Doesn’t turning your vinyl collection into digital files defeat the purpose of having a vinyl collection? I know that is what some of you guys are no doubt going to be saying, but hear me out. Nothing will replace the crisp sound of vinyl for me, but there are actually some good reasons as to why you would want to rip your vinyl so that you can enjoy it on your iPod, MP3 player, phone or whatever.
Why You Should Consider Ripping Your Vinyl Records!
Here are a few reasons why you should consider ripping your vinyl records.
It Is Convenient
I love hanging around in my house paying my favorite records, it is one of the highlights of my week when I get the chance to do this. However, I also spend a great deal of time out of the house. In the car, at the gym or whatever and there is no way I can listen to my “records” when I am out and about. Having my favorite albums digitally still allows me to enjoy them while I am out of the house.
It Protects Your Vinyl
If you are like me and a collector of vinyl records, you probably take extra special care of them. I have a really rare live Kiss album that would probably be one of the things that I would save in a fire! That is how much I love that album, but as much as I love this album when I want to listen to it, I listen to the version I have ripped so as to save the vinyl from being excessively played. Of course, I do not do this with the majority of my vinyl, but those albums that are rare and hard to get, I really try to limit the number of times I actually break the record out of its protective case!
The Best Free Vinyl Ripping Software
Here are a few reviews of some of the vinyl ripping software that I feel is worth checking out.
If you do a search for the best free vinyl ripping software, Audacity is going to be one of the first ones that pop up. I find this very, very easy to use and in all honesty, I really do not see anyone having any trouble with using this. If you are like me and do not care about editing your music in any way, Audacity is perfect for you. I say this because once you have your record player connected to your computer, it could not be any easier to rip the vinyl.
However, from what I understand the software for editing and playing around with your music is a little harder to get to grips with. This might be something for you to keep in mind. Still, if you want a piece of software that is not only free but easy to get your music in a digital format, you cannot go wrong with this.
- I like how easy it is to use
- Plenty of options for you guys that want to tinker with the sound
- The UI is very straight forward
- It is free!!!
- Some might find the editing options a little hard to figure out
2. Golden Records Vinyl and Cassette to MP3 or CD
Next up we have the Golden Records Vinyl and Cassette to MP3 or CD software. When it comes to the best free vinyl ripping software, this one here is probably my pick. This is the one that I personally use. They have made this so simple that even a complete novice is not going to have trouble figuring this out. Every record I have recorded via this software has been played back in great quality. It does give you a few options such as changing the speed and even restoration if you want, but I found just straight ripping the vinyl was more than good enough.
One aspect of the Golden Records Vinyl and Cassette to MP3 or CD software that I really like is the way that it will effortlessly split the tracks for you. It does this by detecting silence and that is quite clever. I am one of the old people that still have a CD player in his car and I like how easy this software makes putting my vinyl not just onto my phone, but also burn it to a CD. I legit have next to no complaints about this software at all!
- Probably my personal favorite software on the list!
- I like how easy it is to use
- It makes putting your vinyl onto CD easy as well as digitally
- Nice and clean UI
- Might not be enough tinkering options for some
3. Spin It Again
Next, we have this Spin It Again software which is a paid-for service, but they do offer a free trial so it is worth taking a look at. The free version from what I can tell gives you access to most of the bells and whistles. One of the things that I am sure many of you guys will like about this is the way it has some great tools for cleaning up hissing and pops, I kind of like these things, but I can also see why some would appreciate having a way to get rid of them.
It has a lot of extra features that are there for those who want to get more intricate with their editing. I am talking about sound levels, playing with the treble, bass and more this is not really my cup of tea, but I know that some people enjoy this kind of thing. I do wonder if it would be worth spending the 19 bucks to get the full version?
- I like how easy this is to use
- They even allow you to rip tapes!
- It can clean up the sound which is cool
- Very smart and efficient UI
- You do have to pay for the full version
I will admit that I was debating really hard if I should put VinylStudio on here. The reason I say that is this is a program that you can actually pay for, but it does also have a free trial version which is what I am looking at, mainly at a suggestion from a buddy of mine. Anyway, I messed around with this (the free version) and found that to be rather feature-packed. So if you are the kind of person who is not just looking to rip their vinyl, but also edit it so that the sound is improved or that the tracks are split just the way you want, VinylStudio could be for you.
I never actually checked out the full version so I am not 100 percent sure on what features are missing from the trial version. What I do know is that if you want to actually purchase this software the basic version is around 30 bucks and the pro version is like 50 bucks! So it is not the cheapest software out there, but some people do swear by this!
- They do offer a free trial that is fun
- It has plenty of options for tinkering with your ripped vinyl records
- I like how in-depth it is with the recordings
- It has premium versions if you are interested
- Some of the services are behind a paywall
5. ION EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter
The ION EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter is a really cool piece of software and it is easy to see why it is regarded as one of the best pieces of free vinyl ripping software out there. What really stands out for me about this software is just how easy it is to use. Once your record player is all connected, you will not have any trouble at all getting this thing going. The UI is very barebones, but I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. What I liked was how easy it was to, first of all, rip your record.
Once ripped, you can then start deciding if you need to reduce noise, adjust the volume levels and so on. You can even decide the order and layout of the tracks if you want. It gives you some nifty features that can make putting the album onto your phone or even a CD a real piece of cake and even though I am not someone who likes to mess around or edit my records. I had fun playing with the features this offered.
- The software is completely free to use
- The UI is very easy to figure out
- I like how it allows you to play with your recordings
- Great if you want to burn your vinyl to CD
- Might be a bit basic for some people
So, there you have it five great pieces of software for turning your favorite vinyl records into digital recordings. These are legit the best free vinyl ripping software programs that you can get in my opinion. For me, it really comes down to Golden Records Vinyl and Cassette to MP3 or CD or Audacity. These are the two that tick all the boxes and there are no hidden fees or features hidden behind a paywall here.