I picked up a fairly cheap turntable and VCR, each with a USB out. Its a cool concept for a consumer product, bundling easy-to-use software with a simple and familiar piece of hardware. I’m using them to convert albums I miss and home movies. The main headache is that the bundled software isn’t all I hoped it would be.

The audio is solved by using Audacity, although there is a steep learning curve getting the options just right, plus it is a more complex process on a per album basis. I could also upgrade the needle as some sites suggest, but I don’t think my ears aren’t discerning enough to make it worth while.

The video bundled software has a two step process, the first to import all raw data and the second to convert it to a scaled non-interlaced MPEG2 format. I’m struggling with the settings in HandBrake, trying to replace that second step with a better H.264 final file. I’ll get it eventually.

Its worthwhile for the gems you can’t buy anew and for personal content, but this has proven to be a huge investment in time. I also thought hearing the pops and noise from my old analog albums would be more nostalgic than it is. If a remastered digital version is available, save yourself the time.