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Save your money -- Get a Simple $15 Radio Shack Connector Instead of the ION
on November 28, 2007
Before I purchased the ION I read many articles on the Internet about how to transfer my audio cassettes to CD/iPod. I was overwhelmed by the technical terms, so I thought the ION would be the answer to my dreams: an easy, trouble-free solution. I assumed, that the ION (at it's steep price) would give me all I needed for simple, stress-free transfers.
I was wrong. The ION is a bad-investment for a number of reasons:
1. The ION is huge.
2. The software included with my ION was defective (Chinese characters appeared when I tried to load the application) -- and although the folders opened in English, they still didn't load.
3. The recording software for MAC users is available FREE on line.
4. If you have an old tape deck, or any cassette player with audio-out ports, you can go to Radio Shack (which I just did), buy a standard issue "Y" connector (1/8" stereo plug on one end and a white (male) and yellow (male) plug on the other end and (voila) you are done -- you now have precisely what the ION gives you: all for about about $15.
Believe me, I am no computer/tech genius. I'm a forty-something mom. But buying and plugging in the "Y" connector was super easy.
The ION merely gives you an old-fashioned, basic cassette deck, basic software (and, in the case of Audacity, something that is free from the Internet) and a USB connector (which does exactly the same thing as the $15 Radio Shack Y-connecter).
After that, you are on your own. I found the steepest learning curve was figuring out how to use the audio recording software. When I was stymied by the defective ION software, I discovered Garage Band was already on my iMac -- but I have since downloaded and use Audacity (on both my husband's PC and my iMAC).
The ION directions are so basic as to be nearly indecipherable. And as far as the Audacity software goes, the ION literature says something like: if you've never used audio recording software stick with the EZ converter software (which I believe only works on PCs).
Please also note that the ION literature doesn't tell you the next most important step you must take to make the ION work (goodness knows how any of the other reviewers were able to use their ION w/o a good working knowledge of their computer and/or audio recording. In short, you must go into your Control Panel (PC) or System Preference (MAC) and make sure you change your sound input option to in-line audio port (if using a Y-connector) or USB (if sticking with the ION).
Buyer Beware: think twice before you click to buy the ION. If you have a cassette player (or access to one) with output audio ports (most have them), you can buy the Y-connector and download the software for free.
To Amazon's credit, it appears they will refund my money and cover the cost of return shipment because of the defective software contained with the ION I purchased.