Sound Advice: Import cassettes with USB player

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Question: I have quite a few cassettes that I have spent many hours recording. They are from vinyl records played on a turntable to a cassette recorder. They are one-of-a-kind recordings, and I would like to transfer them from cassette to CD before the tapes break. Is there a product out there to accomplish this?

K. ROBBINS
Waukesha, Wis.

Answer: Your best bet is to get a USB portable cassette player. This is a small cassette player like a Walkman with a USB port. Connect the player to your computer and you can import cassettes as sound files, and then use a CD-burning program to make audio CDs. USB portable cassette players sell for under $20 on Amazon.com. I have not seen them sold in many other places.

If you have a Mac computer, download Final Vinyl from www.griffentechnology.com. It is a great program for importing and editing sound files. You can then use iTunes to burn CDs of your recordings. PC owners can try Audacity at http://audacity.sourceforge.net and use it to import and edit your sound files.

Griffen Technology also has the $40 iMic, which you can use with your cassette player to import the tapes. It's a bit less expensive to just get the USB cassette player, though, and the player is powered by USB so you only have one connection to make and no batteries to worry about.

Question:I read your column on the Oontz Bluetooth speaker and want to give one a try, but when I visit the website www.theoontz.com, there are two models for sale, The Oontz and Oontz Angle. Have you heard both, and which one do you recommend?

JACKIE RUTLEDGE
Mt. Lebanon

Answer:I have only reviewed the Oontz and have not yet heard the Oontz Angle. The Cambridge SoundWorks website as well as my contact at the company both say the Oontz has more bass and plays a bit louder than the Oontz Angle. The Oontz Angle is meant to make a styling statement while still providing good sound. It is also slightly smaller and lighter than the Oontz. Both sell for the same $69.99.

Since I am a sound quality guy first and foremost, I would go for the Oontz and its superior bass. Bass is a challenge for any small speaker, and I can vouch for the sound quality of the Oontz since I have heard it, knowing you will be happy with your purchase.

This is a good time to mention that since I wrote the column about the Oontz, I have taken it around with me and demonstrated it to friends and family members. The response has been gratifying and enthusiastic. When the music starts playing from the Oontz, there is typically a physical reaction such as a raised eyebrow, a mouth that drops open or a glance at me that says, "Wow."

I am interested in hearing from readers who have given the speaker a try. So if you have heard the Oontz, please drop me an email and let me know your thoughts.

interact

Read product reviews by Don Lindich at soundadviceblog.com.


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