Category Archives: Cassette

How to digitise audio tapes

As is the nature of this beast, other ideas and more tapes have collected since. Some of those tapes were rare, if not unique. Others demanded more attention than the rushed 128kbps rips from the previous round. It seemed sensible to archive some and re-rip others at the highest possible sampling and quality rate. Here then, if you will, is a list of hints and observations on how to best rip audio tapes. Continue reading

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Cassette Project 1: Feeding the monster

That’s it! Enough! I’ve had it with tapes for a while. I added another batch of regular audio tapes into that database monster named Discogs. It needs to be fed. Needs more metadata. Yum-yum! Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Cassette!

The venerable cassette tape is 50 years old. It was on Friday the 30th of August 1963 when Dutch consumer electronics giant Philips introduced the EL-3300 “Pocket-Recorder” and a new magnetic tape format at the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) in West Berlin. The “Compact Cassette” would eventually go on to revolutionise the way we experienced and shared music. Continue reading

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The Archivist’s Dilemma

I am a collector because I collect a particular kind of cassette. I am an archivist because I disseminate and publish facts and data which future generations might find useful. The (meta)data ends up in a database called Discogs. Scans end up in my personal stash, and the cassettes end up in the trash. Nobody wants those, they’re just plastic matter. But what of the audio on those tapes, the gist of it all? Let corporate greed ensure that the majority of “European” recordings will survive for future generations to gush over. Continue reading

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Cassette Project #1: A Reprise

Two years ago I wrote about how my tape collection had, as part of the process of elimination and digitization, actually ballooned to more than tenfold its original size. Wheat and bran had been separated from the chaff — although no negligible amount of the former has been dropped off on my desk since then. I’ve begun entering that serendipitous stockpile of cassettes into the database. Continue reading

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Stretching the tape collection

Naturally, the question that’s always asked is, “what are you going to do with all those tapes? What do you want them for?” Valid indeed, and usually met by the default answer of “Some kind of museum.” Continue reading

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Cassette Project #3: Status Update

It’s not that I asked for them or anything, they just got dumped on my desk since it seems that I’ve become the guy in the building with a reputation for collecting old equipment, electronica, and media. Continue reading

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Project Tape2MP3: Completed!

This, dear readers, is all that remains of my tape collection. Twenty years of collecting and nurturing an audio cassette collection have been reduced to nothing more than one 16GB USB flash drive’s worth of bits. Continue reading

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