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MAKE subscriber Justin fused the convenience of digital music with the feel and playback functionality of a cassette -

It is a cassette tape adapter and a micro usb port hooked up to a tiny mp3 player that I picked up at target. Its a simple build and only took an evening. Its an on going project I started a while back.

Neat idea! More pics plus earlier versions of the project can be found on Justin’s blog. Hmmm … maybe the next incarnation could have FF/REW capabilities triggered by turning the spools?

Collin Cunningham

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!


8 Responses to Digital Mixtape plays mp3s old school style

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  1. Andrew McVox on said:

    I had already seen a mp3 player inside a cassette, it had a jack-out. Combining it with a tape adapter seems perfect for listening in cars with old receivers. Great job!

    Skipping seems cumbersome, tough. The perfect system would detect the rotating speed and direction, skipping forward when it detected a “fast forward”.

  2. That’s something i did 2 years ago, and i also added a sensor to skip songs when auto-reverse key was pressed on the cassette player.
    Unfortunately it was stolent along with the cassette player in my parent’s car few weeks after i made it :(

  3. It would be even cooler if there was a way for this to intereact with the recording capabilities of the cassette player to save audio digital recorder style.

    It would be a garage sale audiophile’s dream! A digital cassette tape that would let you record audio on the go and port it to a computer whenever you wished in one easy step. You could even put some sort of LCD display where the tape window would be to indicate how much recording time was left.

  4. J. C. Lookalike on said:

    Do a google search for “Digisette Duo DX.” They played just like normal cassettes, would skip songs using the FF/REW function of the cassette player, and the DX model could record. It was only 96MB, but had a MMC (not SD) expansion slot. I still use mine from time to time, Usually just for the looks that I get…

  5. Control via the spindles is great, but what about power? Why can’t this be entirely self-contained?

  6. The iPod specific version of that product (no longer sold, I think) already has the circuitry to do FF/RW detection. It takes up a lot of space though…

  7. justin_cole on said:

    Thanks for the ideas, I found the actual products a little while after I submitted this. It is self powered, I just had it plugged in while I took the pics. I will definitely consider the ff/rw ideas if I decide to make another one. I just saw the cheap mp3 player at target, 10$, and noticed it was thin enough to throw in there. I just gave it a shot.

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