Posts in Audio Transfer
Are Cassette Tapes Coming Back?

Are Cassette Tapes Coming Back?

Although streaming music is a popular way of enjoying music in today’s generation, vinyl and cassette tapes have re-emerged in the music industry, leaving an impression on number sales. Cassette sales have nearly quadrupled in the United States since 2011 and selling over 100,000 tapes this year alone, which makes us ask, are cassette tapes coming back?

Why Cassette Tapes?

Similar to the current vinyl resurgence, it is the new mainstream releases that are attracting buyers. Artists such as Taylor Swift, Jay Z, and Lana Del Rey have created an aesthetic around the idea of cassette tapes. This means the overall appeal of the cassettes is attracting young listeners and collectors.

The reason for this huge jump of cassette tape sales in 2018 is due to the large amount of mainstream releases that appeal to the larger market of listeners. Vinyls are making an impact on sales as well, but the cost of pressing a vinyl is much higher than making a tape. The cassette is a format that is currently in high demand, but the playability is still much lower than most formats. The sound quality is not as high as digital or vinyl and does not allow DJing format, which makes the increase in sales a surprise to the industry.

Will Cassette Tapes Continue to Rise?

It’s difficult to answer whether or not cassette tapes will be a staple within the music industry for a second time, but the number of sales don’t lie. The convenience of streaming music has allowed us to enjoy tunes on the-go straight from our phones. Most seem to purchase cassette tapes for the same reason of vinyl, which is having the music in physical form. As time goes on and we become more digital, this becomes attracting due to the tangible nature of the product.



Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience.  We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past.  If you'd like to contact us with questions or comments, please feel free to do so at (614)392-1909 or email us below.

History of Audio Cassette Tapes
shutterstock_1111317326.jpg

 

Originally known as the compact cassette, cassette tapes are a recording format that was introduced in the early 60’s. Due to the new idea of having the ability to record conversations, cassette tapes came at a pricey cost for the user-friendly feature. The invention allowed individuals to record without needing the knowledge or level of training required. The tapes store sound through a magnetic tape that weaves through the two reels.

Baby Steps

When the cassette tape was first born it featured a low, unreliable quality. It became clear how needed and popular the idea was, resulting in a quick turn-around for improving the technology to present a clear, high sound quality. This was done by improving the noise reduction, soon following the capacity of playing stereo tapes. Similar to the competition between disc formats, companies also competed to produce the highest quality cartridge systems that used the magnetic tape format. Philips’ Compact Cassette became the mass leader, due to their decision to format for free unlike Sony and other competitors.

Two years after cassette tapes were invented, pre-recorded cassettes made a popular appearance and introduced a new way to listen to tunes. By 1966, over a quarter of a million recorders were sold in the United States alone. Sony then made an appearance by releasing the Sony Walkman, which allowed music to be taken on-the-go.

The Fall

Peaking in the mid 1980’s, the market then drastically dropped in North America and Western Europe. The rise of CD’s quickly surpassed cassette tapes, causing shipments to drop 7%. Come to the early 2000’s and cassette tapes held less than 5% of music sold. Although most companies ended the production of cassette tapes, there are still a handful that are made and sold in the US today.

Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience transferring VHS tapes to DVD.  We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past.

 

Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience.  We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past.  If you'd like to contact us with questions or comments, please feel free to do so at (614)392-1909 or email us below.

The Convenience of the Cassette Tape (Before We Had CD’s)

The cassette tape, much like the VHS, offered a convenient and easy to use recording format when it was introduced in 1963 by Phillips during the Berlin Radio Show in Europe.  Unlike the cumbersome and high-priced recorders of that time, the cassette tape offered people the chance to record without having to be an expert. Since the cassette was so small, no larger than a credit card, it was easy to store and carry.

The Cassette Tape: Then

When it was first released, the compact cassette format was marketed more toward dictation and voice recording.  It became popular as such, and the technology quickly improved. After noise reduction technology and a new tape formulation was developed, as well as the addition of the ability to play stereo tapes, the cassette was soon able to guarantee high-quality sound.  In 1965 Sony released pre-recorded music cassettes in Europe, and found so much success that in 1966 they were released in the United States.

Also, in 1964, Philips revealed and released the Norelco Carry-Corder 150 within the United States.  This recorder and player combo became a huge hit, and by 1966 over 250,000 thousand of the products had been sold within the United States.  Japan quickly stepped into the market, and by 1968 over 2.4 million of these recorder and player combos had been sold by an almost unbelievable 85 different manufacturers.  With the creation and release of Sony's Walkman, the popularity of the cassette tape skyrocketed even more as it allowed an easy and convenient way for people to listen to music while on the go.

The Cassette Tape: Now

Although the cassette tape was hugely popular in the 1970's and 1980's, the market for them fell drastically in the late 1980's and early 1990's.  This extreme drop in popularity is credited to the creation and sales of the CD. By the year 1993 the shipments of cassette players had dropped almost 10%, and continued to plummet more and more each year.  By 2001 cassettes were credited for less than 5% of all music format sales. Most music companies discontinued the use of cassette tapes in 2002.

But, all isn't lost for the cassette tape.  Some independent record labels are making the decision to use this format to release their music, making this a cost-effective option in an ever-growing music market.  Still, the chances of the compact cassette tape making a huge comeback are very slim. Still, the nostalgia and ease of use is sure to remain a cherished part of this technology that paved the path for today's modern formats.

 

Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience.  We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past.  If you'd like to contact us with questions or comments, please feel free to do so at (614)392-1909 or email us below.
 

How to Digitize Your Old Audio Cassettes from the 80’s

No matter how old or young you are, or of what generation, there is one constant that everyone can agree on: music.  Music is part of so many of our memories, and can bring back feelings of nostalgia. Sometimes, the music that we have on audio cassettes can be difficult if not possible to find on CD or other format.  Or, if you have a mixtape that you made or was made for you, you don't want to lose something so unique, but cassettes just aren't practical anymore. This is where converting audio cassettes can be the best idea to preserve those memories and that music.  But, how do you get started?

Clean Before You Convert

Once you pull those old, dusty cassettes out of storage, the first thing you need to do is get them cleaned up and ready for conversion.  Dust can do some serious damage to your cassette tapes, and can prevent you from getting the purest sound and smoothest conversion possible.  A simple way to clean them is to take a soft, dry cloth and dust them off, being sure to keep your fingers themselves away from the tape. Wet-based cleaning is absolutely NOT recommended!

Know Your Equipment

Now that the cassette tapes are clean and dust-free, it's time to check your equipment.  You're going to need a cassette deck with a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a double-ended 3.5mm audio cable.  Your Mac or PC can be used as well, as long as it comes with a sound card complete with a line-in port. You'll need to plug the 3.5mm cable into your cassette player and then into your computer to forge the connection between the two.  With all your equipment on hand and ready to go, the last step will be to choose the audio recording software that best suits your needs. A few free options are Quicktime and Audacity, although they don’t offer the most sophisticated software options out there.  If you're looking for optimal sound and resolution, you may want to consider purchasing professional software such as Sony ACID Pro, Sound Forge, or Adobe Audition. After you've chosen your audio software, be sure to check that the sound card is detecting the input sounds correctly, and make any volume adjustments that you'll need to make.  Then, press the PLAY button on the cassette deck simultaneously as you press the record button on your computer.

Optimize and Separate the Tracks

Whether you're recording a music album or just creating something special, you may want to consider using audio editing software to separate the tracks.  You'll need to work on these tracks individually to ensure that they maintain a crystal-clear sound. This requires advanced audio software technology, technological know-how, and patience.  With that process finished, you'll need to convert the files to a .wav format by using another audio converter program, before burning the completed tracks onto a Compact Disc-Recordable (CD-R) disc.

As this process is lengthy, time-consuming, and requires a bit of know-how, you may want to consider a professional service to do this for you.  We at Keepsake Solutions understand that music is very important, and that whether you're preserving the past or working towards your future, you deserve the best service possible.  Our team of knowledgeable professionals are determined to deliver a product to you that is not only up to your standards, but promises to take you to that next level.

 

Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience.  We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past.  If you'd like to contact us with questions or comments, please feel free to do so at (614)392-1909 or email us below.
 

5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Digital Transfer Service

When you've made the decision to transfer all of your captured memories into a personal digital library, it's important that you pick the right digital transfer service for your needs.  Different businesses offer different services, and not every business will meet the criteria that you are looking for.  We at Keepsake Solutions understand the importance of choosing the best service to trust your memories with. That's why we've compiled a list of 5 things to consider before you select the digital transfer service for you and your precious moments.

1. Level of Professionalism

Since you'll be entrusting your priceless memories to the business you choose, it's important to choose a business that has a proven record of professionalism and product safety.  One good rule of thumb is to see if the provider offers order tracking for your shipped order, ensuring that the products are catalogued promptly and correctly tagged with their own barcode.  This keeps you in the loop with each step of the process, and lets you know when the product has been shipped to you, as well as a tracking number to follow its progress.

2. Place of Digitization

If you're worried about the possibility of your captured memories being lost or damaged, you may want to see just where the service you're considering digitizes their orders. Some businesses outsource these services, shipping them overseas to foreign countries to be digitized.  This extra step can add more possibilities of damage to your products, and raises the chance of them being lost in shipment.

3. Services Offered

As there are so many ways to capture memories, it's important to know if the business you're considering is able to convert the format that you have.  Each format requires a different process, and it's best that you choose a service that can safely and professionally transfer the format that you possess.

4. Output Format Preferred

Just as important as the formats that can be converted is the decision of what format you what your memories converted into.  There are multiple options, such as DVD's, Data DVD's, Blu-Ray Discs, and flash drives. You can even choose, if the service you choose can do so, to have your formats converted onto an external hard drive.  Some companies even offer cloud-based storage, which can allow you to access these precious memories anywhere at anytime.

5. Reviews and Qualifiers

The truth, unfortunately, is that not every service is created equally.  A great way of weeding out the services that could cause you more issues than happiness is to check customer reviews.  Customer reviews often offer an unbiased and realistic review of the service that the customer received, and can be a good way to gauge the effectiveness and professionalism of the business itself.  With this train of thought, you may want to also research and see if the company has been utilized by large brands, has established a trusted reputation through time and quality of service, and check any websites or social media for a professional appearance and tone.

Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience.  We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past.  

 

If you'd like to contact us with questions or comments, please feel free to do so at (614)392-1909 or email us below.

How Transferring Audio Reels and Tape to CD Works
How Transferring Audio Reels and Tape to CD Works

 

How Transferring Audio Reels and Tape to CD Works

Reel to reel audio is a form of magnetic tape audio recording. The tape is literally held on a reel, not enclosed within a cassette. The reel holds the tape and is attached to a spindle, then threaded through mechanical guides through a head assembly onto an empty reel. This format of transferring tape to CD has literally been around since the 1940’s. Cassettes rapidly replaced reel-to-reel recorders for daily use but the slower recording speeds and more narrow tracks on cassettes compromised quality which is why CDs can be a higher quality, longer lasting format.

Advantages

Several advantages are seen with reel to reel audio. There is a way to record past the 30 minute limit phonograph records had. Audio tape could be easily edited or manipulated in ways not possible for phonograph records. Tape editing is performed simply by cutting the tape at the required point, reconnecting it to another portion of tape and using adhesive. This is a technique called splicing. Tape can accommodate multiple tracks which gives the producer flexibility in allowing a performance to be remixed after the performance was recorded. Varying speeds can be used and, in general, the faster the tape speed, the better the sound quality will be. Recording higher frequencies and increasing magnetic signal strength including higher tape speeds spread the signal longitudinally over more tape area which reduces the effects of damage or defects. Slower speeds help conserve tape.

Why Tape Speeds Matter

The varying tape speeds can make a difference in transferring tape to CD. The following are just some speeds that can be selected:

  • 15/16ths of an inch per second (in/s) or 2.38 cm/s - used for very long-duration recordings

  • 1 in/s or 4.76 cm/s - typically the slowest domestic speed, best for long duration speech recordings

  • 3 ¾ in/s or 9.52 cm/s - common domestic speed, used on most single-speed domestic machines, reasonable quality for speech or off-air radio recordings

  • 7 ½ in/s or 19.05 cm/s - highest domestic speed, also slowest professional speed (used by most radio stations)

  • 15 in/s  or 38.1 cm/s - professional music recording and radio programming

  • 30 in/s or 76.2 cm/s - used where the best possible treble response is demanded (many classical recordings, for example)

The Process

Transfer of tape to CD can be a trickier process than it might seem at first glance. The tape may have been recorded at varying speeds, making it hard to assess the length. If the tape or reel is not marked with the speed, it may have be loaded onto a machine. Typically, most home audio recordings end up at 3 ¾ speed. Once speed is determined, it helps to make sure the tape is loaded onto the reel properly.  Reel to reel audio can have multiple tracks on one side of the tape. One way to determine this is to set the player to play both tracks at once so it can be easier to tell if tracks are similar. If a reel is not stereo and has multiple tracks, a person must either play the reel back again or record in stereo and manually split using editing software. Once this is done, a person can play the reel and be on their way to preserving audio on tape on a longer lasting format.

Keepsake Solutions can transfer your cassette tapes, vinyl records and reel-to-reel tapes to high quality audio files, or CDs. We are committed to quality customer service, speedy turnaround time and treating your precious memories with the care they deserve.

 

Keepsake specializes in affordable, high quality digital transfer of your life’s most treasured media. Don’t trust it in anyone else’s hands. Bring it to Keepsake Solutions for the best service around.

 

Guide to Audio Transfer for Home Memories
shutterstock_371295628.jpg

 

Guide to Audio Transfer for Home Memories

When considering whether to transfer audio from one medium to another, whether it is cassette to CD, tape to CD, or other type of audio transfer, those memories matter. It is worth the time and money to find the best audio transfer service that can handle all audio transfer needs and create memories for years to come. Here’s our team’s guide to getting great quality audio transfer to preserve your family treasures.

Audio Transfer for Preserving Home Memories

Audio to CD Process

Before any transfer takes place, the media will be inspected by an audio transfer technician. This is to search for any damage or issues with the existing audio. If any issues arise, the technician will call to let the customer know the source of the problem and if it is repairable. Files that are transferred will be stored on computers in-house, run through audio editing software, and the technician will determine the final sound quality of the audio to CD transfer. Basic audio cleanup services to remove errors in recording or other issues are generally provided as well. Once recording at the optimum quality desired by the client and the company is completed, it will then be burned to a 100-year CD and labeled per customer specifications. Audio CDs can hold up to 74 minutes of recording time.

Track Splitting

When audio is brought in for transfer, the option exists to set up what is called ‘track splits.’ Track splitting enables a person to skip from one track to another while playing the CD in the CD player. This is really helpful for recorded music, which can switch songs around easier than ever before.

Basic Audio Editing

Basic audio editing services are set up to help fix minor problems that may be present in recordings. Audio transfer technicians are trained on many different types of methods to support audio issues that arise. Here are just a few:

  • Speed up or slow down audio. Older audio was often capable of being recorded at different speeds. If audio plays too fast, or too slow, this can be fixed digitally by adjusting the playback speed. This can be common on old vinyl and reel to reel audio.

  • Remove unwanted sound. Sometimes random blips or noise show up in audio and these can be removed if desired.

  • Custom-placed track splitting. Audio transfer technicians can split tracks anywhere in the recording.

  • Remove static hums and hisses. Most static humming and hissing can be diminished from audio recordings, depending on the type of audio.

Audio Restoration

If a recording has some audio issues, an audio restoration service can help revitalize old recordings. With the right experience handling audio equipment, it can be complicated but not an impossible task to diminish common problems associated with older analog media. CDs are usually the most convenient for customers but MP3s can also be good. Any file format can be selected and a customer may choose to bring in a flash or hard drive on which to store files.

Keepsake Solutions takes a personal touch and approach to your audio transfer and media needs. We are family owned and operated with over 15 years experience. We are here to serve you with the best quality and quickest turnaround of any company in the Columbus area.

 

Contact us to find out how we can help you with audio transfer or other needs!