By Andrew Liszewski
I can understand why analog audio fans still embrace vinyl records since they can last a remarkably long time with a little TLC. Consumer-grade audio cassettes however, I just don’t get. The tape is easy to damage and since it’s a magnetic medium it will degrade over time, there’s no stopping it. So if for some reason you want to preserve that crappy mix tape you recorded off the radio I suggest getting it converted to a digital format as soon as possible.
The plusdeckEX is designed to do just that. It connects to a PC via USB and includes a 7.1 channel built-in sound card for converting the analog signal from a cassette tape into a digital file format like MP3. The downside of course is that the process can only be done in real-time (unlike ripping an audio CD) but it ensures your analog tunes will be preserved for an eternity. (As long as you properly backup the files.)
And for those who are still living with just a cassette player in their cars the plusdeckEX works the other way as well, allowing you to transfer your MP3s to an audio cassette and enjoy them on the road. There doesn’t appear to be any pricing info on the plusdeckEX as of yet, but it’s expected to go on sale sometime in 2008.