ION Audio



Turntable and Cassette Player - Frequently Asked Questions

ION_EZVCION Audio produces a range of USB Turntable and Cassette players that allow you to easily convert your records or cassettes into MP3 files on your computer.   In this guide, we will walk you through connecting the device, setting up and using the included EZ Converter software.  We also cover common questions and troubleshooting.

Note: this article covers questions about the EZ Vinyl & Tape Converter iOS app for iPad, iPod, and iPhone. For questions or support on the Window or Mac version of the application, click here.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How much free space should I have on my iOS device prior to recording?

The EZ Converter App requires free storage space on the iOS device so that it can store your recordings. It is strongly recommended that you have at least 1 GB (preferably more) of free storage space available on your iOS device and the latest version of EZ Converter.

To update the app and view the available space on your iOS device, perform the following:

  1. Go to the App store
  2. Tap "updates" to ensure you have the latest version of EZ Converter
  3. Launch the Settings app.
  4. On the left-hand side of the screen that opens, select General.
  5. On the right-hand side of the screen, next to Available, you can view the storage space on your iOS

 

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Installing the EZ Converter and iTunes Software

There are two programs used to convert your music to your computer. EZ Converter is used to record the audio and split your tracks. The iTunes software is used to convert the audio to MP3 format. To work correctly, both software titles must be installed on your computer. It is important for both EZ Converter and iTunes to be updated to the latest available version. Older or mismatched versions may not function correctly together on your computer.

Follow the steps below to update both the iTunes, and EZ Converter software.
 

EZ Vinyl Tape Converter - Installation

If you have an earlier version of the EZ Converter Software it is recommended that you uninstall before updating.

 

For the most current and updated version of the software please visit: www.ionaudio.com/ezvc

Download the correct version for your Operating System. Save it to your computer. Once the file has downloaded double click the file to begin the installation process. Follow the prompts, and finish the installation. Upon completion of the installation you should now have an icon on your desktop.
 

iTunes - Installation

If you already have iTunes installed on your computer you can update the software from within iTunes.

 

For the most current version of the iTunes software please visit: www.itunes.com

Apple will automatically detect your Operating System. Click the download link. Save the file to your computer. Once the file has downloaded double click the file to begin the installation process. Follow the prompts, and finish the installation. Upon completion of the installation you should now have an icon on your desktop. If you are having difficulty exporting to iTunes click here for help.

Download and Installing EZ Vinyl Tape Converter

 

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Connecting your Turntable or Cassette Player to your Computer

When connecting the device to your computer you will only need to use the USB cable and not the RCA connection. All of the sound is transmitted through the USB port so the RCA connection is not required.

  1. If your ION Audio device came with a wall adapter plug it in to an electrical outlet.

    Note: Some devices are powered by the USB port on your computer, and do not require this connection.
     
  2. Plug the USB Cable into the ION Audio device, and then directly into a USB port on your computer.

 

USB Connection Difficulty

It is important to mention that not all USB ports are the same. In most cases the USB connection on the back of a computer tower is faster and more powerful. On a Laptop the USB port closest to the power supply is the better choice. Please consider that these are generalities, and are not always the case.

If the software is unable to connect to the audio device try different USB ports on your computer until the device is recognized. Make sure you are going directly into a port on the computer and not through a USB hub. If you have tried all available USB ports, and the software is still unable to connect to the audio device try switching the USB cable. See more on cables here.
 

Playback and Recording – Setting up your Computers Audio Settings

Setting up the sound correctly can help resolve many common issues experienced during playback. Some of the more common issues include: No Sound, Distortion, and Mono Playback. Some turntables ship with a protective cover to protect the needle. Make sure you remove this before trying to play the turntable. The Turntable will show in your computer as one of the following USB Audio Codec/PnP Audio Device/Microphone Array. We want to make sure this is not the default playback device. We do however want to use this device for recording. Make sure all other programs are closed while making changes to sound settings. Your turntable or cassette player will need to be plugged in while making these changes to your sound settings.

Below are setup instructions for Windows 7, Vista, XP, and Mac OS X.

ION005Windows XP Sound Settings

  1. In the lower-left of your screen, click Start button .
     
  2. Select Settings, then Control Panel.
     
  3. In the window that opens, click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices.
     
  4. Choose Sounds, and Audio Devices.
    This will open the Sounds and Audio Devices Properties.
     
  5. At the top of the window, click on the Audio Tab.
     
  6. Under Sound Playback Default Device, choose your sound card.
    (i.e. Realtek, SoundMax, Sigmatel, Sound Blaster, Conexant)
     
  7. Under Sound Recording Default Device choose the USB Device.
    (i.e. USB Audio Codec, PnP Audio Device, or Microphone Array)
     
  8. Do not make any changes to MIDI Music Playback Default Device.
     
  9. Next, click on the Voice tab and mirror these settings.
     
  10. Click Apply to save, then click OK to exit.

 

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Windows 7 and Vista Sound Settings

 

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  1. Click the Start button ION008.

  2. Select Control Panel.

  3. Double-click Hardware and Sound it may only say Sound.

  4. Double-click Sound, the Sound Settings window will open.
     
  5. Under the Playback tab click on your sound card speakers.
    (i.e. Realtek, SoundMax, Sigmatel, Sound Blaster, Conexant, IDT)
     
  6. Click Set Default at the bottom of the window.

    IMPORTANT: Make sure the USB Audio Codec/USB PnP Audio Device is NOT your Default playback device.

 

 

 

Recording Settings

  1. Click on the Recording tab.
  1. Click on the Microphone Array (USB Codec, PnP).

  2. Click Set Default.

  3. Click Properties on the bottom of that window.
    Microphone Properties window will open. See figures below.

  4. Click on the Levels Tab.

  5. Set the level as close to 5 (Windows 7) or 25 (Vista) as you can, The microphone is very sensitive and needs be set this low to avoid distortion.

  6. Click on the Advanced tab.

  7. Set the Sample Rate to 2 Channel, 16 bit, 44100 Hz or 44800 Hz.

  8. Uncheck both Exclusive Mode boxes.

  9. Click Apply, then OK to exit. In some cases a restart is required for the level to save at 5 or 25 depending on your Windows version.


Microphone Properties (Steps 6-10)

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Mac OS X Sound Settings

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your computer screen.

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  2. Select System Preferences…
     
  3. In the window that opens, See Hardware, and click Sound.

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  4. At the top of the new window that opens click on the Output tab.
  5. Click on Internal Speakers to set this as the default.

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  6. Select the Input tab.
     
  7. Click on the USB Audio Codec/PnP Audio Device to set the default (Adjust the Volume to desired level).

    Note: If Line in or Internal Microphone is selected as your default you may hear your voice during recording.

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Using the EZ Vinyl Tape Converter Software

The EZ Converter software tries to make the recording of your Vinyl and Cassettes as simple as possible. Each step of the recording and converting process will prompt the user for input before continuing. Let’s take a moment to understand a few features of the software. 

 

Split-Track Function

The EZ software allows the ability to automatically create new tracks. How this works is the software listens to the silences and reads them as a separation between tracks.

This is not a perfect technology. Sometimes within a song there is a silence before the track has ended. The software may think this is the end of the track, and split the track. In other instances certain records may have songs that overlap or blend into each other. The software then has a difficult time separating the two tracks. The end result is multiple tracks merged into one track in your final recording.

 

Troubleshooting track count and recordings that are the incorrect length

Some instances your recording may only record for 1:00 then stop. This is also corrected with the solution below.

To remedy these problematic albums it is recommended to un-check the box in Step 2 Split recording into tracks.

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In Step 3 there will be a new track button you can press each time you want the software to create a new track. The recording process will continue, as you split the tracks. This is the most accurate way to record. If you do not click new track, the result will be one long continuous track.

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Naming Your Files

Once you have recorded your songs Step 4 will allow you to name the Artist, Album, and the Track titles. The tracks in white are tracks that the software recognized. If the tracks are not able to be entered or grayed out then the software did not detect or split the tracks correctly. Refer to the Split Track Function to correct this issue.

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Once you have inputted all of the track information click next to export your recordings into the iTunes software for listening and burning to CD. See more on burning a CD here.
 

Recording Both Sides of an Album or Cassette

Currently the only way to record both sides is two record one side, name your tracks, then export to iTunes. After the files have exported you will need to start back at Step 1 to record the other side of your album. You can change the track numbers or add information to the MP3 file after the exporting has finished. See more on adding or changing track information here.

 

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Using the iTunes Software

iTunes is a free software that allows us to playback music on our computer. It also allows us add music to portable devices, and CDs for listening to on home and car stereos. Why iTunes? iTunes takes all of the recorded music from your favorite Vinyl or Cassette and converts it to MP3 format. Even if you don’t have an iPod device iTunes conveniently stores the MP3’s on your computer’s hard drive so you can add them to your other portable MP3 device. See Step 8 below for the location of these files.

 

Once iTunes is installed it sometimes will request to be the default player on your computer. This is not required to work correctly with the EZ Converter software. All it is asking is if you want iTunes to open when you double click on your MP3 files. If you wish to use iTunes as your default select MP3 from the list and click OK.

 

In order for the EZ Vinyl Tape Converter software, and iTunes to work well together it is recommended to use the settings below. Before adjusting the settings please make sure you have the latest version. See more on updating here.

 

iTunes Settings Windows/Mac

  1. Open iTunes.
     
  2. Click the Edit menu at the top of the iTunes window. (Mac users click the iTunes Menu).
     
  3. Select Preferences from the drop down list.

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  4. In General tab window click Import Settings.

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  5. Make sure MP3 Encoder is selected as your format.
     
  6. Set the Quality to 192 kbps.

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  7. Click on the Advanced tab at the top of the Preferences window.
     
  8. Make sure Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized, and Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library boxes are checked.

    The iTunes Media folder location is where your music is stored on your hard drive. If you wish to add your files to Windows Media Player or a MP3 player you can import your files from this directory.

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Locating your converting music in iTunes

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Click on the Recently Added playlist on the left under PLAYLISTS.
    (Here you will see all files recently added to iTunes)

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    If you do not have this playlist we can easily create one with a few simple steps.

 

How to create a Recently Added Playlist

  1. Click File.
  2. Select New Smart Playlist…

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    In the window uncheck the box Match the following rule:
  1. In the selected by drop down select most recently added.
  2. Check the box Limit to and set how many files you want to show in this playlist.

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  3. Check the box Live updating.
  4. Click OK. You will now see the untitled playlist.
  5. Rename untitled playlist to Recently Added.

    You now have the playlist to easily find all of your most recent conversions. All of your most recent recordings will automatically appear in this playlist.

 

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Editing track information

With iTunes open you have the ability to change additional information associated with the MP3. Simply find your track in the iTunes library, right-click on the track(s) you want to edit and choose Get Info from the drop down list. A new window will open. Click on the Info tab you will then be able to add or change additional information associated with your MP3 including Name, Artist, Year, Album, Track Number, Composer, Genre, and more.

 

Making an Audio CD from your converted MP3’s

  1. Open iTunes by double-clicking the icon.

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  2. Click File and select New Playlist.
     
  3. Alternatively you can click the + symbol on the bottom left to create a new playlist.

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  4. Rename your untitled playlist to whatever you want to call your CD.
     
  5. Click on Music under the Library on the left.

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  6. Find the music from your collection you want to add to your CD.
     
  7. Click and hold the left mouse button on the desired track(s).
     
  8. Drag the tracks onto the playlist you just created , and your files will be added.

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  9. Repeat the step 5-8 until you have all of your tracks.
     
  10. Right-click the playlist you created.
     
  11. Select Burn Playlist to Disc.

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  12. Select Audio CD.

    Note: Audio CD is selected as it is the most compatible type to play in home stereo and cars. Also make sure you are using CD-R as they are the most compatible media.
     
  13. Click Burn to start the process.

Adding Music to a mp3 Player Using Windows Media Player

The following steps will show you how to add your converted music to Windows Media Player Library. This way you can add your music to your non iPod mp3 player. 

  1. Record your music with EZ Vinyl Tape Converter.
     
  2. Open iTunes.

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  3. Click Edit from the top menu, and then select Preferences...

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  4.  Click on the Advanced Tab. Take notice of the iTunes Media Folder Location. We will need this directory later when we open Windows Media Player. Also make sure that boxes Keep iTunes Media folder organized, and Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library are checked. Click OK to close this window. 

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  5.  Open Windows Media Player.

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  6.  Click the Library tab from the top of the window, and select Add to Library...

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  7.  Once the Add to Library window opens, click Add... from the left.

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  8.  When the Add Folder window opens, find the folder from Step 4 above. After you have selected the default iTunes Media Folder, click OK.

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  9.  Windows Media Player will now search in the chosen directory for music to add to the Windows Media Player Library.

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  10. Your converted music will now be available in your Windows Media Player Library so that you can add them to your mp3 player. 

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Troubleshooting: Unable to Export to iTunes Error

Sometimes after iTunes updates it will change the compatibility mode to a previous version of Windows. In most cases this error is only generated once, and will allow you to convert after retrying. If you are experiencing this error frequently please try the steps below to resolve the issue.

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  1. Close out the iTunes and EZ Vinyl Tape Converter software.
     
  2. Right-Click the iTunes icon on your desktop, and choose Properties.
     
  3. iTunes Properties window will open.
     
  4. Click the Compatibility tab.
     
  5. Check the box Run this program in compatibility mode for:
     
  6. Select your operating system from the list.

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  7. Check the box Run this program as an administrator.
     
  8. Click Apply, then click OK to close this window.
     
  9. Repeat steps 2-8 for the EZ Vinyl Tape Converter icon.

 

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Types of USB Cables

ION Audio Turntables and full sized Cassette Decks use a standard USB A to B. This connection is the same as a USB printer would use.

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The smaller ION Cassette Players use a type A to Mini B USB cable.

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Advanced Converting

Some of the ION Audio turntables offer 78 rpm so the following steps will not be necessary. For all turntables without 78 rpm setting you will need to use a 3rd party software to convert your 78's. Audacity is a free third-party recording software that allows you to adjust the timing of the recorded audio. Audacity is not included with ION products, and technical support or assistance on how to use Audacity is not available directly from ION. Audacity is available online for free from the developer’s homepage. Once you download and install the software follow these simple steps to convert your 78’s.

 

Recording 78 RPM Records:

  1. Download and install Audacity.
  2. After you have recorded the album, open the Edit menu then click Select and choose All.
  3. Next, open the Effect menu and choose Change Speed.
  4. Select the speed that you recorded it at (33 or 45), as well as the speed you would like it to be (78).
  5. Then press OK.
     

All other information on how to use the Audacity software is available on their website.

 

 

 

iTunes Alternatives

iTunes isn’t for everyone. If you prefer not to use the iTunes software there are other options available. There are many recording programs available online that will allow you to convert your vinyl and tapes to your computer. The process will be more involved on your part. The most important step to making the Turntable or Cassette player work with other programs is to choose the correct input. When you have done your research and found the alternative software you wish to use make sure you enable the USB Audio Codec/PnP Audio Device as your input. This is the ION Audio device.

 

Optimizing Your Computer for Audio Recording

If you are experiencing looping or audio skipping please try the following recommendations.

Recording video is very sensitive process and requires most of your computers power to process audio smoothly. Make sure you limit all the programs and applications you are running. It is recommended to temporarily disable anti-virus software when recording audio. For more tips on optimizing your computer for Audio recording please visit the link. http://www.alesis.com/tipsnov08


Note: this article covers questions about the EZ Vinyl & Tape Converter iOS app for iPad, iPod, and iPhone. For questions or support on the Window or Mac version of the application, click here.

 

 

Technical Support & Warranty Service

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own a ION product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the experienced ION technical support team is available to help!

 


 

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