How to Transfer LP to CD - Separating the Songs on Your LP
By Timothy Arends

If you have recorded one song off of a 45, you will be ready to save your work. If you have recorded one whole side of an album, you will probably want to split the file into separate tracks or songs. This is so that you can label each song when you finally import them into iTunes with the proper name, musician, and other information, as well as play the music in any order.

But what if you know you will always want to play all the pieces on the LP in the order in which they were recorded, and you cannot conceive of wanting to separate the music into separate songs or tracks? What if you do not want all those separate songs cluttering up iTunes anyway? Well, you can leave one entire side of an LP as a single file if you want to, but remember that there are mechanisms in iTunes, such as album view, to keep all of the tracks of a particular album organized and together, and even to always play in the same sequence.

Splitting recordings into separate tracks (songs)

The first step to saving each song on a recorded LP as separate files is to mark the tracks.

Place the record label or album jacket in front of you for reference.

With the I-beam tool selected, click at the beginning of the waveform, the point where you first started recording.

Click Project > Add Label at Selection or Tracks > Add Label at Selection, depending on which version of Audacity you have.

Audacity will add a label marker at the point of your selection ready for you to start typing the name of the song. (The label markers can be found below the waveform area in the Label Track area).

Click at the start of the second track on the waveform (you may need to zoom in a bit to do this precisely) choose Project > Add Label at Selection again, type the second label and so on.

Audacity does have a feature that attempts to automatically mark the beginning of each track. It does this by analyzing the entire recorded file (i.e. the recording of the entire side of an LP) and tries to find periods of silence that meet certain criteria, such as being more than two seconds long. This command is called Silence Finder and is found under the A analyze menu. Personally, I find it easier just to set the markers for the various tracks myself, as I usually try to delete the excess silence at the end of each song anyway.

Be sure to preview each song after you have made the marks to make sure you have placed them in the right positions.

Finally, to save the LP as separate songs, choose Export Multiple from the File menu. In the dialog box that appears, make sure that the "Labels," and the "Using Label/Track Name" buttons are selected. Click Export to save in your default file format (normally WAV for Windows and AIFF for Mac).

Tim Arends covers all aspects of converting LPs into MP3s on his webpage at

Including why you should do it, what you need to begin, how to choose a turntable or how to test it if you already have one, whether you need a preamp, how to connect a turntable to your PC, what kind of cables you need, how to use the free audio recording software Audacity, how to split your LPs into separate tracks, how to import your songs into iTunes, how to find cover art online or how to scan it if it's not available, and how to enjoy your ripped LP music in iTunes.

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