Educational CyberPlayGround ®

Solutions for getting rid of old record albums & Record you LP to cd.


1. From Phyllis
Try calling your local radio stations...sometimes they are interested; otherwise, call the custodian and just start pitching!!

2. From: Lynn
If you're feeling really artsy, you could do what a librarian at one of my schools did with old record albums. She somehow heated them and formed them into bowl shapes (wavy, like a taco bowl) and used them for putting crayons in on her tables. Personally, I'd throw them away!

3. From Laura
Or if you have time, sell them on ebay. There are those of us who still love albums and look to pick up good finds.

4. From Alice
We have used record shops in our town where you can get cash for albums...
maybe even enough to buy something for your classroom... you might want to see if there is something like that in your area.

5. From Wendy
I took a "make it and take it" course a few summers ago and we covered albums with contact paper (white works best) and printed games on, rhythm games, staff reading, etc, The kids love the unique shape, and you can make many different games to pass around, or put at stations around the room.

From John Oliphant

Hook the turntable to a regular receiver's phono input, and run one of the receiver's 'tape out' lines to your computer sound card LINE IN. From here, you need a piece of software.

If you're using a PC, get Audiograbber, a free and simple tool that does a great job with this sort of thing.
Under the file menu is an option for line-in sampling. Basically, you hit the record button and play the record. The software is supposed to make breaks between songs, but I haven't made that work, so click the "New Track" button. When you're done, you have a series of WAV files that can be dropped onto a CD.

This works with all types of audio sources; I made a bunch of CDs from old audio tapes and self-recorded stuff, too.

One important item to mention here is that if your turntable is not separately connected up to an amplifier, you may have to install a preamp (available from Radio Shack) to increase the output from the turntable if you plan to go directly from the platter to your sound card. Some
turntables did not always have the hardware installed to boost the signal coming from the needle.

From Tim Merritt
You have several choices, some freeware, commercial software, and shareware.

Audacity ( is a free, open source audio recorder and editor, with good included help files, and they even have tutorials at the web site. Win, Mac, Linux, and I believe has been mentioned on the list before. Lots of filters and effects processing is available. Files can be exported in MP3, WAV, AIFF, and
Ogg Vorbis formats. It's a little intimidating at first, but
documentation is surprising newbie-friendly, especially for a free app. I'd try this first if I was in your shoes.

I often use the freeware Audio Recorder
( for quick recording direct to MP3s for lectures, meetings, quick voice messages to email. It too is free, but limited in features and support, and has no internal sound editing capability. It is, however, a tiny little 87K download (!!!), has very quick startup, in addition to MP3 it records direct to AIFF, Apple Lossless, MP4, and WAV formats, has
a feature that allows a recording to immediately be attached to a new message ready for addressing and sending.... it earned a place in my toolbox.

If you have Roxio Toast Titanium 6, it comes with CD Spin Doctor, which is pretty much designed for what you're trying. It includes filters for removing crackles and pops. Around $80 academic pricing, maybe a little less, and integrated well with the Toast CD-authoring
program for ease of use. I find it a little pricey, but I'm pretty comfortable with the open-source stuff.

Just *tons* of these, with which I'm not as familiar, as the two apps above (plus iTunes) have met all my needs thus far; this site has a pretty well organized list of other free/shareware apps:

Desktop computers generally all have three or more audio jacks:
Headphones/speakers out
Microphone in
Line in
Sound card built for desktop computers also have line out and some additional speaker or digital in/out jacks.

Most laptops nowadays seem to have only microphone and headphone jacks. Sometimes the microphone jack is intelligent and doubles as a line input jack, but this is not universal.

Using a turntable (phonograph) presents the additional problem that most put out a very weak signal. The phono jack on home stereos (back in the days when they had phono jacks) ran the signal through a pre-amp to
boost the signal level. To run it through a microphone jack almost guarantees that you won't get any signal into the sound card. I have also found that the audio signal processing quality of most laptops is inferior compared to desktops. There are PCMCIA and USB-based sound
cards for laptops, (e.g. Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS which comes in either format) which can provide the proper sound input.

When I did some LP to CD conversion a couple of years ago, I didn't want to use an amplifier/receiver with phono jack etc. between the turntable and the computer, so I found a turntable (Sony PS-LX250H) which has both
phono out signal and line out signals--meaning that it has a built-in pre-amp. A quick search shows that this turntable is still available (Amazon Electronics for $85.00; for $93 etc.) This is a nice workaround since newer amplifier/receivers tend not to have a phono input but often have several line level inputs. If your laptop's mike jack will accept line level input, you could connect this Sony turntable directly to your computer. If your mike jack won't accept line level input, your choices are to use add-on hardware like the SB Audigy or to use a desktop computer with a line input jack.

Guy Durrant