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Music: More Paths for Going Digital

By Stephen H. Wildstrom My column on digitizing vinyl LP records and audio tapes, "Vinyl In, Music Files Out", generated a lot of additional recommendations from readers. I have not personally tested any of these, but I'm happy to pass the suggestions on.

I recommended two comprehensive media suites, Nero 6 Ultra and Roxio Media Creator, to handle digitized sound's processing and format conversion. Several readers suggested Magix Audio Cleaning Lab as a more limited but less expensive alternative, at about $30. Others recommended Nero Lite, which comes bundled on some systems, as an adequate program.

OPTIONS AND DRAWBACKS. As an external digitization device for PCs, I recommended the ADS Technologies Instant Music RDX150. Readers came up with a couple of alternatives for the job that may be less expensive, especially if you don't need or want the Nero software that comes with Instant Music. The suggestions include SoundBlaster Live! 24-Bit External from Creative Labs (about $30) and the $40 Griffin iMic.

A couple of readers suggested dispensing with the computer altogether by connecting both a turntable and a CD recorder to your stereo system and dubbing from the turntable to the CD. This will work, but it has some disadvantages.

What you will get out of the process, at least on most recorders, is an audio CD, which you will then have to convert to a computer format such as MP3 if you want to use the music on a PC or portable player. And the track breaks on the CD probably won't match the original recording. Wildstrom is Technology & You columnist for BusinessWeek. You can contact him at

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