When it comes to turntables, I prefer them in their natural, all-analog state.
That's just me. Mixing digits and grooves is a hot topic of late. My pal Chris Chiarella over at Home Entertainment magazine seemed to really like Denon's new DP-200USB turntable ($250). I reviewed another USB turntable last year and thought it was too much work to use.
I'm no expert in this area, but this Denon seems like a better way to go. First, you don't need a computer nearby to do the analog-to-digital thing. Chiarella just connected the turntable's analog cables to his receiver's phono input, after switching the turntable's internal Phono EQ to Off (so the Denon will work even if your receiver is phono-input challenged).
The DP-200USB's best feature is its front-panel USB port. The system's internal MP3 encoder converts analog signals to digital files. A blinking red light confirms that grooves are being digitized. Denon claims 30 LPs fit on a 1GB drive.
The included Audio Waveform Recognition PC software checks the first 15 seconds of each track and searches the Gracenote Internet music database for the track's metadata (artist, title, etc.). The software also features Auto Track Divide, which automatically inserts a new track tag for each track (you also have the option of doing this manually).
I hope that at least some of the folks who buy USB turntables actually listen to vinyl in its analog state. That's where the action is.
The Home Entertainment Web site has the complete Denon DP-200USB turntable review.