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Alesis TapeLink USB

Alesis TapeLink USB (back view)

Alesis TapeLink USB

Alesis TapeLink USB (front view)

Alesis TapeLink USB (side view)

EZ Tape Converter

BIAS SoundSoap SE

If you're itching to drag your old cassette tapes in to the digital age, the Alesis TapeLink USB ($299 list, $199 street) makes the transformation relatively painless.
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On the back of the Alesis TapeLink you'll find RCA connections for stereo input and output, along with an attached power cable, USB output, and a small gain control knob for boosting the audio signal to your computer.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
Included with the TapeLink are two RCA stereo cables and a CD of recording software compatible with both Mac and PC.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
Aside from the USB port on the back, the Alesis TapeLink is indistinguishable from the cassette deck you probably owned in the '80s.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
The TapeLink measures 16.5 inches wide by 8.5 inches deep by 5.25 inches tall, and includes slots for two cassettes.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
The most basic piece of included software is a PC-only program called EZ Tape Converter (a more limited, Mac-only version of the software is also included). The program includes an easy to follow step-by-step process for recording, labeling, and exporting your songs. It also includes a feature that detects the silences between songs and automatically splits the incoming audio into separate tracks.
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The BIAS SoundSoap software (Mac/PC) included with the Alesis TapeLink USB does an outstanding job removing hiss from recordings, but it adds an extra step to the already tedious process of archiving your old cassettes.
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