94 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2009
Rec'd this turntable for christmas and haven't stopped using it. It does exactly what it was made to do, convert vinyl to mp3s or cds. I don't understand why someone would buy this item to be used as a turntable to listen to their records. The product is a USB turntable to Convert. Oh well, the only part I wasn't thrilled with was having to download itunes software. The "ez vinyl" that comes with this transfers the recorded media to itunes. Not a problem, I just dragged and dropped to windows media player and either burned cds or sync to my mp3 player (it is not an ipod). The additional software in the box, "audacity" took out the clicks and cracks without much work on my part. You can also convert 78's with the audacity software.
This item looks great (with it's smooth black piano finish) and so far has done a wonderful job. I can finally get some real oldies transfered to my mp3 player. I can honestly say this is the best gift I rec'd this year and recommend it highly.
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2012
If you're over 40 -- remember your first stereo? It probably had a turntable (phonograph) attached to the tuner and amplifier. I'm amazed that ION chose to reproduce that turntable for its low-end unit. The tonearm is flimsy and lacks any adjustments: I almost got out a penny to see if records would track better. Further, the volume out of the USB connection was much too low to be usable with my Mac and its Audacity software.
The nicest thing I can say is that the plastic cover seemed good.
I'd previously returned a Numark TTUSB to the store because it had developed a wow issue. This product was no substitute, not at any price. As such, I've returned it.
BTW, I'm not very pleased with the seller, either. Beach Camera chose to have me pay all postage to return the unit, costing me almost $15 for a $65 purchase. I'll be interested to see if I get my full money back, and I now know better than to use this seller again.
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2011
Unless you're a high tech audiophile, this is all you need. It makes the process of converting vinyl to mp3 very easy. It's great when a product is not over-thought. It is easy to record one song, or an album side. The songs go into itunes automatically. The software allows you to choose the quality of the recording in kbps.
The only downside is that the editing software recommendation - Audacity (freeware) - doesn't save files back to the original file location. You have to do a "save as" and look for itunes folder by artist/album. But Audacity is a simple tool to remove dust/scratches at the beginning and end of a song. Its easy to fade out songs to minimize record noise.
Word of warning: The turntable can pick up ambient vibration from footsteps and even conversations, so find a quiet place to record. (I was wondering what the background voice was on the beginning of a track, until I realized it was me talking to my wife.)
Also, turn off all computer alerts cause the "dings" and "chirps" get recorded too when they go off.
One last little complaint - the lever that lifts the needle off the record moves the arm, so its not a very precise up and down.
Other than that, you're good to go. I just wish I had kept my vinyl in better condition. But I never thought 25 years ago that I'd be doing this.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
The Ion Portable USB turntable is as easy as it gets to record LP's and 45's records into MP3s. It's sleek looking, although very sensitive to vibration, so it needs to be placed on a solid surface. Installation is too easy. You can plug the left/right inputs into the back of your stereo and play records normally or you can create digital songs individually or an entire album side at once with gaps. There is a USB cable that plugs into your computer. (Note that if your computer is in another room, as mine is the turntable is very easy to move and set up quickly).
The Profile Pro software is one of the easiest to install and learn. The EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter software creates songs that pop right into your iTunes after a few clicks. There is no other software on the supplied CD, so editing and erasing clicks and pops does not work here. You sort of have to guess the beginning and end. The arm does retract after playing a song and has an easy up/down switch for delicate landing at the beginning of the record. For editing, there is a free downloadable program called, "WavePad Audio Editor" (NCH Software) which shows your song on a linear graph enabling you to start and stop anywhere you wish.
Some will argue that vinyl sounds better in a stereo system, which is fine, but this enables you to place all your vinyl songs on your iPod or iPhone without having to buy them. I bought this turntable simply because I had some very rare records I wanted to record and keep safe that are unavailable on the internet. Thoroughly clean your records first!
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2010
I bought this on a close out sale. Price was good so I took a chance. I had been thinking bout converting my vinyl to digital for years. Bought several things over the years and never followed through because they were too complicated. This turntable is super easy to use. It connects to my stereo with regular RCA connectors. (No need for a special phono input.) The sound was amazingly good for an inexpensive setup and 30 year old records.
The importing software (EZ Audio Converter) is easy and transfers the music automatically into iTunes. The editing software (Audacity) is going to need a some practice. Overall I am really happy with this.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2011
I got this recently and finally set it up, connected it to my lap top, and got out the old Discwasher and fluid from 1978, and gave it a try on an album of Emmylou Harris' called Evangeline, which was never released on CD due to all the lawyers. I did not use the included "EZ" software because that automatically only creates mp3 files at 192 kbps quality. Instead I used Audacity to record each side as a long "wav" file, and then combined them into one long "wav" file of the entire album. I then used Audacity to trim out some noise from the beginning of each side (where the needle hits the record), and to do some fade outs at the end of each track, take out the worst "pops", and to create some real silence between the tracks. I then saved the file with the improvements. I have Nero CD burning software, which comes with a Wave Editor which has some capabilities that Audacity doesn't. I imported the wav file into the Nero Wave Editor, and used it to automatically break the large file into individual tracks. I saved them as both individual wav files and as 320 kbps mp3 files. From there, I burned a CD using the wav files. Then I used a free mp3 tag editing software (mp3tag) to add the Album, Artist, Song Title, Year, and cover art to the mp3 files. Finally I imported those files into iTunes.
All of that sounds like a lot, and it did take some time, but I think it was worth it. I now have a very good sounding album that I can listen to digitally anytime I want. I was so impressed that I right away ordered more Discwasher D4+ fluid from Amazon so I can get started on some of the other albums I have that never made it to CD.
I will caution you that in order to use Audacity correctly, it will require some experimentation and in making some changes via your computer's Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices settings to correctly set the source and playback source. In Audacity you will need to go into Preferences as well and make some changes. But it IS worth the effort. I wish I had bought one of these ION turntables a long time ago. This particular model also allows you to plug in via 1/8" mini stereo jack, any other sound source, such as a tape deck, old reel to reel, or whatever, and digitize those as well.
No, this is not some $300 or more turntable for super audiophiles, but given what you can do with it for the price I highly recommend it. Be sure to clean your records as best as possible. This will go a long way to determining how well the final files will sound.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2010
I received this as a gift from my wife and was really surprised at how well this inexpensive turntable has performed. I have used it to convert some of my large collection of vinyl over to digital and the music sounds great. I don't recommend the EZ Vinyl software as it doesn't allow the user much control over the recording process. I use Spin It Again and recommend you try it instead.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2011
Let me start by saying that this is a beautiful turntable. The piano black finish is elegant looking. That said, I only kept this turntable a few hours and returned it. No matter what I did or how closely I followed the instructions I could never get the sound to come through the speakers of my computer. (Windows 7) I could live with that if the player had a headphone jack but it does not. I could never get the records to copy to iTunes either. Maybe it was user error, or maybe I got a defective unit. All I know is, it was turning out to be much too difficult and too much of a headache for the simple converter I was looking for. I returned this one and bought a different turntable by a different manufacturer and I am very happy with it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2012
I don't usually go five stars, but this unit simply didn't have anything about it to detract more than half a star, so we round up to five.
This unit was a great price (~$65) for what it is and how stylish it looks. Sure, it is all plastic, but it feels hefty and looks great. It has very large, stable, rubbery feet and a heavy turntable pad.
Packaging was great, everything fragile was wrapped nicely, especially the needle area, and the shiny blackness was covered in a cloth-like sheath (cloth nice enough I used it to wipe the dust off the album I ripped).
Operation: Just plug it in and run the USB cord (standard size and a cord is included) to your Mac or PC. I have a Mac, and while the provided software (on a CD-ROM) was rudimentary, it had me up and running literally within minutes. I opted to download the free Audacity, and it worked great to start recording. I will admit I was so out of practice with turntables that I was wondering where the "ON" button was, but all you need to do is lift the arm, move it over the album, and it spins up. Lower the arm and you've got sound. (When it is done, the auto shutoff appeared to work as you would expect).
Signal appeared to be strong and clear, and I did not need to amplify the gain in Audacity to have resulting MP3s that sound like they are at the same level as various eMusic MP3 downloads of CD rips. It also wasn't overly amplified/distorted or compressed as far as I could tell, but I am not an expert in turntables enough to know how good the needle/head is. I ripped an album with no problem and it sounded good. The lid closes softly and snugly, so I assume that helps keep some noise off the needle, too.
Other goodies. The RCA output is nice, though the cord is hard-attached to the back as opposed to being modular (jacks), but you can get adapters to make this pipe through a longer cord, a headphone jack, whatever. I didn't test that but assume it works. It's a nice add-on. An even nicer add on is the line IN. I didn't test that either, but theoretically that would let you pipe through ANY analog source and convert it to a USB audio signal. I realize most computers are already going to have an sound recording line in, but this USB input can be a secondary route to get pretty much any sound source you want sampled, all in one decent-looking package.
One simply doesn't expect an electronics device (spanning decades from phonograph tech to USB signals) to come so cheaply or attractively. I sure don't, anyway.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
I purchased this item after researching USB turntables for several weeks. I read numerous reviews on every web site I could find. Sure, this is a cheaply priced item but it gets the job done and sounds fantastic running through a Yamaha receiver. The sound quality of recorded CD's is excellent as well. There will always be negative reviews for every product as you well know. Setup was easily accomplished in under 10 minutes. This unit performs exactly as it is advertised. If you are a music snob and expect superior concert sound quality, buy something else. Otherwise, the Average Joe such as myself will be thrilled. I have many old blues albums in various states of condition and all played without any problems. Important to READ the instructions before just slapping cords into holes. It's a simple design with excellent results!