Most helpful positive review
234 of 239 people found the following review helpful
it actually works
on May 12, 2011
surprisingly works straight out of the box. the dvd-like case comes with a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter, a 3.5mm stereo minijack cable, a stereo phono to 3.5mm minijack, and a software disc. So 3 of the 4 included items you could probably buy on your own. the instruction booklet is minimal, but it's easy enough to understand what to do. the software disc loads in a matter of minutes.
the only thing you would need to provide is a tape/record player that has a headphone socket or audio out/inputs to use with the included cords, and a pc with a microphone socket. oh, and the cassettes and records you want to record of course. you hook these items up and you're ready to go. it even has a usb cable option, but i haven't tried that. i dont have a record player so i cant say how well that works either.
i bought this mainly to convert certain songs on my old tapes that i haven't been able to find on mp3 yet and for the most part it works. mp3 quality depends on devices used, quality of tape sound, and volume level you set it at(too high or low and it will tell you on-screen). actual recordings are silent, but the on-screen instructions say there is a way to hear the sound while you're recording but i haven't figured that out yet. otherwise it's just trial and error regarding the volume you set with the visual equalizer on hand(make sure it's moving but not too much or crazy-like). the software gives you numerous options like noise reduction, separating tracks, naming them, pausing at certain times during recordings, setting recording lengths, etc.
honestly though, i haven't used some of those options let alone perfected them for great recordings...yet. im pleased it works out of the box, but you will have to put some time & effort to make your mp3s sound great. at least the options are there and experimenting can be fun. btw, it allows you to make your mp3s and add them to windows media player, itunes, or a cd. i chose to go with windows, too much trial and error experimenting straight to cds. so far i have made a couple of cd compilations with these mp3s so i'm glad i bought it. definitely recommended.
update(6/14/11), i'm not going to change anything in my original review, just wanted to add a few things since:
* i see it's at $30 now, i think most of us bought it at $25.
* i've made WELL OVER 25 mp3s and quite a few cds with this so its paid for itself already(assuming i could even find the non-available songs i recorded on amazon as a $1 or less mp3 to begin with).
* once the cd is installed you should use it without the disk in the drive. i tried to open the program once by putting the disk in the drive after it was already installed, and i tried to use it once with the cd in the drive and got an error warning each time. both times i had to reboot my pc and uninstall/re-install it(i didn't say i was bright).
* i was kinda wrong...when you're recording, make sure the visual equalizer MOVES ALOT(but not all-over-the-place-crazy). if you get a warning thats it's too loud, ignore it and let it continue recording. most of the time it will turn out ok and you should get a decent to good recording. but if it repeatedly warns you that it's too loud and mentions "clipping", start over.
* while recording, don't touch the cord/cable. it might affect it.
* during the editing phase(noise reduction/seperate track/etc) of the mp3, mess with it all you want. there is a "restart audio" option(basically the do-over or undo-edits button) if you dont like your changes.
* buy/invest/borrow a tape player with digital volume control, it takes the guess work out of remembering what volume to have it at while recording.
* i do have to re-emphasize the trial & error, for the most part it works, quality depends on devices used, and time and effort aspects of my original review plus throw in the obvious "your mileage/results may vary". ex: recording many store-bought tapes and various blank tapes(high CrO2, normal bias) with recorded music on them, results ranged from "it could pass for a store-bought cd or mp3 off amazon" to "crap".
* speaking of results, you might be surprised how good they turn out on cd. ex: i recorded a blank tape with recorded music, it warned it was too loud during recording, i converted it to mp3 anyway, from windows media player it sounded decent, used on my cell phone's speakers it was too low but with headphones it was decent, burned to a blank cd and it sounded really good with good bass. very surprised. so don't give up on a recording.
* finally, if you have it set to automatically stop after a pre-set recording length, it always seems to record about 15-30 seconds more than what you intended(i've had it happen manually too). ex: i knew a song i was recording was 4 mins and set it for 4 but it shows the length of the track as 4min & 30 seconds. so be prepared to use the separate-tracks function, or to enjoy the first 30 seconds or so of the next song.
sorry for the overly-long update, but i still like this cass-2-mp3 product and it works for me. i will say this though...if you can find your song as an mp3 online, save yourself the frustration and just buy that. and if you're looking for an easy way to get great-sounding mp3s consistently, i wouldn't blame you for looking elsewhere.