Digitizing audio cassettes and extracting the contents of digital cartridges.

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Mon Sep 11 18:39:00 UTC 2017

There have been player firmware updates. The latest available on our website is version 2.1.7, from late in 2011. There are other updates that address minor issues. One of them is 2.1.8, which treats magazine cartridges in a somewhat different manner.
Switching major Linux versions would have been a really costly effort. As I understand, one of the issues has to do with our practice of suspending and resuming connections with USB cartridges, so that they don't draw power from the battery continuously. We really didn't want to mess up something that is working quite reliably for most patrons most of the time.
We are working on new players, but development of the next generation of NLS hardware is at a very early stage.. 

Lloyd Rasmussen, Senior Staff Engineer
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20542   202-707-0535
The preceding opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress, NLS.

-----Original Message-----
From: blinux-list-bounces at redhat.com [mailto:blinux-list-bounces at redhat.com] On Behalf Of Linux for blind general discussion
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2017 11:35 AM
To: blinux-list at redhat.com
Subject: Re: Digitizing audio cassettes and extracting the contents of digital cartridges.

After figuring out how to get Amazon to show me everything being sold
on the Amazon Marketplace by Perkins, I found that they offer a Belkin
USB extension cable. Given the context, I'm assuming this particular
cable either lacks the usual guard on the female end, has a guard thin
enough to fit the gap around the cartridge's male connector, or has
been modified by Perkins to remove the guard. In any event, I've
ordered one of these cables(at worst, I'm out five dollars and have
another spare cable in my box of cables).

And yeah, paying closer attention, Amazon gives a back-in-stock date
of November 1st for the 16GB carts.

Interesting to hear that the player runs on Linux and has gone so long
without a firmware upgrade. Feels like forever ago that Linux 3.0 came
out and that anything using a 2.x kernel should be in a museum rather
than on production machines(even if the machines in question are
players designed for a very specific format and were produced as a
replacement for older tech that was more than a decade overdue for
replacement(though, considering that NLS format cassettes could fit up
to 8 hours compared with CD's 80 minutes, I can see why they stuck
with cassettes long after everyone else abandoned them).


Jeffery Wright
President Emeritus, Nu Nu Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa.
Former Secretary, Student Government Association, College of the Albemarle.

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