Fans of vinyl records suddenly have more options for going digital, courtesy of new apps and gadgets.
Listeners looking to transfer classic LPs to portable media players like the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch may want to queue up ION Audio's iLP turntable conversion system. A retro-futuristic spin on classic record players that lets you digitize tracks directly to mobile devices through a docking cradle and companion app, it allows songs to be transferred without a PC having to play middleman. Audiophiles can also tap into RCA outputs to listen to tracks through their stereo systems as cuts are virtually dumped to handheld gadgets, with USB connectivity allowing for optional output to Mac or PC.
Able to archive files in WAV or MP3 format, the system could provide collectors with a convenient solution for dusting off 1950s rock & roll classics or savoring the Summer of Love's soundtrack in a more contemporary format. Units will be available starting in June for around $99. Those seeking a more affordable alternative might consider the company's $34.99 Vinyl Forever system as well, which can connect records and tape decks to computers for digital backup.
Recently released app the Vinyl District takes the opposite approach, letting fans of independent record stores use their iPhone and Android handsets' GPS connectivity to locate nearby shops. Users can find nearby retailers in over a dozen countries, including the United States and United Kingdom, and can also check into locations and leave public comments or access news and reviews from the website. Looking to expand into countries like Canada, Germany and Sweden shortly, the free download meets a practical need and could put much-needed dollars back in neighborhood record stores' pockets.