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Definition: USB turntable

A phonograph turntable that is used to convert tracks on vinyl records into a digital format such as CD audio or MP3. With a built-in phono preamp and analog-to-digital converter, the USB turntable converts the cartridge's analog signal to digital PCM and sends it to the computer via USB. Software in the computer converts the PCM into the required format such as MP3, FLAC, etc.

Do It Yourself
Although music enthusiasts can connect their turntables to the computer's sound card for playback, the USB turntable makes it convenient for consumers to convert their vinyl collections to digital permanently. See turntable, PCM, cassette ripping and VHS ripping.

One of the First USB Turntables
In 2006, Ion Audio (www.ionaudio.com) pioneered the USB turntable for ripping vinyl records to MP3 and other digital formats. The red/white RCA plugs provide analog stereo output, enabling the turntable to be used as a record player in a hi-fi system.

From Vinyl to Flash Cards
In this model from Ion Audio, users can convert directly to a flash memory-based SD card. The MP3 ripping software and the A/D conversion are built into the turntable. (Image courtesy of Ion Audio LLC, www.ionaudio.com)