Getting Audacity to work for stupid people like me

I’ve just got a Project usb thingy so I can put my vinyl collection onto hard disc. I have been able to get programme to work but have no sound out of speakers on PC. I am running vista.
After getting frustrated I have decided to take the Project usb device back to the shop and not put my vinyl onto hard disc unless I can find an alternative for thicko’s like myself.
Any suggegestions for programmes that would do this without all the fiddle arsing about.

I have every sympathy with you - getting a computer set up to record can be quite daunting, and unfortunately Vista is one of the worst for making it difficult.

I’m a musician, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but if you want to record some real live music on modern hardware, then it is surprisingly difficult. Back in the old days you would just plug a microphone into your tape / cassette recorder and record, but though modern machine will download via USB, obtain the artwork and lyrics automatically from the internet, and make play lists and all sorts, you can’t actually record anything (other than really low quality voice messages). It’s almost as if you’re not supposed to record real music and should be satisfied with buying MP3 downloads.

Anyway, that’s my moan out of the way.
Audacity tries to make it as simple as possible to record, but there are certain issues that need to be satisfied in order to let it work, Primarily, the computer sound system need to be set up so as to receive input from the input socket that you are using and make it available to programs. After that you need to set Audacity to look to the audio device that you are using (tell Audacity which sound card you are using), and then after that you are in business.

I’m afraid I can’t really suggest any programs that make it easier, as the trickiest bit is the first step - setting the computer sound system to receive the audio input and make it available. This condition needs to be satisfied for all and any audio recording software.

There is on-line documentation for Audacity to help you get things set up, and people on this forum that will try and help, but if you have really had enough then you may want to consider using a stand-alone vinyl to CD recorder such as this: (this is not an endorsement - I’ve never used one and I have doubts about the sound quality that they would provide compared with my old Thorens turntable).


if you really can’t be bothered with the “fiddle arsing about” you might want to consider one of the devices that ION produce which is a turntable which will out directly to a recordable CD-R. See:

Peresonally I wouldn’t and didn’t do it that way - I started out with an ION USB TT but ditched that as it gave me too much wow&flutter (probably due to a very lightweight platter). Instead I rescued my old Technics TT from the attic, gave it a good home service and treated it to a new cartridge and bought a phono pre-amp and a separate USB soundcar (all the “gubbins” packed inside the ION iTTUSB). This worked well - it was a bit fiddly to get started, but worth the effort. Using Audacity enables clean-up and editing of the recordings and track labelling.

I was (and still am) though using XP - and I agree with Steve that Vista seems to make life more difficult (judging by the various forum postings I have read). I specifacally avoided Vista last year when I bought my laptop and insisted that Dell “downgrade” the OS to XP-Pro. I shall be trying the Audacity/Vista combination soon as my wife has just ordered a new laptop with Vista (with future upgrade to W7 later).

Let me encourage you to persevere - I am so, so pleased that I now have all my old vinyl 45s and LPs on CDs and on my iPods. I actually get to hear them a lot more often. And I enjoyed the transciption project - even though it did take two and a half years! The work-rate did speed up though onced I’d retired. And now I’ve got my wife’s similarly sized vinyl collection to work on.