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Ion drives USB deck to digitise cassettes

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USB LP decks are well known, but they can't help you digitise all those old cassettes you've got stuck in a box in the loft - or even on your living-room shelves. This gizmo can, though: a USB-connected tape deck.

Ion Tape2PC USB cassette deck
Ion's Tape2PC: tune in to your old tapes

Made by Ion, the company behind the USB turntables, the Tape2PC is a dual-cassette unit, with tape-to-tape dubbing. In addition to a USB port there are four RCA stereo jacks on the back so you can hook it into you hi-fi stack to play tapes through your amp or record from other sources.

The gadget comes with Audacity, the open source sound editing application, in both Mac and PC forms, and the Windows-only EZ Tape Converter, which not only encodes the tape but also segments recordings into songs before dropping them into your iTunes library.

To aid encoding, the Tape2PC has an LED record level control, and you can switch between regular, chrome-dioxide and metal tapes. Heck, there's even an old-style mechanical tape counter.

The Tape2PC is available in the US from a variety of retailers. In the UK, you can buy it through Firebox for £100.

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