The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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6:14pm on Monday, 6th June, 2011:
I must have a couple of hundred cassette tapes kicking around, some of which actually have music on them I want to listen to. What with cassette tapes having been replaced as a music medium twice since I bought them, though, I only really get to hear them when I put them in my olde cassette player.
A while back I experimented with digitising them, but the recording facility of my PC wasn't good enough and they came out all muffled and stuffy, so I waited until I got a new PC. This was a little better, but hissy rather than stuffy. I bought a piece of hardware to remove the hiss, but it was ineffective. I had minor successes with my old laptop, which for some bizarre reason had a high-spec audio card in it, but it still didn't work out and was rather a laborious task, too.
Anyway, last week I snapped and bought a piece of kit specifically for transferring tapes to digital format. It has a player with a USB cable: you play the tape through the cable, not the sound card, and it's picked up by a piece of software on the PC that splits it at the silent bits between tracks then packages it all up and puts it into iTunes.
I tried it today on three tapes. The first one worked perfectly. The second one worked except that it recorded the whole tape as one track (I guess because it was noisy from having itself been recorded from vinyl). The third one failed: the tape player was too weak to turn it, so it came out all misshapen notes. I ran it through my usual player a few times to loosen it up, but it didn't work.
Bah! Well, I may be able to get some pieces off it, I suppose. It's either that or pay 79p a pop for them off the iTunes store, if they have them on there (which they tend not to for particular classic recordings) (or jazz recordings) (or a lot of pop recordings, come to that).
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