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Showing 1-10 of 299 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 407 reviews
on September 13, 2015
The ION Tape2PC is a good tool for converting old audio cassettes to modern digital formats. I have used it to convert over 700 cassettes of varying ages ( some going back over 40 years), brands and types (Ferrous, Chrome, Metal) and sources (home recordings, pre-recorded albums, LP to tape as well as radio and special mixes). Works great for these - I still have about another thousand tapes to convert so doing at least one tape per day I’ve got a few more years of transfers ahead :)

A Note on Sound Quality : The ION device itself has been compared by other sites to have audio quality at equivalent to CD level, however I have also noted some persons making the complaint about less than Hi-Fi results. There are some real limitations with any digitization process starting with the quality constraints on the audio cassette in the first place - whatever you have recorded is as good as it will ever be given a few adjustments for EQ and levels.
Next the ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) in the ION that takes the tape analog audio to the digital stream coming over the USB cable. This seems to be at a very good level that exceeds or matches the limitations of most audio cassettes.

Critically the audio recording input process on the user’s PC is the next big challenge. I would suggest that before making any tape conversions that the user ensures that the recording input settings from the ION device is set to max - i.e. DVD quality.
On a Windows PC, check the Sound Settings > Recording Tab then look at the Device Properties in the Advanced Tab. The highest level there is 2 channels, 16 bit, 48000Hz (full stereo with DVD quality). You will not get the best from the ION at any lower setting.

I had the unfortunate experience of recording well over 100 tapes, that on later listening review, had slightly muddy sound for quite a few and poor stereo separation. I discovered that my recording input was set at 1 channel, 16bit, 22050Hz (mono with AM radio quality). After fixing that little issue I recopied my tapes at the DVD recording level with the vastly improved results that came alive with clear sound and good stereo separation.

Finally, after making sure you’re getting the best from the source material, the choice of recording software and the encoding format - loss-less or lossy - gives the final touch. A tough choice here between the large file sizes from loss-less vs. the space saving but lower quality lossy formats. It comes down to personal choice and storage space realities. You have to try some test recordings and listen to the results for several formats and quality levels. As a general rule try a level or two up from what you find as a good recording - disk space is getting cheaper, your tapes are getting older and you don't have the time to do it over if you find that it could have been better recorded.

I settled on 2 channel mp3 at 320Kbit - this was better than the quality of the source audio cassette and provided a good quality reference to replace my aging cassettes. The originals can go back to storage while the digital files allow them to live on again for hours of listening.
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on March 20, 2017
This is a frustrating product- not altogether terrible, but inconsistent nonetheless. Let's face it, if we're buying and using this product, it means we've got old cassettes that we want to preserve. Old cassettes are generally worn, well-used, temperamental, problematic. Because of that, preservation brings inherent challenges and issues. In one sense, the ION Audio Tape 2 PC is a very economical solution- possibly one of the better or even best options for under $100. That said, here's my experience:

1) The supporting software automatically exports everything to iTunes. If you have a Mac, you have no choice about it. If you have a PC, there are some workarounds, but it's complicated. If you love iTunes, great! If you don't, well. . . you get the picture.

2) There are no easy ways to control the resolution and quality of your imports. My first one sounded terrible- distorted, awful, just plain unusable. I was able to partly fix this by adjusting the gain switch on the back of the unit, but the quality was still terrible. I finally found a workaround that got decent results: I went into iTunes, opened preferences, selected import settings, and set it to "Import using Apple Lossless Encoder / Setting: Automatic." The next import worked well, and in checking, the resolution of the resulting file was the standard 44.1khz / 16 bit resolution found in CDs.

3) This is a pretty cheap build. This isn't your TASCAM, AKAI, or SONY stereo deck of the late 70s, 80s, or 90s. Heck, it's not even the venerable groundbreaking ProWalkman. Unfortunately, that translates to inconsistent performance from play to play. I experienced trouble with tapes (especially well-used or older ones ones) tracking at an even speed. In one case, trying to convert a tape from the B deck produced an uneven stereo spread (everything skewed left) and a 60hz hum. I tried the same tape, same song from the A deck and the converter software produced a really nice file. I can only conjecture, but given the looseness of the tape doors, I'm guessing that the tolerances on this machine are wide enough to lead to higher inconsistency.

4) When you plug the unit into an outlet, it produces a pretty strong hum. . . even when the unit is powered off.

5) If you are a musician or audiophile trying to preserve cassettes with high fidelity, you'll probably be frustrated with the results and by the inconsistency. It's probably better to get a decent vintage tape deck and route the sound to through some kind of analog interface to ProTools or something else.

6) The USB port is in the back of the machine, which is less convenient if you'd like to use this unit in your stereo or studio for cassette playback.

1) This is cheap.

2) The dubs and conversions that I made when everything was working came out quite well. The quality was better and less harsh than streaming the same tracks from YouTube. EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter does preserve the air and analog feeling of the original cassettes. That said, if you're simply wanting to hear a beloved album, you're probably better off with a commercial download.

3) Usable as a cassette player in your home stereo. It can dub cassette to cassette, if you really want to do that.

4) Though I haven't tried some of the cheaper options of portable converters, I'm guessing from reviews that this model is considerably better.

5) If you're not worried about high fidelity or musical quality and you're just preserving lectures, interviews, etc., this machine can do a good job.

6) For all my complaining, it is really easy to use once you've got it set up.
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on April 17, 2017
The deck itself is a good one. Has high volume when playback which has to be adjusted via software used to record from the USB port. One note: the instruction manual has USB 1.1 compatible. Not sure if the high volume I am getting is because I am going through a USB 3 port. Turns out I missed a small gain knob on the back of the deck. That made the difference. Another note concerning the EZ software they provide, the CD install disc will constantly ask for ITunes to be installed even if it already is. I downloaded the software from ION's website. First impressions. I was not impressed. But, at a later date will tr it again. I used Audacity and I was able to convert fine. I would recommend Audacity as it is free, has lots of good features and downloadable.
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on April 25, 2017
I had ordered and returned two ION portable cassette transfer units and neither worked reliably. But I had a dozen or more cassettes that I needed to transfer to PC. and took a chance on this more than double the price Tape 2 PC deck. Glad I did. This unit is terrific; it's intuitive to use; it has rock steady tape motion and the sound of the transfers seems flawless. I can't speak for the dubbing feature as I had no reason to make cassette copies.
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on March 6, 2017
This deck had a HUM so loud (even when it was switched off) I could hear it throughout the entire house. Had to be a defect so I returned it. The sound quality from the unit was actually pretty good, so if you get one that doesn't HUM it should be OK. I decided to go with the PYLE PT649D which looks almost identical to the ION unit. It looks like they just changed the front face plate a little and the name. The PYLE doesn't have the USB output but I didn't care about that. I just wanted to play my old tapes and it does a good job of that with absolutely NO HUM. If I ever want to record to digital I can still take the output from my receiver to do that very easily. Although the PYLE doesn't have true Dolby B or C it still sounds pretty good with the old tapes if I leave the noise reduction circuit off, and that also applies to the ION unit.
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on December 27, 2014
Let me start by saying that this product does as described in that it plays cassettes and interfaces with your computer to convert cassette audio to Mp3.
Upon closer inspection I realized that you can achieve the same results for a third of the price if you bought the components individually.
The creative name of cassette "archiver" led me to believe that the deck did something else than just play cassettes. It does not. 100% of the converting is done on your computer. All the product provides is a USB cable that plugs into your computer. NOTHING different than 1000's of other cassette decks.The included driver is for a EZ tape converter software, unless you run Windows 7 or 8. Then it has a link for you to download the software on the website.
I bought this as a Xmas gift for a family member to archive old cassettes of material no longer available.
If I were to do it again I would buy a
cheap cassette player $20-$30 ($10 on craigslist or ebay)
RCA/minijack to USB cable $13 (amazon)
Audacity software FREE

The results will be the same
For the price of this product I would expect a stand alone unit that converts cassette audio to mp3 with a USB flash drive to save files.
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on September 30, 2016
I have an Onkyo receiver TX-SR608. I received this ION Tape just today; installation is piece of cake. As soon I connected the device I play a cassette; and wow!!! sounds was really cool.
The device is not as good if you compare with technics old machine, but common I have to say that I very satisfied with the unit. Black color is cool, leds in the center gives it attitude and the device have some functions that is difficult to found in old stuff. I am pretty satisfied, for the price is a really good device.
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on January 22, 2014
You'd think that since this is supposed to be a tape deck that it would be better at not just recording from one casette to another. YES, you can use this to record from any source since it has Line in (red/white) connectors in the back. But there are some problems:

* You can hear what you're recording if you're suing the Audio IN. The sound will not play through its USB connection.

This is sad because it means you can't easily use the Tape Deck to do what it does in reverse, to convert digital audio to cassette. It will record it, and you will see the visual sound indicator on the front moving and you can play back what you recorded and listen through your computer (if you have it all set up right), but you can't hear anything while you record. The only way around this was to use a splitter coming out of the source, one end going into the Tape Deck and the other to a pair of speakers.

Granted most people want to convert to MP3, and it does a great job of that. Some people are here talking about the sound but again, this is audio cassette audio quality, I'm not sure what people are expecting.
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on March 29, 2015
This has been very easy to set up and easy to use. The quality of the recording has been the same as the quality of the tape recorded. This as been so simple that my non-technical wife can can do it. The only item that prevented me from giving five stars was the fact that when recording, you can choose to record with automatic tracks or one big recording. I've tried both ways of capturing the data. When I used the automatic adding tracks, it capture a lot of the talk on the first track and then 1 min or less on other tracks. I would like to control time intervals on tracks if possible. So I have been capturing as one large file and inserting tracks where i want in a audio editing device (NCH WavePad)
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on September 5, 2015
I was surprised to find that a 110V electrical item was sent to Australia, which uses 240V. I saw on the manufacturer's website that they DO make a 240V version. I had to buy, for $30, a step down transformer.
Then, when all set up to start using the Tape2PC Deck, I found that my (Mac) computer would not recognise the tape deck with the software supplied on a CD with the deck. I sent an email (as suggested in the packaged materials) to the manufacturer who took over a week to respond. In the meantime I found that I could download a later version of the software, which fixed the problem.
In summary, a good product but with at least three very clumsy marketing procedures; incompatible voltage, out of date software, and unacceptable delay in responding to a call for assistance.
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