Pros / This cassette converter comes with an application that allows you to burn CDs.
Cons / The quality of the converted audio doesn’t rise to a level that would be acceptable to audiophiles.
Verdict / Converting your tapes with this product is a bigger chore than it’s worth.
Tape-2-PC Portable USB Tape Player is a cassette to MP3 converter that allows you to digitize your collection of old tapes. However, there are some severe shortcomings that keep it out of the top tier of the best cassette to MP3 conversion programs.
The hardware component of this converter is the Super USB Cassette Capture player. This device resembles an old Walkman with a micro USB port that connects to your computer. Once it's connected to your PC or Mac, you’ll need to launch an audio recording program to capture your cassette's audio.
This cassette to MP3 converter comes bundled with Audacity, an audio editing program. While this application is sufficient to digitize your cassettes, it’s not an optimal program for that task. Audacity is a complex program intended for audio editors, and casual users will have a hard time learning how to use it effectively.
Once you have recorded your tapes, you’ll have to split up and export each track manually. The best cassette converters we reviewed do this automatically. Further complicating the conversion process is the fact that Audacity doesn’t natively export MP3 files. In order to convert captured audio into that format, you’ll need to download and install the LAME plug-in. This can be done in just a few minutes, but the process isn’t obvious, and it’s another hurdle you need to overcome before you can get your cassettes into a digital format.
In addition to Audacity, this cassette to MP3 converter also comes with an application called InfraRecorder. You can use this program to burn your converted MP3 files onto a CD. This is a great feature that most of the other products we reviewed lack. But while this is a handy tool, you don’t really need it, because other free programs like iTunes allow you burn CDs easier than you can with InfraRecorder.
The audio quality leaves a lot to be desired. We compared a converted song against a digital download of the same track. While the converted track is listenable, it is not nearly as clean and clear as its digital counterpart. If high-quality audio is important to you, you may be better served by just downloading the songs you want from services like iTunes or Amazon.
- Audio Quality Score
- Number of Cassette Bays
- Converted File Size
In short, Tape-2-PC Portable USB Tape Player is a good-but-not-great product. The player itself is easy enough to use, but the software is rather complicated and is not well suited for converting cassettes. And the resulting audio files don’t stand up to their digital counterparts.