377 of 382 people found the following review helpful
Does Exactly What It Says,
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This review is from: Jumbl Audio USB Cassette Tape to-MP3 Player Adapter with Software CD (Electronics)
Great, low-cost method of converting those old tapes to mp3. I found all my old tapes when cleaning out my basement. Immediately, I had to listen to them but all I had was an old, dead walkman, no tape player in my car and not a boombox to speak of. I immediately went to Amazon to find a solution. This was it - only $25 and works with my PC.
The unit itself isn't rock solid. It's made of plastic and will break if you drop it or mistreat it in any way. But left in good hands, this should last a while - and I only need it to convert my tapes once. I followed the little instruction booklet to install the driver (I'm running Windows 7 Pro on a Dell XPS machine). Just plug in the device to a USB port with the included cable and the driver installs automagically. It uses a generic audio driver and then is recognized by your machine as an audio input device, basically a microphone. Now, just install Audacity from the small disk that's included. You can download Audacity for free and install it that way if you prefer, but the disk does come with the mp3 codec needed to convert the raw audio to mp3. Anyway, I installed from disk and followed set my preferences as instructed and had no issues with mp3 conversion. When I first fired up the tape device and pressed play and record in Audacity... NOTHING!?!?!
Well, I'm an idiot I guess. I had the volume on the unit all the way down so no audio was coming through. The instructions don't mention anything about setting the volume all the way up, and frankly I thought the volume was strictly for the headphone jack, but you'll want to do that to get the strongest audio signal as possible. As soon as I did that - BAM! - worked like a charm. I then recorded my tapes and saved each side as audacity projects so that I could go back later and cut up the tracks so I could save each track as an mp3 with all details. This way, iTunes will look at it as the actual album and download the artwork, etc.
The entire process is a bit time-consuming and it does require some basic knowledge of audio editing, especially if you're going to separate the tracks as I did. If you've used Audacity, Garageband, or any other audio editing tool then you'll have no problems. If you've never used one, then download Audacity for free and play around a bit before you try converting all your cassettes.
Finished mp3 files are lower fidelity than original digital files, and there is some tape noise that comes through, but all in all if you want to keep your treasures with you forever, especially those that you can't buy or reproduce anymore, then I would recommend picking this unit up and giving it a try.
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Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 14, 2011 6:37:04 AM PDT
Thank you for your great and detailed review. I went to work with mine last night. Didn't know what to do since I have an iMac and I wasn't going to put the tiny CD in it. Your review helped me know where to go to get the download. Thanks!!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2011 1:56:27 PM PDT
Glad I could help!
Posted on Nov 5, 2011 11:23:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2011 11:25:40 AM PDT
Soaring Eagle says:
Josh from Boston(joshman25), I have been looking for this type of unit for some time. Thanks for an excellent review, helpful tips, as well as the precautions one might take to make the unit work even better. I am ordering this unit now!
Posted on Nov 7, 2011 7:08:37 PM PST
Queen Anne says:
Josh from Boston, your review was very helpful and prompted me to feel comfortable to buy this product. I was skeptical until I read your review. Thanks for the tips on how to use it.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2011 3:57:13 PM PST
Great, glad to know my review has been helpful. Good luck!
Posted on Dec 2, 2011 12:51:56 PM PST
Kindle Customer says:
Reviewer said:...there is some tape noise that comes through...
Audacity is pretty good for eliminating a lot of the pops and hiss without losing a lot of fidelity. ALSO, you can adjust speed and pitch in Audacity. Many cassette players varied in speed settings, so this can be a big help.
Posted on Jan 25, 2012 12:05:32 PM PST
Philip F. Frandina says:
I don't have mp3. Don't even know what it is.
Can I download my music cassettes to CD's?
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 12:37:50 PM PST
Well, you can do that - but if you don't know what mp3 files are then you may want someone's help. Essentially, you are using this device to record your cassettes onto your PC so that you can save the audio to a digital format. From there, you can burn CDs, put the files on a digital music player, manipulate the files, whatever you'd like. But you need to have a basic understanding of digital audio formats and how to burn CDs.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 11:19:46 PM PDT
Kudos to You Josh from Boston! I am fairly computer literate but I do appreciate the way you have answered Philip Frandina's honest and to the point question. You did not "talk down" but simply changed gears to provide a most apporpriate answer to his question. I have been reviewing these gadgets and based on your review and extremely plain explanation on what seems a bit of a complicated issue to those of us "non-too savy" citizens out here in computerland. Once I get my mp3 converter and I have issues, I will know who to bother without the fear of being made to feel less. THANK YOU. BTW- my 30 yr old cousin will be in your town for his very first Boston Marathon. The best to you druing this time and always.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 11:23:22 AM PDT
Hi Joe - I appreciate your comments and I'm glad to help. I'll do my best to answer questions that you have if you run into any issues. Good luck to your cousin!