Top critical review
98 people found this helpful
A quick and dirty way to get tapes to mp3s
on May 4, 2013
The good news is that it actually works.
The good stuff:
1) The software installs ok, and it's pretty easy to use for someone who's not an expert in computers, iTunes or audio software.
2) The cassette player attaches to your computer by USB. There is a slot for batteries, but they are not necessary - USB power is enough to power the unit.
3) When it's finished recording, it identifies how many tracks there were, and gives you a space to enter the artist name, album name and name for each track.
4) Once the process is finished, the program automatically puts the mp3s into Itunes with the information that you entered.
The possibly good stuff:
1) The player flips the tape automatically, but it's not smart enough to stop recording when it reaches the end of the second side. Still, auto-flip is a good thing in my book.
2) When you're about to record, it gives you an option to choose whether the tape is normal or chrome/hi-bias. It also gives you the option to select whether Dolby was used in the recording. Unfortunately, most tape releases don't have this written anywhere.
The not good stuff:
1) The audio quality on the cassette player is ok, but doesn't seem to sound as "full" as my stereo component tape player. If you want nice high quality recordings, you'll probably still need to hook up a nicer tape player to your computer and get some audio editing software. Personally, I still use it because it's close enough for me and it's easy to use.
2) Any piece of software that auto-detects the starts and ends of songs is going to mark a new track if you have a pause of a few seconds within a song. Similarly, it probably won't start a new track for a song where there is no pause.
3) When adding the tracks to iTunes, the program does not seem to save track # information, year or genre.
4) The program does NOT save the mp3 files in a folder named after the artist and the album. It also doesn't update the names of the actual mp3 files with the artist and track name. Instead, all the files get saved to a folder in your iTunes directory called "Unknown Artist", and the mp3 files are called "Temp1.mp3", "Temp2.mp3", etc.
Lastly - tape noise: There is no digital noise reduction feature to take care of tape noise. On the other hand, the tape player doesn't generate much tape noise, so I'm happy in that regard.
In the end, it's a nice easy tool for someone who wants to get tapes into iTunes in the quickest, easiest way, and isn't picky about how they interact with iTunes.