South Korea will soon be seeing BTO's latest audio-ripping powerhouse, the Plusdeck EX. The bread-loaf-size box allows users to encode virtually any audio source (cassette, turntable, radio, even your mobile phone) into an MP3 or uncompressed WAV file. This is the same company that created the Plusdeck 2c, a dedicated cassette player that fits into a 5.25-inch computer drive bay. The 2c, however looks like a case study in '90s tech design, while the EX looks pretty stylish despite its girth.
The Plusdeck EX also comes with a remote, radio antennas, power supply and a USB cable. It looks like you can schedule radio recording on this thing, but my Korean is a little rusty, so I'm not promising anything.
Beyond the standard set of stereo RCA output plugs, the Plusdeck EX also offers 7.1 channels of surround-sound output by way of 3.5-millimeter output jacks. The worldwide release of the Plusdeck EX is scheduled in the fall with an estimated U.S. price tag of $350.
The price seems a little steep for a pretty-looking sound card, but once you account for the cost of the cassette deck and all the push-button functionality that's designed into it, the price doesn't seem like too much of a stretch. Hell, if it means that I'm finally inspired to eliminate that suitcase full of cassettes I have lurking in my closet, I'll pay whatever it takes.