Identifying Audio Formats

We transfer cassettes and LPs to mp3s

Long before YouTube and mp3 players, if you wanted to listen to more of an artist's music than was played on the radio, you had to buy it on vinyl LP, or on cassette tape. Much of what was available on these formats is no longer available in digital. PiciScan can help change that and let you listen to tracks that you might not have heard for years.

Vinyl LPs

LP to mp3 transferPictured is a vinyl LP ("long playing" or "long play"), introduced by Columbia in 1948. They are an analogue sound storage medium, used mostly for the playback of music.

They differed from previous storage mediums in that they were made of vinyl, played at ​33 1⁄3 rpm and were a 12" or 10" (30cm or 25 cm) diameter. They were also the first format to use the "microgroove" groove specification. The flattened vinyl disc had a continuous, waved groove engraved into it that, when it interacted with a phonograph needle, produced vibrations, translated by loudspeakers into music.

They were generally capable of recording a maximum of 23 minutes per side. Soon after its launch it was adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. It has remained the standard format for vinyl albums to this day.

Let PiciScan transfer your LPs to digital to rediscover some of your old favourites.

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Cassette tapes

VHS-C to DVD transferPictured is a cassette tape, first released by Philips in 1963. Also know as Compact Audio Cassettes or Musicassettes, they are an analogue magnetic tape recording format for audio recording and playback. Cassettes come in two forms, either already containing content, or as a fully recordable, blank cassette.

Cassettes' uses ranged from portable audio to home recording to data storage for early microcomputers eg. the ZX Spectrum. The first cassette player designed for use in a car was introduced in 1968. Between the early 1970s and the early 2000s, the cassette was one of the two most common formats for prerecorded music alongside the vinyl LP.

As the recording medium of a cassette tape was a strip of magnetically coated, polyester, 1/8" wide film, they were capable of recording anything up to 3 hours of audio. Commercial recordings held either a single track or the equivalent of one side of a vinyl LP on each 'side' - really half of the magnetic tape, split length-ways. Blank tapes were available in one hour, one and a half hour, or two hour lengths, named after the number of minutes of recording available, eg. C60, C90 and C120.

Whatever old music or audio recordings you have locked away on cassette tapes, we can help you to listen to them again on any mp3 player.

Ready to have your cassette tapes transferred to mp3?

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