iLP by ION – Review
Do you have a bunch of old vinyl records gathering dust that you aren’t sure what to do with ? ION provides the perfect solution with the iLP – it is a record deck that allows you to download music from your old records directly onto your iPad or iPhone, upload it to your computer or use RCA cables to connect it to external speakers.
I’m dating myself by saying this but when I was a teenager I saved my money from my part-time job to buy my first record player and then my precious collection of LP’s and singles. I moved onto CD’s then iTunes for my music collection, but my vinyl record collection still holds a special place in my heart. I haven’t had a working turntable in years, so the chance to play my old records again and to actually put them on my iPad, got me really excited. It really was like Christmas when the box from ION arrived.
The iLP looks just like a good quality turntable but with the addition of an iPad/ iPhone dock, and a USB connector. It can play at 3 speeds – 33rpm (LP’s), 45 rpm (singles) and 78 rpm (really old records, even before my time!) To use it you first have to download the free ION EZ vinyl and tape converter app. Open the app on your iOS device and follow the step-by-step directions. The turntable dock has an Apple 30-pin connector, so it works with iPad 3 or earlier and iPhone 4(s) or earlier. It is very simple to use: once you have connected it via the dock you select record new song, select turntable, adjust the gain, press record and start the record playing. You can see the audio input on a sound bar as you record, and hear it (at a very low level) as the record plays and records. If you are happy with it you can label the album and tracks. You can choose to have the app automatically split the recording into tracks – I found how well this worked varied from album to album on some it worked perfectly on others it didn’t detect the individual tracks at all (I assume this has something to do with how long a silence there is between tracks).
If you download your tracks directly on to your iOS device they are accessed from within the ION EZ-vinyl and tape convertor app, and you can’t edit the track information whilst they are in there. Next time you connect to your computer you can upload the tracks into your iTunes account, then you can edit track names and information and have them accessible in the music section of your iOS device instead of just within the app.
You can also choose to download directly into iTunes on your computer. The iLP comes with a CD containing the software needed and it is compatible with both PCs and Macs. Installing it was very simple and quick. Once the software is installed you connect the iLP to your computer with the included USB cable and follow the simple step-by-step instructions. It is really quick and easy. The first time I recorded an album onto my computer the tracks weren’t being labelled properly, I checked the trouble shooting guide and I needed to change my iTunes settings (which it told me exactly how to do), after that it worked like a charm.
I think the hardware is great, there are a couple of updates I’d like to see added to the software – I’d really like to have a help section so that all the information in the paper handbooks it easily available within the app, it would also be nice to be able to edit the track names directly on the iPad without having to do this on the computer. I’d also love to be able to directly move the recordings into iTunes from within the iPad without connecting to the computer (though I don’t know if this is something that is possible with Apple).
Overall, I really like the iLP and think it is a great solution to what to do with those old vinyl records, I’m really enjoying being able to add them to my iTunes collection and listen to them again. It looks good and is very flexible as it allows me to enjoy my records three ways- by listening to them directly (if you attach a speaker via the RCA), by downloading onto my iPad, iPod or iPhone or by downloading into iTunes on my computer. Highly recommended.
EZ Vinyl & Tape Converterby ION Audio
Category: Music, Lifestyle
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone5s, iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G, iPad 2 3G, iPhone4S, iPodTouchFifthGen, iPhone 4, iPadMini4G, iPod Touch (4. Gen.), iPad 3G, iPad WiFi, iPadThirdGen, iPod Touch (3. Gen.), iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2 WiFI, iPhone5c, iPadMini, iPhone5
Size: 3.66 MB