The Review Vault

Crosley CR245: Two Ways to Digitize Your Vinyl

- 2010.04.27

Rating: 3 out of 4

One of the greatest things about the Mac is the ability to be creative. On the Mac, creativity seems to always go hand-in-hand.

For many audio lovers, the Mac is the computer of choice. For me, this has always been the case. I still use my Indigo iMac DV for recording music off of the radio and for another use - digitizing LPs and burning them on to CDs.

I've always had a special place in my heart for nostalgia. I think we all yearn for the good ol' days, at least a little. When I saw the turntable audio systems from Crosley, I wanted to try one out. Many of Crosley's turntable audio systems are encased in wood.

This is a review of the CR245, known as the Director.


Crosley CR245
Crosley CR245: "The Director"

The Director has all you need to digitize your LP collection. Not only does it have a belt-driven turntable that plays 33s, 45s, and even 78s, it also has an AM/FM radio and a CD recorder.

Got an iPod or other MP3 player? Another feature included is a line-in jack on the front. With the Director, you can digitize your LP collection in one of two ways: You can put in a blank CD in the CD recorder and completely bypass your computer, or you can plug in RCA plugs into the included line-out jacks on the back and connect it to a computer.

Ripping Vinyl to Your Mac

I prefer to use my iMac to digitize LPs.

Here's a brief rundown on how I digitize my LPs. Sometime in the future, I'll write an article about different ways you can digitize your LPs with your Mac.

I connected the Crosley Director to my iMac by way of an RCA-to-1/8" cord. The RCA jacks plug into the back of the Crosley, while the 1/8" end plugs into the Sound In jack on the iMac. Since I use Mac OS 9 to digitize my LP collection, the next thing I do is to go to the Control Strip at the bottom left of the screen and find the module that controls selecting the audio source. I set it to Sound In.

Next, I use Ultra Recorder, a discontinued recording software, that's a complete gem for recording. The interface is very simple.

I record each track as an AIFF. Finally, I use iTunes 2 (the last iTunes that runs on the Classic Mac OS) to convert each track from AIFF to MP3. I don't currently use any software to clean up cracks and pops, because the albums I have are, for the most part, in really good shape.

Sound Quality

I mainly want to focus on the turntable in The Director. That being said, I did test the radio. The radio picked up signals pretty clearly. The Director includes an external FM antenna for optimum FM reception. The Director also includes a remote control for full-functionality.

How good is the Director with records? In a word - wonderful! The sound is warm and inviting through headphones. The Director has internal stereo speakers that do an okay job, but as with most electronics, you'd be better off hooking up some external speakers to it to get the best sound possible.

I also got the opportunity to review the Record Cleaning Kit from Crosley. It has a very fine brush and also includes a small bottle of distilled water. This brush did a great job of cleaning whatever dust may have been on the records I digitized. This kit retails for $19.95 and will go a long way in making sure you get the best possible sound out of your records.

The Director's tone arm automatically returns at the end of a record, which leads me to one of its two major flaws.

Two Drawbacks

When it came time to try out 45s, I noticed that the tone arm would prematurely pick up and return to the stand on a few records, sometimes 30 to 45 seconds before the end of a song. I couldn't find anything in the small (but adequate) manual on how to fix this.

I do not have a lot of 45s, so it wasn't a huge deal, but if you have a lot of 45s, it could be a deal breaker.

The second major flaw is the CD recorder. In short, it's very touchy. I tried to test the CD recorder function a few times with blank CDs and discovered that the motor has to spin up before it will start recording. What makes this problematic is that you have to get the timing nearly perfect on setting the tone arm down on the record after you press Record in order to record without missing any music at the beginning. If you set the tone arm down too quickly after pressing Record and forget that the CD recorder has to spin up, you won't get the very beginning of the record you're trying to digitize. This is something I considered a disappointment.

In this case, it's better to record with a computer so you have full control over your recording.


All in all, I rate the Director 3 out of 4 LEMs. If you want a wood-encased turntable that harkens back to the old days that still allows you to keep up with the times, the Crosley CR245 Director is still a good buy despite its shortcomings.

The Director retails for $199. LEM

Article updated 2010.04.28 to include information about ripping music to your Mac.

Purchase Link

  • The Crosley CR245 is currently available from for $179.99 shipped.

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