Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Digitizing Old Record Albums Has to Be Done in Real-Time

Digitizing Old Record Albums Has to Be Done in Real-Time
Listening to the old albums while playing them on the USB turntable has, of course, been somewhat of a distraction. Today the big draw was “Camp Mataponi in Prayer and Song.” This album was recorded in 1964, two days before parents’ visiting day. On the prayer side, there is a service, with several very sweet solos. The camp owner, Sam, actually announces the soloists’ names; but I don’t remember any of the girls. Their clear tuned voices remind me of my daughter when she was that age.

So far I have come along the completion line! I have been watching completion lines of various ilk all day: the bright green box that moves me along the song’s wave, so I can divide the recording into tracks, and which can be elongated or squeezed, thus squeezing the wave. I don’t dare elongate or squeeze on purpose, as I fear it will cause me to have to rerecord the record, which I have had to do about 5 times and haven’t yet figured out why for any of them. Then there is the completion line as each track is being saved as an mp3. So, it’s natural I would see life as a program completion gauge today!

Right now it’s the Radha Krsna Temple album of Krishna Consciousness. I have always loved this album! The cover is kind of creepy, with a picture of two of what I think are dolls but just might be real women, dressed in full dresses with pinafores over the dresses and beads and flowers, and jewels. I won’t further try to guess whether they are women or dolls. The album was produced by George Harrison, who was very musical and chose great tunes to put on this album.

For some reason, probably the distraction factor, I seem to be averaging about 5 albums/day. This might be fine if I were recording after dinner…only. But it’s all day! Each album plays on the turntable and gets recorded. Then it takes a few minutes for me to go into the sound wave graph and place markers where each track starts and list the name of each song. Then there is a processing phase where the computer does the processing that changes the track from a sound wave (not a wav file) into an mp3 file. I could choose a wav format, but I have chosen to use mp3. The digitizing step takes a while, and I have to click on “OK” before each track. So, if I leave the computer and come back, I might have to click “OK,” meaning that all the time I was gone there was little processing being done. Or, if I am in the middle of an email message or checking a website or 3 and I don’t stop to click on “OK,” then no processing is done while I’m doing the other things. Thus, the distraction factor is dragging out the process of getting these albums done. Sometimes I just have to stop all else and listen…or sing along! Sometimes I have the volume on very low, so I miss the music; some of these times I end up playing back the sound track recording because I just have to hear it!

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