iTunes, iPod - copying in from analog sources

Itunes (v 7.1.1) -Ipod:  

Any advice on copying analog sources to Itunes/Ipod would be appreciated.  Have many vinyl albums, cassette tapes and even reel-to-reel.  Plugging from back of stereo system into microphone input on Toshiba Tecra M3 (running XP)  results in dubious volume level and quality.

I have seen but not tried an Apple/Griffin product:  "iMic USB Audio Interface", but there is no way to know if it will d the trick without buying it first.  Anyone have experience with it or similar interface hardware?  I have also seen reference to Creative's Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS - though haven't actually seen it in Australia.

I plan to use Roxio Creator 8 (which I have already) unless there is a much better software alternative.

I understand that because of the audio source, there will be a lot of manual fiddling if want each song identified (to puit breaks between songs, and fill in title and artist and genre information... might even need to adjust settings between songs.

If I win the lottery I may short-cut the project by downloading all from the music store!
LRG15Asked:
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xemaCommented:
As my knowledge:
The better the analog to digital coverter the better quality you'll get.
As you're using a lap top it's more dificult to guide you to a good sound card on a PC I'll go for the Sound Blaster
For a test I'll go with the price, considering that the quality is price related.  normally a cassette tape will end as a 96 kbps mp3
One option is to use a preamp between the turntable and the computer using the bult in sound chip.

As for the names on the files you'll need to do it manually.

Final thoughts, the ROXIO platinum edition V 5.00 use to have a LP to HD program that would make a file per each LP song, detecting the silence between the songs.  I don't know if in the XP version has it.
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LRG15Author Commented:
xerna:

Thanks for your comments.

Laptop has a SoundMAX Intergreted Digital Audio - Not sure of the quality of that.  

As for a preamp- I can play the turntable through the stereo amplifier and plug into one of the plugs in the back - such as using the cable that would normally plug into the in/record plug for the reel-to-reel  (if output from the earphone jack I believe I miss out on the pre-amp).  This much I have done before (though it was a while ago and will have to try and remember the cable setup I used before).  

The problem is the quality using this technique is marginal.  The real thrust of my question is whether ROXIO is the best software for the job, and whether I should get a separate piece of apparatus, such as the  Apple/Griffin product:  "iMic USB Audio Interface" , or if there is something better.

Depending on any further responses (if any), your comment might eventually be worth an "assisted solution", but I am hoping for a bit more information directed to my primary concerns.
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LRG15Author Commented:
Don't care whether points refunded on not - I think Xema deserves some points - say 100, with 400 cancelled.
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