Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter

CNET Editors' review

To convert LP records to MP3s or CDs, you'll need a stereo with a working turntable and phono preamp you can plug into your PC via the Mic or line-in jacks, or a USB turntable with a built-in phono amp. You'll also need software designed to convert analog audio to digital and clean it up by removing ticks, pops, and surface noise. We've tried many such tools, yet we've often gone back to Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter from NCH Software, which also converts tapes and other analog audio sources.

Before installing and setting up Golden Records, make sure your turntable is working, since you'll need your needle to set the sound floor to compensate for the wow, flutter, and rumble that color analog audio. Following the setup wizard, we set minimal signal processing options. The biggest drawback of LP converters is a tendency to do too much, like starting a new track during soft passages or distorting the signal by overprocessing it, so use the filters with care. We opted to record songs as WAV files, which are easier to edit and sound better than MP3s, though we could also specify direct conversion to MP3s, burning to CDs, and other options. The program offers a lot of flexibility for accommodating the widely varying sound quality of LP records. There's even an option to record 33 rpm disks at 45 rpm and 45s at 78 rpm; not for the "Chipmunks" effect" but for fast duplication with normal playback. The main interface is a simple, efficient list view of converted files, while Recording Sessions are managed by another dialog resembling a media player interface. Wizard and Options icons on the main view's toolbar let us reconfigure the software at will.

We transcribed several LP records ranging from audiophile quality to barely playable with Golden Records, achieving excellent, archival-quality results each time. The auto track splitter worked fine on scratchy old platters, though recording tracks in the highest possible quality and then splitting and converting them manually using a WAV editor proved the best method for better-quality discs. The sound files produced by Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter sounded great, whatever the source.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.72. The trial version is limited to 14 days.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 13

  • 2.0 stars

    "Not as easy to use as claimed."

    March 5, 2012  |   By straight1

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.87

    Pros

    Nice layout

    Cons

    Did not seem as easy to use as claimed

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Too Much Money"

    February 21, 2012  |   By ldavidson

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.87

    Pros

    Very slick program and does an excellent job of converting analog to digital. It's learning curve is a bit steep.

    Cons

    WAY too much money unless you have an extensive stack of wax to convert.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Whoa! unistaller contained a TROJAN"

    January 30, 2012  |   By a_nun_among_us

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.87

    Pros

    If you like viruses, this is awesome stuff.

    Cons

    I installed this, and opted for the entire suite of tools, a .wav editor, etc. the products spawned browser windows without my doing, which pissed me off, but when I went to uninstall, my antivirus software identified a known trojan in the software. use at your own risk. especially if you install the entire suite of tools. Also, it didn't work very well.

    Summary

    poop.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Not very pleased with its performance."

    June 6, 2011  |   By italia1ibm

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.76

    Pros

    Doesn't really reset the RIAA curve well and the filters are very bad because with brand new records it was showing bad sounds.

    Cons

    Doesn't correctly pause and restart recording, makes a new file for many spaces between songs and then you have to splice them.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "a great programe and easy to use"

    April 28, 2011  |   By jennynbob

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.76

    Pros

    was easy to set up and download records. have used another programme but found it hard to use, this one splits up tracks, user friendly

    Cons

    found the noise floor a bit touchy with a couple of records but no other problems

    Summary

    overall a great programme, very happy with it. thanks guys

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Easiest Way To Make An MP3, Ever!"

    April 14, 2011  |   By LetsSewItNow

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.72

    Pros

    You just hit "Record" and entire record or cassette is recorded; Golden Records' auto-stop stops when tape or record ends! Then the easier-to-use Wave Editor splits the record or tape audio file into perfect mp3s!

    Cons

    I have none!

    Summary

    It's a keeper!

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Did most of everything I needed it to do."

    December 7, 2010  |   By cdkarr

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.72

    Pros

    The product did as advertized. I was able to copy my cassettes to my PC, edit them in that I could take out dead spots, and then save them in a MP3 format. It allows you to save not only to the product but to any folder you select in MP3 form.

    Cons

    I would like to have been able to cut and paste the segments into a different order but in review that is not what this product said it would do. Therefore I was not disappointed.

    Summary

    If you are looking for a product that will copy, allow you to make minor adjustments to your copy prior to your final save, save in a folder or move to another folder after adjustments then this is the product that you have been looking for. I would recommend it.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Awesome. And only records from the mic output!!"

    September 30, 2010  |   By vgitalian

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.72

    Pros

    Full featured with lots of extras. Records to many formats. Records only the mic output, so you can work on your computer and all the beeps are not recorded!! The trial allows full length recording, so I didn't wait the time I put into the trial.

    Cons

    When using cassettes, getting it to find the division between songs was tricky. Getting the auto numbering to reset to 1 was tricky.

    Summary

    You can set a low sound level and whenever it hits that level it cuts to a new file. The fact that it would split songs is really a product of the median I am recording from, not the software. I found this product very useful - and the other products that compliment it make for a full-featured set of tools when working with audit and video editing. Since it only records the mic input, you can even mute the mic input and listen to something else on your computer while its recording!

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  • 2.0 stars

    "useless product, try audacity"

    June 13, 2010  |   By abhijayluthra

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.72

    Pros

    the pros of this, none

    Cons

    difficult to use
    specific software needed

    Summary

    try using audacity . it is much easier to use and download lame encoder to convert files to mp3

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Very useful, basic tool. Made the conversions easy."

    February 7, 2010  |   By jwdunkel

    Version: Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter 1.50

    Pros

    Ease of use.

    Cons

    None of which I am aware

    Summary

    Usefule for basic conversions, espedcially if you only have a few to do.

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 13

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