Things that Go Around, Come Around!

If you were to compare almost anything from ~100 years ago to today’s version, it  would probably be very different,  like…phones. But not everything! 

 

Grandpa’s wheel, 1921                                      Debbie’s wheel, 2017      

Thanks for viewing and comments are always welcomed. M:-)

Play it Forward 2 – Cassttes

 

There are a number of ways to convert your photos, movies, records and audio tapes, etc., to contemporary media, like digital files. Commercial venues will do the job, but are expensive. Brookstone, Amazon and many other retailers sell media-centric playback/record hardware which come compete with software, cables and instructions. They are easy, but also a bit expensive and potentially of lesser flexibility and quality.

 

DYI online help solutions abound, where by step by step instructions explain how to convert analog content, with existing players, to digital files on your computer. This is what I did to begin the process of digitalizing my cassette tapes. Although there are many fine examples, I found the e-How article “How to Use Garageband to Copy Tapes to CD” a perfect source. http://www.ehow.com/how_6501615_use-garageband-copy-tapes-cd.html

 

My Apple computer has Garageband, a audio file creator and editor, and all that was additionally needed was a cassette player with output connections. My old Pioneer CT-W500 deck fit the bill, still hooked up to my 1980’s stereo system. Since I didn’t need the amplifiers or tuner for this task, I simply moved the player to my desk, for convenience; found an RCA “out” to Mini-Stereo “in” cable, and connected the player directly to the computer. An old set of headphones provided live monitoring. One additional program called Waveform, downloaded free,helped trim recordings and edit where needed.

 

I’ve already had some fun with this.  Coming across an old cassette of a family gathering from years ago, I digitalized it, created a sub-file (with Waveform,) and shared the clip by e-mail. Once converted to digital files, (and saved in I-tunes,) this process takes almost no time at all.

2013-02-19 at 14-14-132013-02-17 at 20-11-572013-02-20 at 12-38-26

Play It Forward

Technology – Play it Forward

Down in the basement, thanks to hand me down artifacts of previous family generations, there still are a few boxes of 12” 78 RPM, Long Playing records; thick and heavy… and still playable on rare, capable turntables (which used to be simply called record players!) Some are in good shape (ie, hardly played,) but the better content is usually found on those well worn, as the process of playing induces physical wear. Well worn records sound plain terrible.

Also mostly hidden around our house, are 33 rpm stereophonic records, and 45 rpm records, all these encompassing the same needle on grove technology. In boxes elsewhere, there are some reel to reel tapes, 3 ½ inch, 5 inch and 7 inch reels containing hundreds, if not thousands of feet of ¼” wide acetate or polyester “tape”. There are a few “8 track” cartridges here and there; and a lot of the smaller and better cassette tapes. I even have ½” wide  VHS tapes which in the 80’s could produce impressive audio quality on “hi fi” settings; and a load of micro-cassettes used mostly for voice recordings over the years. A friend of mine even had a kind of cassette player on steroids, called an El Cassette.

Then, there are the CD’s, still an excellent media which with a little care can last supposedly for eons. But they need relatively bulky players, and in themselves can take up a lot of storage space.

The I-Pod came out a little over 11 years ago, and as a portable media player, and ultimate storage and organizational platform, set the standard contemporary way we listen to music and other audio content. This, and other means of disseminating digital “files” are pretty much the game today, for personal music listening, (although “purists” are probably correct in claiming superiority to the non-compressed CD formats, and even pristine LP’s.)

With all that said, today I started digitalizing my old cassettes as to have them available on I-pad, I-pod, computer, or whatever, and …play it forward.  In a few days I’ll explain how. Image