Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:05 AM
Well, I can give you a partial answer.
There is a commercial application called Roxio Easy Media Creator that is a comprehensive suite of tools for creating, and editing all kinds of media such as video, audio, pictures, etc. and then managing them such as creating home DVDs, video clips, slide shows and of course disk burning. It costs around $50 and is easy enough to use since it is designed for the casual home user.
Within this suite is a utility called "LP and Tape Assistant". This utility has you connect the audio output from a LP player or Tape drive (or any audio source) to the input to your sound card on your PC. The utility then 'captures' the audio that comes out of your PC sound card (speakers) and converts it to any of several sound formats (such as MP3, WMA, WAV, etc.) and stores it in a file on your hard disk. You must do any queueing of the pieces and must manually type in the title, artist etc. if you want to so there is a fair amount of work involved. There are controls to autopause, silence system sounds etc. This utility can also be used to capture any audio from any source that is being sent to your PC speakers so you can surf the web looking for online radio to capture.
The same producer (Roxio) has provided, as a free 'Gadget' for Windows Vista, a stripped down version of this utility (LP and Tape Assistant, not the entire Easy Media Creator) that will do the capture and record functions of the full utility. The Gadget is called "Easy Audio Creator". You can get it from a search of the online Gadgets. It is not as complete as the utility in the full package but the price is right.
The fly in the ointment is that I know nothing about iPod format and have no idea if an iPod will play standard audio format files such as MP3.