Vinyl may be the format of choice for discerning audio connoisseurs, but those harboring love for both digital and analog options may have their interest piqued by Ion's latest lineup of turntables. The iLP Lightning takes a traditional turntable, replete with RCA outputs, and adds a 30-pin dock connector that's compatible with Cupertino's Lightning to 30-pin adapter. Leveraging a free app, the table converts a record's audio to MP3 files, separates it into tracks and saves it to docked iOS devices. If you'd rather not have songs sent to your iDevice of choice, the rig also includes a USB cable for routing tunes to a Mac or PC with a gratis desktop app. Ion is also serving up the Pure LP, which removes the 30-pin dock from the equation. As for availability, the iOS-compatible tables are expected this summer for $99.99 in white, red, blue, black and a woodgrain finish. Analog diehards can have some fun too with the Live LP table, which packs stereo speakers, standard RCA outputs, a natural wood finish and nothing in the way of digital conversion. Click on to the break for photos and the full press release.
Update: We've just given Ion's record player a test drive, and we've posted the footage after the break. Initially, we had some concern about how anything larger than an iPad Mini might dock to the hardware, but it handled one of Apple's miniature tablets well enough. Audio quality from the turntable -- at least from what this editor could hear over the din of other journalists -- passed the ear test. Though we weren't able to try out the desktop experience for converting audio from vinyl records to MP3 files, the conversion experience on the iPad itself was a breeze.
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