computer. You'll need a preamp that does RIAA Equalization. Check out the Audiophile Phono Preamp for an affordable option. In your computer, you'll need a good sound card. Patrick recommends the Sound Blaster line from Creative Technology. Finally, you'll need some audio recording software. Audacity is a great, free option. But if you want to filter out the pops and hisses and clean up your songs easily you can try Adobe Soundbooth, or Adobe Audition. If you can find the Microsoft Plus Analog Recorder, that will work too or you could try Bias SoundSoap 2 which is a good option for both Windows and OSX. Make sure you clean your records before you record the songs and be sure to be gentle!

Musicovery.com: A great new web app to explore music, create playlists and stream music live to your computer. If you feel adventurous and want to discover new music, check it out.

Viewer Email from Bob from Salt Lake City, Utah: "I need a little help on how to make an ISO disk" An ISO file is an image of the the data originally stored on a CD or DVD, in order to access this data, you typically need a third party application like Nero or CDBurnerXP.

Our producer Heather wants you check out the latest vampire movie, 30 Days of Night, which was based a graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith

Daniel Kokin, the founder of Sector Labs give us some tips for all the aspiring inventors in the audience. Daniel shows us his invention, H2Glow which when added to your faucet, injects light into the water to visually represent hot and cold water with red and blue light. He also gives his advice and tips to anyone interested in becoming an inventor.

Makerfaire is coming to Austin, TX on October 20 and 21st! If you're in the area, make sure you don't miss this great event.

Politicalbase.com: With the upcoming election, Politicalbase.com is your one stop spot for all the political information you need to get and stay informed.

Jessica introduces us to a new segment, Code Red, which is her opportunity to share with you any new and emerging trends, websites, gadgets or just some weird technology that she wants you to see! Our first Code Red is The Wayback Machine. Created by the folks at the Internet Archive, it's a log of most of the websites that have ever graced the Internet. Is there a website that you love that you want to see what it looked like in 1999? Just enter the URL and look it up!

To wrap things up we answer some viewer e-mail:

Brad from Tampa, Florida writes in to tell us that he's a PC tech and only charges $30 to install video cards, not $100.

Adam from Salt Lake City, Utah wants to know if he can use the new Apple keyboards on a Windows XP machine? And the answer is: YES! Even though you'll need an adapter from the unique Apple USB connector to a standard USB connector.

Matt from Winnipeg, Manitoba is going to Europe and doesn't want to lug his laptop around with him, do we have any advice for a small device with WiFi? Don't be afraid to take your laptop because it's good to have the full functionality of a computer, but if you're afraid of it getting stolen or if its too cumbersome, there are options. The Nokia N800 is a great Internet tablet device that should suit your needs.

If you have any questions be sure to email us at tekzilla@revision3.com

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Tags: Technologies, OS, Windows, Hardware, Adobe, Soundbooth, Revision3, Tekzilla, Tekzilla Weekly