Image of a vintage record player

How To Record Vinyl Records So They Will Play On A Computer

Whether you grew up listening to vinyl records like me, or you have just discovered the joy of listening to this fantastic genre of audio recordings, you probably have thought about how to convert the music on vinyl records to digital recordings.

By digitizing your vinyl collection you enable yourself to listen to these recordings on your computer, laptop, smartphone or MP3 player. You are able to take them with you!

Your own recordings will sound vastly superior to the compressed MP3 files you can buy online and many of the songs you have on vinyl are not even available.​

So take a moment as I explain to you how you can take all the music you love on vinyl and transfer it to digital.

3 Ways To Digitize Your Vinyl Records​

There are 3 methods you can use to convert your vinyl records to digital files. I will list them in order of simplicity.

  1. ​You can use an all in one record player like the vintage record players I have reviewed here.
  2. Use a USB turntable and audio software to record your favorite vinyls.
  3. Use an analog turntable with an adapter cable and audio software to record your old records.

I will briefly go over each method and point out the benefits of each method.

Digitizing Your Vinyl Records With Today's Vintage Record Players​

Graphic of a turntable inside a computer monitor

Using one of today's vintage record players is by far the simplest method of converting your vinyl records. All you have to do is play the record and use the built in electronics to record your music to CD or MP3. The best vintage record players come with both a CD player/recorder and a flash drive port to record or play your music.

The key benefit of this method is simplicity.

​Converting Your Vinyl With A USB Turntable

Many people convert their old vinyl records with a USB turntable. This method is a little more complicated but most people who are computer literate will have no problem using this method.

You have to connect your USB turntable to your computer using a USB cable. You then have to use audio software like Audacity to record the music.​ It is free to download and comes with many features. 

The main benefit to using this method is control. You can adjust the volume level of the recording, filter out the noise, and name your files whatever you want.

Using An Analog Turntable To Convert Your Vinyl Records To Digital Music​

Many people on a tight budget use this method to save their vinyl record collection to digital. It is by far the least expensive method because they do not need to upgrade their record player to an all in one vintage record player or a USB turntable. However it does take a couple of extra steps.

You need to buy an RCA to 1/8" adapter cable. You plug the RCA cable your turntable always has used into the adapter cable. You then plug the adapter cable into the line in port of your computer.

Another option is to buy a RCA to USB converter and follow the same process.

Once you have connected the RCA outputs of your turntable to your computer using one of those adapters, then you can go ahead and use the same program I talked about above to record your vinyl records.

Here is a great video explaining the process.​

Well there you have it. If you are like me and need to keep the process simple, then I invite you to check out the all in one vintage record player reviews I have done and get one of those and save yourself a lot of time and hassle when you record your vinyl records and convert them to digital.

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Duke Taber is the owner of 3 successful Christian websites and is now taking his skill as a webmaster and using it to help bi-vocational pastors and missionaries do their jobs across the world.