Everybody’s seen those fancypants record players that have the USB cords, wherein you can back up your favorite LPs into inferior-sounding digital files for maximum convenience*. But what of those cassettes that you’ve been stashing in some shoeboxes in that back closet, right behind the Rubbermaid tub of Christmas ornaments that never even makes it out for Christmas because you stopped buying trees a few years ago when you and your wife separated because, I mean, what’s the point of even trying anymore? What about those guys? The cassettes, I mean.
Never fear. Alesis has a solution for you tape hoarders: The Alesis TapeLink USB, which, for a mere $299 (insert surprise-y face emoticon here), can back up your tapes digitally. The idea of converting crappy-sounding cassettes to 192 rip mp3s is a bit laughable from an audiophile perspective, but I have quite the tape collection, seeing as, up until last year, I only drove busters with tape decks in them**. Here are some of the things I wouldn’t mind backing up:
• hilarious four-track projects of mine, which were only mixed down to tape, if only to laugh at them;
• practice sessions from a bunch of bands I’ve been in, if only to laugh at them;
• Jesus and Mary Chain‘s Darklands, which I have only ever had on cassette—the tape noise is part of how I hear this record;
• lots of hair metal;
• local band gems—Five-Eight’s first cassingle and Lethal Compulsion, a 1992 or so death metal band made up of fellow students at Auburn High School (sample song title: “Cadaverosity of Chaos”); and
• tapes of my grandparents and parents talking to each other that they sent back and forth while my parents lived in Brazil (my grandmother had a stroke around the time I was born, and I never heard her speak more than one or two words at a time).
How about you out there? What cassettes would you back up? And doesn’t $299 seem a tad pricey? Isn’t there an easier way to do this then a standalone unit?
* I’ve been meaning to do this since my domicile was caught in a perfect storm of stereo failure, leaving me with no tuner or record player.
** Now I drive a buster with a temperamental CD player in it that doesn’t like two types of discs: CDs with music on them and/or CDs that people might want to hear.