I had a good look at the USB cassette decks in Maplins recently:
The case is cheaply made, thin plastic, the door hinges look weak, there
is inadequate provision for cleaning and I could see no access for
adjusting the heads. This is a cheap unit. You get what you pay for.
I did buy an internal “plusdeck2c” Cassette-to-MP3 converter:
The unit fits into one of the front slots on your pc. I found the unit
easy to use and solid. It seems to be based on the basic design of a car
dashboard cassette player. As with the USB option cleaning wasn't easy -
I had to use a head cleaning cassette, which I wasn't happy about.
I ran the device for a month, using it every day to digitise a batch of
cassettes I was working with. At the end of that period I found that a
small percentage of recordings had short but very noticeable glitches.
Short periods of audio were missing and there were occasional loud
clicks and crunches.
In fairness I think this was a problem of the software supplied, rather
than the unit itself. I made a number of captures, bypassing the
plusdeck software, using Adobe Audition and didn't notice any problems.
In addition I found the deck temperamental, with a tendency not to eject
the cassette without the aid of a handy pencil or screwdriver.
In all I found the experience very negative and had to ditch a months
work. I guess I should sell the device, but I'd feel bad about passing
on this piece of crap to anyone else.
Trey Bunn wrote:
> I've seen some USB cassette decks before, but I wondered about the
> quality of them. Mainly this is because the first place I saw one was
> in a clothing store in a mall, so I thought, "Oh great, another crappy
> modern consumer model that probably sounds terrible." Does anyone
> know if these are actually good decks, or are they as bad as I think
> they might be? Any cassette players (consumer models I mean) that
> I've bought since the turn of the millenium have been hissy and
> horrible compared to the older stuff I used to have growing up. These
> USB models may be aimed at Joe Shmoe wanting to copy his friend's
> cassettes or whatever, but I wonder if they even approach archival
> Does anyone have experience working with this newer equipment?
> Trey Bunn
> Audiovisual Conservator
> Emory University Libraries
> Preservation Office
> Atlanta, GA
16 Ocean View
Tyne & Wear
tel: 0191 289 3186
email: [log in to unmask]