Customer Reviews: Ion Tape Express Usb Cassette Tape To Mp3 Converter
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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.
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on May 18, 2013
I'm a senior and I'm use to plug and play but this unit was extremely simple to operate. I'm in heaven transferring my music to my computer and the quality of the transfer is excellent. Of course, I didn't read the online manual but when I did and adjusted the volume the sound was great. One warning, I thought I was getting tape hiss but the unit is very sensitive, so make sure you're not picking up interference from other items. I had to move my cell phone and wireless antenna. CAUTION, do not upgrade to the newest version of itunes (Version 11.0.3), it's not compatible and you will not be able to transfer your tunes. My daughter had to reinstall version 11.0.2 of itunes in order for me to be able to once again transfer my music.
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on May 30, 2013
On first glance this little cassette player/recorder is a bit cheap looking, but it worked like a charm to get my father's many cassettes into ITunes and bring him into the 21 century. Unfortunately, after a month of moderate use, the software now "hangs up," and I can no longer download what I just recorded. It says "Can't export. Close any active window in ITunes." I've left a message with the company, but I've not heard from them. I'll try again. If the software can be fixed, then I'll amend my review. Otherwise, I think the review will be rated to a 1 star.

Update: I'm adding a comment on my review. It appears that the problem is the current Itunes (11.03 and above versions) and the EZ Converter software. If you have Windows XP or run on OS, you will not have the "hang up" problems. Also, if you have not updated to the current version of ITunes, your Tape Express should work fine. Of course, I didn't know this and automatically updated my ITunes. That's when my problems occurred. I finished my taping using Audacity, which was fine since I was almost done. ION Audio is aware of the problem and says they are working on the update. In the meantime, you might NOT want to update your ITunes until you finish taping if you run on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.
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on March 2, 2013
I had kept over 200 cassettes, waiting for the day that I would have time to dub them into MP format. Well, this device held up under the stress and created excellent files that are in my laptop music folder, and in my I-Tunes.
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on March 3, 2013
Second one I bought.Miles above the first.Easy to use .Does everything I wanted to do.Separates automatically,all you need to do is type in titles
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on May 22, 2013
The unit made a thumping sound while recording and this was carried into the MP3 file. I returned the unit.
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on October 11, 2013
After 9 hours of trying, updating software from the website, searching for troubleshooting tips, I GIVE UP! We really needed this to work and tried hard but this is maddening. We are trying to convert audio tapes of speaker seminars. It records in 35 second clips even without track markers on. We will be sending this back.
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on June 26, 2013
There are a number of simular cassettes on the web like this one but the ION had better reviews then most so I didn't mind paying a little more. I had a portable cassette very much like this years ago. It of course did not have a USB port but it held up very well. So this was a dissapointment to me. The main problem was a loud oscillation that actually overpowered the music when playing a cassette. It rendered any recording useless.
I believe this was a defective unit and not typical of this model.
Another disapointment was that it had no option to use an external power supply. The question would be "how many batteries will I need to copy all my cassettes?" Too many I'm sure.
I returned the unit to mwaveCLT. They were very responsive and accomodating and I would have no trouble ordering from them in the future.
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on October 2, 2013
The tape drive works fine. The software is borderline. About one third of the time the software won't recognize where one song ends and another begins, so you end up with the entire side of the tape in one file. There is no provision for turning the tape over and continuing to record; you must begin the recording process again. The interface for the software is not anything close to intuitive. Once you come to grips with all this, the system works.
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on June 28, 2013
Product worked as advertised but I tried to use it to convert some language tapes to MP3 and ended up with too much background noise. To be fair the tapes have lots of pauses and blank sections where it is easy to pick up noise. It may work fine for music. I can't say.

I ended up returning the item and had no problems with vendor. They accepted the return with no hassle so rest assured that if you do buy the product and it doesn't work for you that you can return it.
11 comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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