Q I have many cassettes that I have spent hours recording from vinyl records. I would like to transfer these one-of-a-kind recordings from cassette to CD before the tapes break. Is there a product to accomplish this?
A Your best bet is to get a USB portable cassette player. This is a small cassette player like a Walkman with a USB port.
Connect the player to your computer, and you can import cassettes as sound files, then use a CD burning program to make audio CDs. USB portable cassette players sell for less than $20 at Amazon. I haven't seen them sold in many other places.
If you have a Mac computer, download Final Vinyl (download.cnet.com). It is a great program for importing and editing sound files. You can then use iTunes to burn CDs of your recordings. PC users can try Audacity (audacity.sourceforge.net) and use it to import and edit sound files.
Griffin Technology's $40 iMic (www.griffintechnology.com) can be used with a cassette player to import the tapes. It's less expensive just to get the USB cassette player, though. The player is powered by USB, so you have only one connection to make and no batteries to worry about.More oomph from Oontz
Q I read your column on the Oontz Bluetooth speaker and want to give one a try, but when I visit the website (www.theoontz.com), there are two models for sale, the Oontz and Oontz Angle. Which do you recommend?
A I have only reviewed the Oontz. I haven't yet heard the Oontz Angle.
The Cambridge SoundWorks website, as well as my contact at the company, say that the Oontz has more bass and plays louder than the Oontz Angle. The Oontz Angle is meant to make a styling statement while still providing good sound. It also is slightly smaller and lighter than the Oontz. Both sell for $70.
I would go for the Oontz and its superior bass. Bass is a challenge for any small speaker, and I can vouch for the sound quality of the Oontz.
This is a good time to mention that since I wrote the column about the Oontz, I have taken it around with me and demonstrated it to friends and family members. The response has been gratifying and enthusiastic.
What is most telling is that when the music starts playing from the Oontz, there is typically a physical reaction such as a raised eyebrow, a mouth that drops open or a glance at me that says, "Wow."
People are shocked that such good sound comes out of a small speaker. When I tell them the price, they are even more surprised.
I'm interested in hearing from readers who have given the speaker a try. If you've heard the Oontz, please send me an e-mail and let me know your thoughts.