Pros:cheap, nice looking, easy to use
Cons:VISTA users have to do extra install steps
The Bottom Line: For those of us wanting an inexpensive way to record and listen to the songs of our youth as well as songs no longer available, this product works just fine.
I paid $80 on sale at Bed Bath and Beyond's website. I am no fine audiophile, but for converting my stacks of LP's to CD's, this converter works easy and simply. I have PC VISTA, so I had to download an updated software (even though I purchased the turntable in Dec 2008, many years after PC VISTA was introduced). But everything was simple and straightforward. It conveniently uses itunes software to "store" the transferred songs--you don't have to purchase itune songs to download the itunes software on your computer. I found the ION's quickstart guide had enough info to get me going.
Recommend this product?
I am not going to attempt to use the included software that is supposed to get rid of the many pops and sound blips from our old, well worn vinyl records---so I can't comment on how that works. The only snag I have is when the computer asks me to enter in the song names to each track, it keeps asking if I want to join "Gracenotes...". I found that I can just quickly say no, and it will then let me move on to labeling the next track.
I am a little confused as to why the photos of the turntable don't look like the actual product. My turntable is very streamlined in appearance and has a nice dust cover top. One of the other reviewers mentioned that the needle might be difficult to replace--unfortunately that is true of any phonograph needle these days! But as I am only transferring records, it should last quite some time. But FYI, you can just play songs and listen to them using either your computer's speakers, or using the attached red and yellow speaker cable wires connected to your own speakers.