It’s nearly impossible these days to find an audio system that supports cassette tapes and it’s just as hard finding a way to convert these tapes to the more modern digital format. Today I’ve got a TaoTronics product which does exactly this!
This cassette tape converter has been designed to look like an old school cassette player and can convert your old tapes into digital MP3’s that you can listen to on a variety of devices such as your iPod and your computer. This little device finally offers a way you can convert and back-up all of your old tapes. You can of course just use the device to listen to the tapes before going on to fully convert them.
In the package you receive the USB Cassette Capture device, a USB Cable, a pair of headphones, Software CD and a USB Guide. The headphones are pretty poor quality and are made from a cheap plastic so if you are just listening I would definitely use your own pair. The software CD also contains the freeware Audacity program so you can just directly download from their website if you wish.
The capture device itself is really easy to operate. It is powered by 2 AA batteries which are actually placed inside the device under where a tape will be when you convert it. Across the top you’ll find a direction button, loop slider, fast forward and rewind button, a stop button and also a large play button nearer the front. Everything is labelled clearly so you know exactly what functions they all have and each responds quickly.
Moving to the right hand side of the device you’ll find an open slider which opens to front panel allowing you to place a tape and the batteries inside. You’ve also got a volume dial, mini-USB port for connection to a computer and a regular 3.5mm headphone port.
In terms of the build quality it really does feel very cheap and the fact that all of the buttons are a shiny metallic plastic doesn’t help with this. Performance-wise “it works”. We had quite a few errors pop-up along the way such as ‘USB Device Not Recognised’ as well as the play through option not appearing in Audacity. After we finally managed to get it working the song from the tape did successfully transfer and convert into a .mp3 file which I could then copy over into iTunes and place onto my iPod/iPhone.
The point of this device is to transfer your tapes to a digital format, and so if we are judging the product solely on this then it’s a great product as I ended up with a working mp3 that sounded good. Taking everything into account however then are many ways in which the product needs to be improved until the rating can be boosted any further!
You can check the product out below.Order from TaoTronics