Ripping vinyl

Now there’s a phrase I presume most of my readers will understand, that was almost unimagined just a few years ago.

I’m getting tired of late night DJ’ing and wanting to listen (right now!) to all those hits I remember from, er, younger days. Although I’ve ripped my CD’s, I’m still not used to hitting the spacebar instead of pressing the eject button on my trusty Pioneer PD-M700. Surfing iTunes, I realize that many of the songs I want to hear again, I already have on vinyl. Being a sentimental type, I still have every record and 45 I’ve bought; it’s not a huge collection, just three boxes. But priceless nonetheless.

So – how should I rip my vinyl? Not only do I want to be cheap, and avoid spending all those 99 cents to re-purchase my own dreams, but many of them are songs that I’d rather have old skool sound with scratches and all. They just sound better that way to my brain.

I’ve got a Technics SL-L3 turntable in good shape, and both a Mac and a ThinkPad. What next for a reasonably simple and reliable way to rip my vinyl into my iTunes? Links to sites with instructions you’ve followed are appreciated too.

Ahhh, my beloved PD-M700 6 disc changer from college. Man, we had some good times together. Along with various late nights, parties, and studying, there was one all-nighter during which I wrote a term paper and listened to every single song on all 6 discs nonstop. Actually; I’m being misleading: that particular night was being played on my roommate’s PD-M700, since I was wearing headphones and typing at his PC/AT while everyone else was alseep.

Another notable PD-M700 memory includes the nuclear-powered remote. Along with being gigantic and having the programming power of some contemporary TI calculators, it also had a hugely powerful infrared transmitter. We enjoyed many a breakfast in our apartment’s kitchen, DJ’ing our own mixes by shooting the remote over our shoulder, down the hall, and bouncing it off a mirror on the shelves in front of the CD player. You had to aim carefully, but it worked. Oh, and I was a mighty quick draw on switching the 6 discs out. You line up the new discs to swap in on the right staggered, and simultaneously open each CD case with your right hand while using your left to flip the drawers out, and toss the old CD’s on the desk in front of you. Practice makes perfect; I could do it easily in the time of a single commercial.

Tonight’s Music: I’d say I was listening to I Burn For You, but that was earlier; right now I’ve stepped back a couple of years to an earlier best friend and am listening to Purple Rain

The irony of melting snow

Actually, this was supposed to be a very different post, but the original eloquence has eluded me; hence you get this poor paltry approximation.

Have you ever had the brilliant flashes of insight when just waking up, in the shower, or when driving?  Not just the great ideas of how to do something – those usually work sooner or later.  No, I mean the ideas, concepts, or writing you come up with that seems so profound and appropriate that you just can’t wait to write it down.

But of course, you’re just waking up, or are in the car, so you can’t write it down just now.  (You can tell where this is going, right?)  So you resolve that as soon as you sit down at your computer you’re going to blog it, and say something really witty on the internet, and get a slice of your 15 seconds of fame.  But of course, you don’t.

By the time you finish your shower, or get to work, you’ve mostly forgotten about the idea.  Then you have to do expense reports, or answer questions, or something mundane, which leads to some other productive work, which leads to lunchtime.  Ah-ha!  There was something else to do – I thought of a great idea.  But then the harsh light of day – and the cafeteria – makes your profound thoughts, which you just barely remember, seem so mundane.  And so you forget about it, except in that creative bag in the back of your mind that nags about missed opportunities.

Anyway: I was going to blog about this one last pointless snowstorm the Boston area got last weekend.  Pointless, because while it dumped 8 inches, and made commuting that Friday afternoon very messy, it promptly rained that same night and turned the beautiful powdery whiteness into an icy mess.  What’s the point of snow if you can’t enjoy it?  The icy covering has a certain glitter in the day, but that’s about it – much worse for snowballs, snowpeople, and sledding than a good covering of powder.

The double irony – not of spring snow, most of which never lasts anyway – is that this one last blast ruined our chances of setting a record.  The last least snowy winter as measured in Boston was in the 1930’s!  But our 8 inches more than doubled the amount for this winter, pushing it firmly into the boring category.  Ah, well.