So after my son had a travel soccer game in the rain (Long Valley Nitros won 2-1), we were home bound so I decided to crack open one of my Hanukkah gifts - an ION USB Turntable. And you know what - it actually works if you have a clean record.
The instruction manual could have been a little clearer with better tips on the different weights on the needle (yes I wrote a needle). I'm still not sure how much to put on and lets not forget the balance on the bottom of the turntable. I wasn't even sure it was there until I got desperate and moved it. However after about 1 hour of playing with it I was able to get my record going. The record I pulled out was Gary US Bonds' Dedication which has Bruce and the E Street Band on it and included hits like Jole Blon and This Little Girl. The record played well and the software that came with it was very easy to use.
The frustrating thing is, was that the manufacturer focused on the software and not with actually playing the record. I mean it has been 20 years since I played a record. How do you clean it? How perfect does the record need to be? So I called my father who gave me some advice on how to clean it (I just used water and a t-shirt) and then I started to play it again and I got all the way through Jole Blon and then about 3/4 of the way through This Little Girl and it started to skip. And then it skipped throughout the rest of the first side. Dad called back and asked me how I did so I told him. His advice - toss the record out because it is scratched.
So after about 3 hours I'm stuck. A record with a scratch, software that works, and a properly balanced turntable. My other records in the house are way more scratched than this record so they aren't even worth trying. However, if you have clean records and want to transfer them, the ION USB Turntable works great. Thankfully we've moved past vinyl technology even though the music from records sounds better - they'll sound better if you can actually get them without scratches. OK - now onto another project.