USB Turntable


Ordinarily a bit of a Luddite—I don’t even own a cell phone—I’m addicted to my new Ion USB turntable. A ladder to the attic and five minutes of set-up and I’m downloading all my old vinyl. First up: Music From Big Pink, the Boss (Live, 1975-1985—all 10 sides), and my all-time favorite, the Funky Kings’ self-titled debut (and only) LP from 1976. And the thrill is back: Since you have to record in real time—as opposed to burning an 80-minute disc in four minutes—you actually sit there and read the liner notes while the record spins. (“Whoa! That’s a Tom T. Hall song!”) Plus, all those cool analogue pops and hisses coming through loud and clear (through iTunes or Media Player and later on your iPod or on a disc) as well as the sound of the needle dropping onto the record itself. Download a whole side and give it a file name, or download individual songs. Totally technophobe-proof. Available online or at Best Buy (starting at about $120).