Digitizing old media, i.e. cassette tapes

I was digging through old junk in the basement out of boredom (but mainly because the weather up here in the tundra has become a miserable, humid circus) and found my old portable cassette tape player. Cassette tape? Remember those? If you have the insight, it’s similar to our elders’ hip track, 8-tracks or vinyl records. Anyway, I also found my copy of “Batman and Robin” and “Men in Black” soundtracks.  Wanted to see if the thing could still play.

So I put two AA batteries into the thing, and when it started up, the radio tuner was good. However, when I put Batman and Robin in, Eric Benet’s voice was very “soulful”, deep and croaky.  I assumed the player was broken, or the tape was worn out.  Even Jewel’s beautiful voice sounded more like Jeremy Irons doing “Lion King”.  Fortunately, after playing it a while, the audio quality returned to normal. Whew.

That got me thinking whether I should rip these tracks now and digitize them or just buy the CD.  Sure, I could buy the CD, but where would the fun be in plugging all the cables up and seeing if the dinosaur technology was compatible with the new stuff?

Turns out, after some trouble getting the PC drivers to give permission to accept the audio input, I was quickly recording and encoding these old tracks.  However, the quality isn’t pristine, but who’s going to be listening to these tracks other than myself, having listened to them hundreds of times.  It’s no different than recording those scratchy tracks off the FM radio way back in yesteryear on those long, boring summer days.

Sure brings back the memories.

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