I’m pretty excited about this random eBay purchase! Honestly I just wanted a portable cassette player so I could listen to tapes of my old band to pinch ideas from. Having the option to record via USB right into the DAW was just a bonus, especially for $15 new!
Officially it’s called the “Super USB Cassette Capture” and it’s got that made in China cheapness about the plastic. But it does feel solid mechanically and definitely does exactly what it says it does: play cassettes and offer a USB computer interface to record from cassette into a Digital Audio Workstation.
Included in the package: cassette player, mini USB cable, cheap earbuds, instruction manual in reasonable English, and a 3″ minidisc containing Audacity, the free Open Source DAW. The instruction manual also gives the web addresses for downloading both Audacity and Lame (which it recommends to use for making MP3s). If you already have Garageband or any DAW at all, you don’t need any additional software.
Not included: 9v adapter, batteries.
Controls: play, stop, eject, fast forward, rewind, volume, dir (direction) and auto-reverse on/off.
Outputs: 1/8 phono (headphone) and what I understand is a USB 2.0 Mini B connector.
The manual says it will run on USB power. Otherwise, 2 AA batteries are required.
I was able to record very easily into Logic by connecting the USB cable, selecting input device “USB PnP Audio Device”, arming an empty track and hitting record, then playing the cassette. The only variable was the cassette player volume, which determines the input level, but the recording was clean.
Very happy with this purchase so far, definitely worth $15!