Mark Frauenfelder at 10:38 am Tue, Sep 18, 2012
ADVERTISE AT BOING BOING!
Just wait a few months to buy it. The price will drop, ‘cuz of that f—in’ new iPhone connector.
(Actually, you can find cassette/turntable to USB devices cheaper than this.)
I don’t necessarily want THIS device, but I must admit to having a few cassettes I’d like electronic versions. Mainly cassettes I played so much in my youth that with wear and tear, warping from the sun, whatever, have taken on they’re own unique sound. Listening to the “real” versions no longer sounds right. I’ve come to love their particular warps and wobbles in the music.
Oof. Not me. I still have dozens of my old cassettes, but I’ve finally begun throwing them out. All that wow and flutter, plus audible pops between songs where I’d habitually stop to rewind and listen again… other than an old dub of “Lakeside Trailer Park” by the Beat Farmers, which I can’t find on any other medium in this version, I’ll be happy if I never listen to another cassette again. Think I’d rather hear an 8-track. I don’t miss using Q-tips to clean the heads and capstan with alcohol, nor disassembling a blank cassette to salvage the chassis when one of my favorite cassettes got too sun-warped to fit in a player. I also don’t miss stuffing half a matchbook under a cassette in my in-dash player due to misaligned heads.
Weird thing: even though it’s not my favoritest album ever, I’ve owned eight distinct copies of Deep Purple’s Perfect Strangers album, six of them on cassette, because of how durable those cassettes weren’t. I do miss, however, the slightly-longer version of the song “Perfect Strangers” that was on the cassette version of that album. Without that weird phase-shifting crescendo over the drums, the song is simply 20% less awesome.
These things are sold out, due to all the attention, but they’re going back on sale in October. I heard back from Hammacher Schlemmer for this article: http://evolver.fm/2012/09/18/retailers-suddenly-sell-out-of-cassette-to-ipod-converters-but-theyre-restocking/
Does it do AM/FM?
Wow that’s so simultaneously stupid and awesome I want it. Reminds me of the equally stupid/awesome dual deck walkman that I lusted after in high school.
Dual deck Walkman, ouch!
As for this gizmo, there’s a lot of people out there who recorded cool and/or obscure radio stations back in the eighties and nineties, to this day keep their collection meticulously stored and cataloged in cassette cases. Any technology that facilitates the digital transfer and upload to the web might make more of these recordings available on the web. I hope.
I just plug my boombox into my comp, pop in a cassette, and capture/edit with Audacity. I did this with my Russian tapes from DLI. ,,Это я, а не утка!”
I think this is the most unintentionally funny product I’ve ever heard of. There’s got to be an internet award for that.
I guess buying a second-hand cassette deck, an audio cable and downloading some freeware to record as MP3/4/OGG/whatever is a little complicated for some, or they regard $80 as chump change.
If anybody could recommend some good Win XP or Ubuntu recording freeware I’d greatly appreciate it.
I think Audacity is decent.
That’s because you’re leaving out the cost of the computer that it’s all hooked to.
I doubt anyone who would purchase this would actually plan to use it… aside from taking it to their favorite hipster bars and showing it off while they drink their PBRs. It seems that it might actually be quite the conversation-starter.
I always though Hammacher Schlemmer was more for the gated community crowd.
Indeed, but I imagined this to be for their teen/twentysomething children, as well as the nouveau riche douchebag.
I forgot about the (probably constantly doing coke) trustfund hipster.
We diss cassettes yet love Instagram.
there’s plenty of people who hate instagram
I digitized all my old tapes 10 years ago.
Any cassette desk with a line-out can be used for transferring tapes to computer, and it would sound 1000-times better than any modern device you could buy for $80. But I can’t mock this device. It just looks too cool.
My initial thought was “where was this five years ago?” because as @Nylund:disqus said some tapes take on a unique sound. But then I realised you could get the sound ¡on! but getting the file(s) off the ipod in my case would be as much a pain in the ass as doing it the proper way of recording to the computer, let alone cutting & tagging files.
early Skinny Puppy sounded better with a wow and flutter filter •_•
I dunno… I have some cassette recordings of live performances and tapes of albums long forgotten to the dustbin of history (out of print). Anyone ever hear Paul Simon’s engineering work on the Peruvian band, Urubamba? A sonic masterpiece of folk music that’s impossible to find. Only came out in vinyl. And then there are all those super-cool mix tapes that circulated among friends. One introduced me to Dub, Rock-Steady, and other Reggae sub-genres.
I’m presently looking to see if the old tape deck at my mom’s house still works. RCA Y-jack with 1/4 stereo plug, stepped down with adapter to 1/8″ stereo, into line-level stereo mic input socket in my Mac PowerbookPro. Edit WAV files with freeware (that can break into separate tracks at the quiet spots). Convert to mp3 files via iTunes.
BTW, to where are folks disposing their unloved cassettes?
Oh. My. God. I have the world’s greatest collection of punk cassettes that just aren’t available in any other format. At all. Unfortunately, I don’t have an iPhone.
I have a cassette of music from old porn films that a friend of mine in SF made, but also no iPhone.
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