Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ion Tape Express+ MP3 Converter Review

The Ion Tape Express+ is a clever tape to mp3 converter/player. It is a portable tape player, like a Sony Walkman. It can be used just like a portable player as it has a traditional headphone jack, volume control, as well as the other normal controls. But unlike a walkman, it also has a USB output, to hook it up to your computer.

The instructions were pretty simple and straight forward. Before you use the device, the included software needs to be installed. Installing the software was easy and went well. But this is where the positives slowed down.

The device came with the player, software manuals, and a pair of headphones. The quality of the player was questionable. It looked cheap. But hey; if it works, it works. After all, it was probably not going to be used as a daily player. I just needed it to get the tapes into the computer. Then you can transfer them to your iPod, or burn the music to CD.

Then the software took me step by step for importing the music into the computer. There was a lot of noise and thumping coming through the music. So far, I was a little concerned, but it ended up just being the connection. Sound was ok. The end of the side came, and while the player has auto-reverse, it did not work on the player. Hmmm… On the positive side, the software worked well. It automatically sensed the tracks. When it was done, you typed in the name of the Artist, Album, and Tracks. It then converted the file and saved it in my iTunes library. The sound quality of playback was actually fairly good. You could tell it was tape based and did not originate from a CD. But there also wasn’t a lot of tape hiss or crackling. The software did pretty good.

It sounds like I got a bad unit with the auto-reverse not functioning. But the software works well. And in my case, all I had to do was manually flip the tape and all was well. So I did one side at a time. But based on its MSRP $59.99 price, you may want to get the gift from a reputable store. That way, if your loved one has a problem with their player, it can be exchanged. If you are looking for a cool gadget to give a loved one, this could be it. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at: