How to Transfer Vinyl Records to Computers

Updated February 21, 2017

Transferring your records to the computer is not hard. As more and more music is going digital the equipment needed to play records is becoming hard to find. Records are also prone to damage and a single scratch can ruin an entire recording. By recording the record to a computer it is possible to enjoy the music without fear of damaging the record. Additionally a digital version of the music can be played on all sorts of players, not only a record player.

Connect the record player or stereo to the computer using a headphone cable. In particular this should be an RCA-to-headphone cable. One end of the cable is plugged into the line or audio-out plug on the record player or stereo. The other end is plugged into the line or audio-in plug on the sound card in the computer. Depending on the record player it may first need to be plugged into the stereo and then the stereo connected to the computer. This is required for a record player that does not have its own amplifier. If the amplifier is in the record player then it can be connected directly to the computer.

Download and install mp 3-recording software if a program is not already on your computer. Open the program and set appropriate recording levels.

Select record in the software and turn the record player on. As the record plays it will be recorded into the computer. Select stop after each track has played or record the entire record as one track.

Name the track or record with the title, artists, genre or other descriptors. Once the files are named they can be burnt to a CD or transferred to other portable music media.

Things You'll Need

  • Record player with audio out
  • stereo system
  • RCA-to-headphone cable
  • mp3 recording software
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About the Author

Liz Tomas began writing professionally in 2004. Her work has appeared in the "American Journal of Enology and Viticulture," "BMC Genomics" and "PLoS Biology." She holds a Master of Science in food science from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in oenology at Lincoln University.