MP3 Decoding Failed

I read this post as similar but figured I would start my own.

I bought a $60 turntable that records to a USB memory stick in MP3 format. I’ve got a few old Vinyl records I wanted in MP3 and have been playing with Audacity 2.4.2. I recorded the first side to an MP3 file, opened it in Audacity 2.4.2, found the tracks and made edits to remove clicks. When I paused the recording on the turntable to flip the record over and started recording again, the memory stick had 2 MP3 files on it. When I tried to open the second side MP3, Audacity says “MP3 Decoding Failed: reserved header layer value”. The first side opened with no problem.

The other post seemed to say it might be version 2.4.2 and I might try to use MP3 Diags but I’m on a Win10 machine and did not see an easy way to get it installed. I was going to try the TAudioConverter but my Malware blocks it.

Any other thoughts?

If you play to the end of the first MP3, does the second one automatically start playing?



Yes. Do a google search “convert mp3 to wav online”

Thanks for reporting the trouble. :smiley:

I read this post as similar…

Did you try [u]this solution[/u] to decode with FFmpeg?

Or, if you have a desktop or tower computer with a “regular soundcard” you can connect the turntable’s analog line-outputs to line-in (blue) on your soundcard and record directly into Audacity.

Or, if it has USB computer connection you can use that and record with Audacity. That would probably a USB-B connector (the square kind) or something different from the thumb drive connection.

Or, you can get a little USB audio interface such as the Behringer UCA202 or UCA222. don’t buy a regular “USB soundcard” because they are like laptops with mic-in and headphone-out.

I bought a $60 turntable

If you WANT to upgrade [u][/u] has LOTs of reviews and recommendations. Personally, if I didn’t already have a setup for recording I’d buy the Audio Technica AT-LP120XBT-USB. ($300 USD) The XBT version is the newer version of the AT-LP120-USB with Bluetooth and USB.) A better turntable will give you better sound quality, but wouldn’t spend much more than that because you’re never going to get “CD quality” from vinyl no matter how much you spend.

Knowzy doesn’t like Audacity because it’s not super-easy to use and it doesn’t burn CDs, etc. Fair enough… That’s his opinion. Audacity is a complicated audio editor with lots of features & functions, including the ability to record, and people use it for lots of different things. (It is one of the most popular open-source applications of any kind.)

Thanks for the tips. I was able to get MP3 Diags installed and somehow stumble thru it and delete whatever was causing the error. After the repair, I opened the side 2 MP3 in Audacity and the last song must have been corrupted because it abruptly ended part way through. I was able to delete the last song, fire up the turntable and record the last song as a new MP3 to the memory stick and copy it to the end of the side 2 MP3 and proceed to remove the clicks and add the labels to the songs.

I did try the online convert as jademan said and the file was corrupt and gave the same results. I also tried the FFmpeg with no luck. Not sure if it was a glitch with my $60 turntable with the internal analog to digital converter.

I tried another old album and this time get a lost synchronization popup message when I try to open the MP3. I did get the avformat-55.dll file and tried to point to it but keep getting the error it was not found even though it is there. I tried to record both sides without pausing so there was a long silence when I flipped the record over.

I may have to return the turntable to Amazon and get a better unit, but I hate to spend $300 on a turntable to convert an album I paid $1.99 for in the bargain rack in 1971 that is now a little warped from being in a moving box for 20 years. I’m no audiophile and only play the MP3’s in my car. :smiley:

An addendum. I was able to convert the MP3 that lost synchronization to a WAV using an online site. I was then able to load the WAV into Audacity and the file only contained about 80% of side 1 and stopped midway on the last song and no side 2 at all.

I’m guessing my DigitNow! turntable is not a great unit and it will be going back to Amazon. It seems to be OK for a song or 3 but the longer it runs, the more errors it gets.

My dilemma is I’m a cheap SOB and don’t want to spend an arm and leg to convert 40 year old slightly warped records to MP3 to play in my car when I go pick up lunch during Covid lockdown. :slight_smile:

Audacity’s (free) competitor OCENaudio is worth having, and can save as mp3.

Some of the online-converters include some adware/malware with the download.

Hi Trebor;
I’m starting to get used to Audacity and using it to split a project into songs with the label feature and output as MP3. My one hiccup was taking the time to label side 2, copying the side to the clipboard and pasting it to the end of Side 1 and all the labels were gone so I had to do it again. :slight_smile:

I’m starting to think my $60 Digitnow turntable may be a little quirky. I tried another smaller capacity memory stick and the unit did not recognize it was plugged in.

I looked at this ION turntable for $111 on Amazon and wonder what people think.

I looked at this ION turntable for $111 on Amazon and wonder what people think.

It has a ceramic cartridge (I found that on the ION website). A magnetic cartridge (moving magnet or moving coil) would be a step-up and should give you noticeably better sound quality. Cheap record players had ceramic cartridges. Hi-fi turntables had magnetic cartridges. Knowzy has some (very negative) comments about ceramic cartridges.

I started out my LP conversion with an ION iTTUSB - the electronics were fine but the deck itself was poor - the platter was far too light and gave lots of horrible wow and flutter.

I junked that and retrieved my record deck (Technics SL-150 with SME 3009 arm) and gave it a home service. I bought a preamp from ARTcessories and an external USB soundcard (Edirol UA-1EX no longer in production). This produced excellent results much better than the ION.

These days I would have bought the combined preamp USB soundcard that ARTcessories now make:


Perhaps worth checking if those recordings are available to buy in digital format (for example from iTunes / Amazon / other).

Alternatively, if you have an old analog turntable, it can be cost effective to purchase a USB “phono” pre-amp. If you are in Europe, the “Behringer UFO202” is a little under 25 Euro (Unfortunately Behringer products are usually cost much more in the US). As waxcylinder wrote, there is also a relatively inexpensive model by ART which generally gets good reviews.

So when you try to copy & paste multiple tracks, make sure that both tracks are selected in your target by using the down arrow.

I hope this helps. :smiley:

Perhaps worth checking if those recordings are available to buy in digital format (for example from iTunes / Amazon / other).

Good point! I ALWAYS suggest that but somehow this time I ASSUMED the music wasn’t available digitally.

Or, you might want to just buy digital copies of your favorites, or songs that have extremely poor quality.

If you’re concerned about quality at all…
The Click Removal Effect is automatic.
The Repair Effect is manual (you have to select the defective audio) if Click Removal doesn’t remove all clicks.
Some regular Noise Reduction may help with the low-level background noise.

[u]Wave Corrector[/u] is a FREE special-purpose automatic vinyl clean-up application.
[u]Wave Repair[/u] ($30 USD) is a manual vinyl clean-up application. it’s VERY time consuming but it only “touches” the audio where you identify a defect, and there are several different repair methods available.

Also, many older records are a little “dull” sounding. Sometimes it helps to boost the higher frequencies with the Graphic EQ effect.

And, it’s usually a good idea to normalize (AKA “maximize”) with the Amplify or Normalize effect before exporting. That serves two purposes - If the peaks are below 0dB it will boost the volume. If the peaks are above 0dB (which can happen with effect like EQ) they can be clipped (distorted) when you export. In that case, normalizing will bring the peaks down to 0dB to prevent clipping.

You can normalize one song at a time, or if you want to retain the relative volume between the loud & quiet songs on the album you can make one big WAV file and normalize the whole thing at once.

Waxcylinder: Back in the 1960’s we lived next door to a family that had an old hand cranked phonograph that played wax cylinders and your handle brought back memories.

DVDdoug and others: I don’t listen to audio at all except in the car (2019 MB E450 Coupe with standard Burmeister system) when I go pick up lunch or dinner, so the click removal works fine for my listening environment. When we go back to work, my commute is about 15 minutes to the bus stop. I generally listen to old classic rock music that I have gathered CD’s ripped to MP3’s over the years. If I remember a song I like, I usually use Clipgrab to get the MP3 off YouTube. I got a couple of albums that way and used Audacity to split the album into songs. I also use Audacity to make short ringtones for my cellphone. When we moved from our previous house, I sold my 40 year old audio system in a garage sale (Marantz tuner and a Teac turntable, IIRC). I was moving stuff around last month and found a box with my old vinyl and thought I would buy a turntable and save them to MP3’s. They are a little warped looking at them spin on this Digitnow turntable and I may head to Lowes and get a couple of pieces of glass to try to flatten them out.

I’m in Texas, near Houston and I’ll probably pack this Digitnow unit up and send it back to Amazon and look for a better unit. Maybe I’ll use part of my Covid Relief check for an upgrade. :smiley: Their Tech Support said it would handle a 32Gb FAT32 stick but some of mine are not recognized.

Sorry for the long post but I’m an Engineer and can’t help myself, plus I’m old and my ears don’t work like they used to. :slight_smile: