by Lory Gil
September 10, 2012
Welcome back to Musician’s Corner, where we explore apps and accessories for true music fans. Last week, we reviewed TNR-i US, a digital, visual musical instrument for those less inclined to pick up an axe, but aren’t afraid to bring the house down with digital beats. I just want to say thanks to those musicians who commented last week. It is good to see that we have some “shredders” reading this column. Today, we are going to talk about an iOS accessory for fans of vinyl, that want to preserve their LPs by turning their tunes digital. The iLP by ION lets you dump your records directly into your iPhone or iPad without all the fuss and muss of putting them into your computer first. Musicians love music. We love it in any format. Tapes, CDs, 8-Tracks, vinyl, you name it - we collect it. You don’t have to be a musician to love collecting music though. I’ll bet a few of our readers can brag about their extensive LP collection. The problem with collecting non-digital music is its lack of mobility. While tapes can still be carried around in your pocket, they don’t make many cars with tape decks in them anymore. Do they? Worse for mobility, is vinyl. You can’t take that format with you under any circumstance. There are lots of great USB record players on the market that will let you record your vinyl into a software program on your computer and convert the music to digital files that can then be added to your iTunes library and synced with your iPad or iPhone. But, who wants to do all that extra work? ION’s iLP lets you record your music directly into your iOS device using a special turntable with a docking station and the EZ Vinyl & Tape Converter app. You can also transfer your digital music through your computer using the included USB connector and, yes, you can listen to your records on the iLP. It comes with RCA output connectors so you can listen to it on your home stereo. Once you’ve got the iLP, download the free EZ Converter app and then plug your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch into the 30-pin connection dock. Please note that the turntable is only compatible with the iPhone 4 or 4S, the iPad 2 or new iPad, and the fourth-generation iPod touch. Once plugged into the iLP, open the app on your device. Follow the instructions to start recording. The EZ Converter automatically separates tracks by detecting silence between songs. You can also name and add tags to tracks and control the gain and input volume. Once you’ve finished recording, you can convert tracks to WAV or MP3 files and either listen to them from within the app, or move them into your iTunes library. It’s that easy. You can order it today from the company’s website for only $99.99, a reasonable price for a turntable. Tape Dock works exactly the same as the digital turntable converter, except you can plug your headphones right into the device and it doubles as a portable cassette player. The Tape Dock is not currently available for sale at the company’s website. However, you can find it online for $69.99. Thanks again for stopping by the Musician’s Corner. We have a lot of fun over here. If you have any suggestions for apps or accessories you’d like us to find out about, just let us know. Now, I’d better get back to converting my vinyl collection.