Are you looking for something unique and fun for Dad this year? X-treme Geek might be the site for you! This site has a plethora of gadgets, accessories for that special geek in your life!
Or for those music lovers, check out the USB Music Archive System. We received one for review and this is what my musician husband had to say about it:
I was so lucky to be able to try out the Ion U Record USB Audio Recording Kit for review. The U Record USB music archive system lets you easily convert your favorite records and tapes to MP3 format using your turntable or tape player and computer. I like the idea of “Plug and Play” sort of devices and the Ion U Record was exactly this. I ran the Ion in between my ancient (but amazing sounding) Bell & Howell tape recorder. I did a lot of quick music demoing with this beast for years. On the other end the Ion went easily into the USB port on my iMac. No problems so far! Since I was transferring cassette tapes I loaded the AUDACITY Recording Software instead of the EZ Audio Converter (Mac Only) and definitely not the EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter (Windows Only). I do not plan on transferring any vinyl over to digital. I like to play my records on the record player. But I also have an HP laptop running Windows in case I change my mind.
Although I own a ton of cassette tapes (500+) featuring the greatest the 80’s had to offer (HA!), I was more interested in transferring the demo cassettes as well as some of the practice recordings of my first bands. There’s also a bunch of “air check” tapes from when I was a DJ in college as well as tapes featuring the hilarious vocal stylings of my brother and sister and I acting and doing funny newscasts. Plus, there are a few “hidden” cassette player recordings of us trying to annoy my mom to get her to yell at us so we would have “evidence”! Some of these tapes are 25-30 years old and need to be archived before the tape turns to dust!
This Ion U Record system was so easy to set-up and load. I was ready to start transferring in about 10 minutes! It was literally “Plug and Play”! The AUDACITY software reminded of GarageBand. Its functions are very similar but with a different look and feel. The kit includes a Quick Start Manual that takes you through the set-up as well as connection diagrams and Top Panel Features. If you are unfamiliar with recording and editing software you might be a little confused at first. It can get complex. There are some instructions for running AUDACITY so be sure to give yourself plenty of practice transfers to get the right levels and best sound.
After my three practice transfers of my guitar demo song, I got a great version and began to investigate the editing options. Cleaning-up the transferred recording and the possibility of adding special effects and enhancements are as easy as scrolling down and choosing. I saved a separate version of my recording to be safe and then tried out every effect. After experimenting for while I tried for a final take. I was very happy with the quality and loved the fact that the noisy tape sound was eliminated! From there I simply saved the file and transferred it to iTunes. I also found out that I could also open the file in GarageBand. As far as the AUDACITY software goes I’ ll have to spend some more time checking out its music recording features as one of my students mentioned that’ s the software he uses to mix and record beats.
I am extremely pleased with the Ion U Record USB Audio Recording Kit and look forward to listening back and transferring my music (and comedy) history! Getting through the mountain of tapes is going to take a long time so I probably won’t check out the Vinyl Software functions for a while. I did happen to try the EZ Audio Converter software. It was WAY easier than the AUDACITY but does not feature any of the extra functions of AUDACITY. Although it took a little longer, then end result is much cleaner, clearer and concise using AUDACITY. My family members and old band mates are going to be receiving some very funny audio attachments in their emails soon!
– Sean & Tee
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy did receive the product mentioned to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.