Whether you're a DJ with converted white label or special edition mixes of your favourite tracks (ask your children) or you've stowed away the treasured first 7in single you ever bought, chances are you have some vintage vinyl hiding away at home.

Usually records remain dusty and unplayed because vinyl isn't compatible with CD players, let alone PCs, iPods and MP3 players. However, with the Ion iPTUSB Portable Turntable you can convert vinyl to MP3 for use in iTunes or another digital player. And then you can burn it to CD.

The Ion iPTUSB Portable Turntable connects to a PC with a USB cable. Measuring only 300x295x90mm it's small enough to fit into a record bag and be taken anywhere. Operated by mains power or batteries, the turntable also acts as a standalone record player when connected to an amp, so those of you who can't bear to stop playing your vinyl are catered for too.

Bundled with EZ Vinyl Converter by MixMeister, converting records to MP3 using the Ion iPTUSB Portable Turntable is simple and easy. Once the software is installed and running, simply place your record on the turntable and position the needle at the point in the song you want your MP3 to start, then follow the step-by-step instructions offered by the software.

Within minutes iTunes automatically opens up and the new file is added to your library. You're then given the option to fill in the name, artists and album information.

An integrated speaker lets you listen to the audio while the vinyl is playing, and for those who prefer to listen to music in privacy a headphone jack features as well. Users also benefit from the option to choose between 33, 45 or 78rpm playback, ensuring that all of your vinyl collection can be used with the turntable.

For more technically minded users, ION has also bundled Audacity software with the Ion iPTUSB Portable Turntable (located on the same CD as the EZ Vinyl Converter). This is useful for removing clicks, pops and other noises from your recordings to restore the full quality of your vinyl.

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Ion iPTUSB Portable Turntable: Specs

  • USB turntable measuring 300x295x90mm, USB cable, power adaptor, dustcover and software CD. System requirements: PC running Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista
  • USB 1.1 port
  • USB turntable measuring 300x295x90mm, USB cable, power adaptor, dustcover and software CD. System requirements: PC running Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista
  • USB 1.1 port

OUR VERDICT

The Ion iPTUSB Portable Turntable is simple and easy to use. It produces excellent quality MP3 files, ensuring that it's almost impossible for the untrained ear to tell the difference between original MP3 files downloaded from digital music stores and tracks which have been converted from vinyl. Even better is the value-for-money factor – two software programs and the turntable will set you back just £89.

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