By Terry Currier
The ADS Instant Music is a hardware/software setup that makes it easy to import your old vinyl records or cassette tapes into your computer. It consist of a junction box for you to connect your record or cassette tapes to the computer. On the unit are two RCA jack ports for audio in and audio out. There is also a SPDIF (Toslink) input and one for out. Power to run it comes from the USB connection. The setup includes a 6ft USB cable, a 6ft RCA double jack set, and a Y RCA jack for connection to the stereo unit and the computer.
Back side showing connections
The cables make it easy to connect the unit to the stereo through the headphone jack (or speaker jacks if you prefer). The unit then connects to the sound card with RCA jacks or with the USB connection.
With the unit ADS includes Nero for recording the music and editing it to remove scratches and hiss sounds. ADS tells you briefly how to get Nero to do the recording. There are other programs you can use to do the recording including Roxio, Polderbits, and Audiograbber. Nero does do a fine job, and has an excellent wave editor.
If you are expecting quality like you get from a professionally manufactured CD, forget about it. They spend thousands of dollars on equipment to filter out the bad sounds, and still maintain quality.
The best things you can do to get good quality recording are:
The soundcard does not seem to make much of a difference in the recording part, but a good one will sound better on the playing end.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind.
Connecting the ADS Instant Music with the USB connector I noticed that Nero puts it as recording from a microphone in. Normally that would make it a mono rather than stereo recording, but the ADS Instant Music handled it in stereo. So if you wanted to, you could do the recording onto a laptop.
If you already have the Nero or Roxio suite then you can do the recording and editing through them. You only have to purchase the connecting cables. If you donít this is a good value to get everything together.
I had not played my old vinyl records in years. I put them to the side as inconvenient. Now I really enjoy listening to them on CD. Even some of the songs that I thought I may not want to record I find myself singing along with Ė in the car with the windows rolled up so no one else will hear.
Prices from CompUSA website
ADS Tech Instant Music $50
Nero Suite $40
An available USB port
CD-ROM - for software installation
CD burner - for making VCD's or burning video files to CD-writable discs
For Windows PC:
Minimum CPU - Intel Pentium 3 500 MHz or faster
Windows 98SE, WinME, Win2000, WinXP (Home or Professional),
256 MB of RAM
MAC OaS 10.X
Garage Band or Sound Studio 2.1
From our June 2005 newsletter
Winners is a member of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG) is an international, platform-independent, nonprofit corporation (incorporated in Washington, DC) devoted to helping user groups throughout the world. Almost 400 user groups are members of APCUG. http://www.apcug.net/