|Just plug the Instant Music into a USB port on your computer and you are ready to begin recording from any analog audio source into the most popular digital audio formats available such as MP3, WAV and WMA (Windows Media 9 Audio) and AAC. Once in a digital format you can create Audio CDs, MP3 CDs or have the audio ready to be played for your personal music enjoyment on a variety of MP3 player devices.Convert your old collection of cassettes and LPs into crisp, clear digital audio and then create audio CDs and MP3 CDs so you can keep a personal archive of your collection that will not degrade or deteriorate over time. Use the LP or Cassette to Audio CD Wizards in the included Nero SoundTrax software to go from LP to CD audio in 4 simple steps. ADS Tech respects the rights of copyright owners and asks that you do the same.|
|Product Line||ADS Instant Music|
|UPC||0757887150013, 0757887150235, 0822778000651, 757887150006|
|Enclosure Type||External Box|
|Interface Type||USB 1.0/1.1|
|DAC Data Width||16-bit|
|Sample Rate||48 kHz|
|Sound Output Mode||2.0|
|Connectivity||1 x USB - 4 pin USB Type A, 1 x audio - SPDIF input - TOSLINK, 1 x audio - SPDIF output - TOS Link, 1 x audio - line-in - RCA x 2, 1 x audio - line-out - RCA x 2|
|Operation System Required||Apple MacOS X 10.x, Microsoft Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP|
|Cables Included||1 x USB cable|
Average review score based on 1 user reviews
UPSIDE: Sturdy, handsome, simple and works well. No switches or controls to set. A complete package with cables and Nero software that works with Windows, purports to work with the Mac and, for those fortunate- or enlightened- enough to use Linux, works perfectly with Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala).
DOWNSIDE: Lack of input level control could cause noisy rips from weak sources or distortion from overly strong sources. No phono preamp, so you cannot directly connect an unamplified turntable. Depending on the nature of your project, this may not be the best choice.
I snagged this at an exceptional price from an eBay auction that I discovered with just a few minutes remaining, without time to research alternatives. I reinstalled the Windows HDD pulled when I converted to Ubuntu so I could evaluate the ripping software and had the ADS running in less than 20 minutes. The test rip was fine, but Nero's interface was too cartoonish for my taste, so I once again restored Ubuntu and had the ADS running with that in 10 minutes. I used Audacity for the rips, a free download which I strongly recommend for serious Windows, Mac or Linux users (yes, there is a learning curve).
The device is USB powered, with a red LED to indicate power. There is also a green audio indicator which is supposed to flash when fed audio through the RCA jacks. On my box, sometimes it is lit and sometimes dark, without rhyme or reason, and with no controls to set and unable to reach ADS, I decided not to care. The ripped audio, even from tapes recorded from FM 30 years ago, sounds beautiful (after some TLC with Audacity) and I could not be more pleased.
Should you buy it? If your project includes just audio from standard line level sources like tape decks and you have a fair number of tapes to rip, it is a perfect choice. Persnickety audiophiles planning to play their rips through $20,000 of sound equipment would do better to invest in a studio-grade converter starting at several hundred dollars. If you have a mix of tapes and LPs with an unamplified turntable, and do not have an phono preamp or receiver incorporating one to press into service, there are boxes slightly more expensive than the ADS which include both level control and phono preamp. If your project is all LPs and you lack a decent turntable, then a USB turntable would likely be the best option. Finally, if you have just a handful of LPs or tapes, get an audiophile friend to do you a favor and buy him (or her) a nice dinner in appreciation.