I finally got round to going through boxes of “stuff” that I had left at mum’s after moving out many years ago.
Inside were various cables I’d kept (just in case!), Training course manuals (full of unreadable notes) and the usual collection of old bank statements. As I ventured deeper I found some cassette tapes (Google them if your too young to remember).
Great excitement filled me at the thought of hearing these again, followed by a sinking feeling when I realised there is nothing in the house that will play cassettes!
Suddenly a small voice in my head reminded me that Aldi had recently listed some cassette converters as one of their weekly specials… to the Batmobile!
The planets had clearly aligned, they had plenty in stock! £12.99 later and off to home I head.
Blurb from the box:
- Convert your old cassette to CD/MP3
- Plug and Play – no driver required
- Tape Converter software
- Battery or USB powered operation
- Can be used as a personal cassette player
- Compatible with Windows XP, Vista and Windows7
- Auto-reverse playback
- Metal Deck mechanism
- Rotary volume control
- 3.5mm earphone jack
- Fast Forward/backward function
The “Tape converter software” is Audacity 1.2.7 with an MP3 codec included, so there is no need to download something like “Lame MP3 encoder” separately.
Inside the Box: Cassette Converter, Headset (read, cheap nasty earphones), USB Cable, CD with Software, 2 x AA batteries.
At £12.99 I wasn’t expecting much and can safely say I got what I paid for. There is a lot of plastic and chromed plastic, it has the feel of those cheap cassette players that you probably had when you were 10.
Like me you were probably expecting the device to open on the longest side when you slide the eject switch… nope, it opens on one of the short sides, and that is where you insert the batteries under a very flimsy plastic cover.
Audacity installed, I plugged it up to the computer and off we went. The downside of converting is the time it takes. The converter is recognised as a microphone, so you are literally recording real time. Thankfully the cassette player will record one side, then play the other side without intervention, you just need to edit out the gaps once it’s done.
The quality of the MP3 is absolutely fine considering the age of the source and the original recording. If there was somewhere to upload a sample to I would, wordpress wont let me upload .mp3 files
It may be cheap and nasty, but I am now listening to the afore mentioned mix tapes in MP3 format now. “Let me see your hands in the air!”