Customer Reviews

366
3.6 out of 5 stars
USB Audio Cassette Tape Converter to MP3 CD Player PC
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Price:£10.89+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2013
I received delivery of the tape player well within the delivery estimate provided when ordering. Within a sturdy box you get the cassette player - a solid piece of kit with easy to understand controls and sockets - usb lead, earphone, installation CD and instructions.
It will take two standard AA batteries, but I have used the USB connection for all of my transfers, so therefore have no idea how long it will last on a set of batteries. Also I didn't use the earphone provided, preferring instead to use two pairs of headphones - one plugged into the cassette player and the other in the computer. And lastly, having already got the latest Audacity 2.0.3, I didn't load their version as it could have only been the same or older.
So the things that I do know about: I tried to connect to my Windows 8 desktop and laptop, since it works with Windows 7 I felt that it would surely have no problem with 8, but it refused to turn up fault free in the Device Manager. My only Windows 7 machine is a netbook with a single core 1.6MHz processor, and I wasn't convinced that it would cope with the amount of work needed, so my experience is therefore with a laptop running Windows Vista, wherein it loaded with no problem at all.
Plug in the USB cable into the tape output and the computer USB input. I had, as previously mentioned, two pairs of headphones, so that I could monitor both the sound input and output, and so with a pile of cassettes, recording can begin.
With Audacity running, you have to select the correct devices for the tape input and audio output - these things are explained in the leaflet, with even more advice to be found on the sellers website if needed - set the record and play monitor levels, press record and sit back. A word of warning though, do check that the player is away from all of the cables and computers, as originally I had picked up a fair amount of 'hum' because I had the cassette player sitting on top of the laptop. Not a good idea at all. And while on the subject of things to look out for, I had played eight cassettes, by which time it was no longer working very well at all. I think that probably because of the age of the cassettes, there was a large amount of oxide shedding, and the heads were becoming coated at great speed. I eventually wiped the head after each tape to keep the quality at its best.
In operation the cassette player was very easy to use, the start, rewind, fast forward and stop buttons were all that were needed. Once it had been set to play once, the fact that it will automatically play both sides of the tape before shutting down was very helpful for me, as I was able to leave it doing its own thing for one, one and a half or two hours, depending on what length tape I was transferring.
I have now completed the transfer of some 100 tapes with no problem - other than problems with the tapes themselves - and have thrown away all of the tapes and cases - in the recycling so I hope that they can deal with them.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2013
Excellent package including Audacity software for handling recordings. Like many people, I suspect, this was purchased to convert old tapes to CD and a word of warning here - be careful of quality of old tapes. Once I was familiar with the package I started transferring a batch of tapes leaving them to run unattended and just cleaning out the player after each use. All went fine until I loaded one tape which had been given to me many years ago and on later inspection was not of the same quality as tapes I purchased. A lot of the oxide coating came off and caked itself around the tape head and pinch rollers. I have been able to clean this off to some extent but it has marked the tape head and introduced some noise which wasn't present on earlier recordings. THIS IS NOT A CRITICISM OF THE USB DEVICE, but a warning to use earphones to check the quality of recording at the beginning and stop the process straightaway before damage is done to the device if quality is poor.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2014
This is definitely cheaply, and I honestly don't expect it to last very long (the play button seems like it will break first, then maybe the lid), but if you only have a few tapes to convert, this will do the job nicely. Wouldn't recommend it for a large library of tapes, as it almost certainly won't make it through that ordeal.

For those having problems using this thing, here's guide on how to use it on a Mac:
1) Download audacity from her: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/ (if you wish to export to MP3, you will need LAME MP3 plugin which you can download from the Preferences > Libraries of audacity)
2) Insert your tape and plug in the device to your Mac
3) Open audactiy and go to Preferences > Devices, then set the Recording Device to the USB device it picks up (so, not the built-in options), then click OK
4) Make sure the volume on the converter is set to high, otherwise no sound goes through to your Mac (this caught me out! :))
5) Press the Record button in audacity, and press play on the converter. You should see waveforms appear in audacity as your tape plays. If you don't, the volume might me down, or you haven't selected the device in audacity Preferences.
6) When done (the converter will automatically play both sides, so you can leave it recording until it's done) press stop in audacity and on the converter. You can do File > Save to save the project with the original files, so that you can load it up again (I recommend this, but the average tape takes up around 600-700MB of space), so it's more likely you just wish to export it to MP3. To do so,
7) Hit File > Export. If you've installed LAME properly, you can select MP3 in the format drop-down at the bottom (click on options and set quality to 320 kbps). Type in a name for the file at the top, select a location to save, and click Save. It takes a few minuttes (depending on your Mac's spec obviously) and you're done!

Hope that helps someone! :)
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 11 February 2013
Having a massive tidy up due to moving, I unearthed two large boxes packed with cassettes. Whilst many were just copies from CD for listening to in the car, there were some gems, and some albums no longer available on any format. The most treasured items though were the mix tapes made by friends, in some cases over twenty five years old. This cheap and simple little bit of kit was exactly what I required to relive those analogue days. The main tape player is effectively a cheapish Walkman clone, with a USB port on it. The door is a little bit shoddy, but it has all the required buttons and auto-reverse. It can be powered by battery or USB, and comes with some pretty cheap in-ear headphones, so you can use it as a portable player. The bundled software, Audacity and CassetteMate are free to download. I have Windows 8 installed and couldn't get CassetteMate to see the player, and ended up having to download a newer version of Audacity and the required MP3 exporting plug in. A little bit of work is going to be required to get the best out of this, as the manual is of very limited practical help.

Does what was asked of it, with some nice results, so pleased for the price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2015
There are many similar looking units listed on Amazon. This could be because They are all the same!! just badged differently and sometimes with a slightly different cover. so in retrospect i'd go for the cheapest which this is not
I am digitising my Cassette collection - mostly home made music workshops and practice sessions so needed a device to upload contents onto my PC after which I would never need to use it again so i couldn't justify spending much money on it. My Hifi Tape unit of many years having packed up. That's why I went for a cheap unit like this. The down side is that it really is cheap!!. It seems to run slow so that my recordings come out at least a half to one tone lower in pitch than they were recorded at.
The transferred files also pick up the tape mechanism noise, - and it is VERY noisy.
The enclosed software is a very old version of Audacity. the latest version of which can be easily downloaded from Audacity's Web site (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) for free.
I suppose there is a play off between "cheap," which this is and paying for a quality recorder/player which would give much better quality output.
I got what I paid for ! Still disappointing though.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2014
Just the job - it does what it's supposed to. Ok the sound quality might not be great on some of the tracks I have transferred but this is more down to the limitations of the original tape recordings. The device itself might not be the sturdiest gadget I have ever bought but for the money it is flipping marvellous. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to recapture musical memories of yesteryear
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2014
I don't consider myself particularly tech savvy, but like to think I do have common sense. I purchased this converter to preserve some old mix tapes that have sentimental value. I found this piece of kit really easy to use - I was up and running within 10 minutes of unpacking it. And as it imports into Audacity it's very straightforward to edit and use recordings. Great product.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2015
An amazing little gadget that did all I expected of it, i.e. converting some audio cassette tracks into MP3 files. I have no criticism of the quality of the result and to be fair on the gadget you will not get out better quality audio than you put in, i.e. it will copy but not improve. The box comes with a short printed User Guide for loading the software, called Audacity 2.0.3, that comes with it on a mini CD disc. The software loaded very easily and the necessary USB lead is supplied. So with the software loaded and the gadget connected to the computer you are ready to start converting but then you hit a snag, or at least I did anyway. The Audacity software is extremely powerful and does lots of things, far more than is ever required for simply converting audio cassette tracks into MP3 files using this gadget. The printed User Guide is hopelessly inadequate in explaining how to use the Audacity software so I had to spend quite a long frustrating time finding my way around it, using trial and error methods and reading the extensive but very comprehensive Help pages provided with the software, to be able to do any sensible converting. All that said, it is worth the effort of persevering because there seems to be no other way to convert audio cassette tracks into MP3 files and the result is good. It's worth anyone considering buying this gadget doing a search for "Audacity software" on Google and reading up about it. Don't be put off by its range of features as you will eventually sort it out. You can also download the latest version for free which today stands at version 2.0.6. Despite everything I still think the gadget itself is well worth 5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2013
The unit was faulty with a buzzing noise through both the headphones and the USB cable. It has now been returned. It sounds like an interference problem but I am not sure where it was coming from
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2013
Some combatability issues with windows 7. Not easy to use and instruction manual useless. Had to use audacity to convert the tapes and then I was able to open and save them in itunes. It was quite time consuming working out how to use it but overall has done what I wanted it to do.
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