Audacity Rated as Best Free Software to Transfer 78rpms to MP3

With the online 78rpm Cataloger offering the facility to add audio tracks to your personal catalog, we often get asked how is it possible to transfer 78s to mp3 digital format?

If you want to digitize your 78s or cylinder records, the simplest (and free) option is Audacity software, an open source cross-platform software package that is regularly updated and is perfectly designed for transferring and editing old, out-of-copyright recordings.

To digitize your music to a proficient level, you’ll need a turntable and Audacity.

There are a number of audio recording software programs available, but most of them are expensive and can’t be bundled with USB turntables. Although Audacity is free, it is extremely powerful and it’s so easy to use, beginners can quickly learn how to create a professional transfer and learn everything they need to know about audio recording and production.

Audacity for the Mac and Personal Computer

Audacity works equally well on both the personal computer and the Mac, both of which already have the operating system that’s used by the software. If you’re having problems restoring recordings Audacity can also help you with that issue as well.

You can use Audacity to do the following:

    • Quickly convert 78rpm records and cylinders into digital format
    • Burn a CD out of any recording
    • Professionally record live audio with a microphone
    • Edit MP3 files directly on your computer
    • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together
    • Change the speed/pitch of a recording and fix any timing or vocal issues as well as add additional elements to a recording – such as reverberation or equalization.

Audacity provides the power and flexibility necessary to create a professional sound. Your digitized transfer can be shared online by uploading a file directly onto a website.

Pros and Cons of the Audacity Audio Software


One of the best things about Audacity is that it is open source software which means developers have access to the program’s code. Because of this, software developers throughout the world have created free plug-ins that help musicians and music lovers perform certain tasks faster and easier.

Another advantage is the software can be used by anyone who is computer literate because it isn’t difficult to learn. If you can create a Word document on your computer, you can quickly learn how to use the software. In fact, you’ll be up and running within minutes.

You can capture one track at a time. If you do a lot of voice over work or create podcasts, you can use Audacity with a microphone to record sounds directly on your computer. You can also add special effects to your recordings with a few clicks of the mouse.

Audacity also has a customizable spectrogram mode, a frequency-analysis window for audio-analysis applications and a built-in amplitude-envelope editor. These are all required tools for those that want to create their own music or audio recordings.


Audacity doesn’t support AAC and WMA files. You also can’t work with restricted file formats and files that are proprietary.

Limited support is available for Windows 7 or lower, as well as scrubbing and dynamic equalizer controls and you can’t work with MIDI files.

There are several bugs in the software that haven’t been fixed. These bugs can cause the software to become unstable at times and you’ll have to restart the program if this happens while you’re working on a recording.

The program is limited in its mixing capabilities, which is a big problem for creative types that enjoy trying new things. Some functions of the software are more complex than others and not as user-friendly.

Audacity Recap

Audacity is free so you have nothing to lose by downloading the software to see if it’ll meet your recording needs. You can use it to record streaming audio online.

Finally, if you have a lot of 78s you can use Audacity to create digitized versions of your music and upload the files to any device that’s capable of playing MP3 files. Audacity is perfect for the collector to help readily access and enjoy their collection on the go.

The following articles from our network may also be of help: (All open new windows 🔗)

  1. (Using ClickRepair)
  2. (Getting Better Transfers from your 78rpms)
  3. (Restoring 78rpms – Part 1 of 2)
  4. (Restoring 78rpms – Part 2 of 2)