VinylStudio for Mac easily converts all your favorite tapes and vinyl records to a more convenient digital format without losing sound quality. The program stores your recordings as a well-organized collection, which you can burn on a CD or simply copy to your MP3 player. Additionally, it lets you split your recordings into tracks and helps you clean up your audio with effective sound cleaning filters.
Upon startup you are prompted to create a name for your collection and the location where it will be stored. During the "new user mode" the speech bubbles will pop up to guide you through the program. You can change settings for this later on via the UI or hide it completely. The free trial version of the software is fully functional but you are limited to recording five records while the full version available for $29.95 lifts the restriction. The user interface is well laid-out and the icons and links featured in the main menu are quite intuitive, too. The main links offer options for recording, splitting, and saving tracks, as well as for burning CD and audio cleanup. You are able to burn Audio CD, MP3 CD, and MP3 DVD. Apart from the obvious help option in the main menu there are also helpful links on the right side to help you get started, connect hardware, and record albums. Apart from MP3, VinylStudio for Mac supports many other formats including WAV, FLAC, and OGG, as well as Apple-specific formats such as AAC, AIFF, CAF, and Apple Lossless. The program integrates well with iTunes and lets you easily copy converted tracks to an MP3 player or iPod.
VinylStudio for Mac performs well, is easy to use, and overall gives the desired results. Even though it offers plenty of options, the program seems suitable for both novice and more advanced users who are looking for an application to easily convert their vinyl or tape collection to a more convenient MP3 format.
Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of VinylStudio for Mac 8.5.3. The trial version is limited to five records.
VinylStudio is software purpose-built to digitize records and tapes. Because it is designed for the job at hand, VinylStudio is much easier (and faster) to use than conventional audio editors. For example, instead of having to save each track separately, you tell VinylStudio the names of your tracks (or, if you are lucky, look them up), tell it where the trackbreaks are (by dragging markers into position) and then tell it to save your tracks. Hey presto - job's done. Powerful tools: VinylStudio's audio cleanup tools are not just a toy. They are extremely effective at removing clicks and scratches from your recordings. VinylStudio also has a complete set of noise reduction filters.
What's new in this version:
- You can now search multiple databases at once when looking up track listings online.
- Fixed 'Error 503 - service unavailable' messages when looking up album listings from Music Brainz.
- You can now retrieve album art from Music Brainz.
- Importing collections from Discogs is now working again.
- A few bug fixes and minor improvements. For details, please see the readme file after installing.