Digitizing audio cassettes and extracting the contents of digital cartridges.

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Mon Sep 11 23:12:03 UTC 2017

The cable is standard, in that it's a standard USB cable with standard 
uSB male and female connectors. What you need to watch for though is 
that the female end will fit into the cartridge. Not all USB cables have 
a female end with a thin enough profile to slide into the space allowed 
by the cartridge.

On 09/11/2017 09:15 AM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> The cartridges are typically formatted as FAT32.
> A cable doesn't come with a cartridge, and as you discovered, it's not quite standard.
> I think it will be a few extra weeks before a 16 GB cartridge becomes available.
> The NLS player has a second USB port on its right side, behind the headphone jack. This was originally intended for diagnostics and for remote control. But if a cartridge is not connected to the cartridge port, you can play content from a USB stick attached to this side port. The port is normally covered by a tiny pop-off piece of plastic.
> Since the NLS player is an 11-year-old design running Linux 2.4.2 on a 266-MHz ARM processor with 16 megs of RAM, it has some trouble coping with really large drives containing thousands of files. And it cannot unzip anything. But it has been used successfully with drives of up to 64 GB in size.
> Lloyd Rasmussen, Senior Staff Engineer
> National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress
> Washington, DC 20542   202-707-0535
> http://www.loc.gov/nls/
> 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 4:48 AM
> To: Linux for blind general discussion
> Cc: IAVIT Tech Talk List
> Subject: Re: Digitizing audio cassettes and extracting the contents of digital cartridges.
> Cables are standard. I don't recall what the female connector end is
> called, but it's a standard USB extension cable type of connector, i.e.
> you can plug one end of the cable into the other.
> Perkins sells the cables on line, as ell as 4Gb NlS-style cartridges. I
> believe LS&S and APH also sell them.
> The cartridges need to be VFAT formatted.
> hth
> Janina
> Linux for blind general discussion writes:
>> Okay, I'v managed to find Perkins branded Digital Cartridges on
>> Amazon, but there doesn't seem to be any listings for the cables. Does
>> anyone know if the cartridges include the cables? Either way, I'm
>> tempted to pick up a 16GB cartridge as a stop gap for playing the
>> encrypted files if I can't figure out how to play them on my Blaze ET
>> or Linux PC, though considering how anemic 16GB is for storage this
>> day and age, I find myself wondering if my digital cartridge player
>> can play audiobooks stored on an SD card in a dongle-style reader
>> connected to the USB port on the side of the player. *Tries it with
>> the 256GB card from my Blaze ET.* Okay, its been beeping for a few
>> minutes and the pause, fast forward, and rewind buttons just play a
>> please wait message with no explanation. I can only assume its trying
>> to scan the SD card for compatible files.
>> Given a suggestion to use a standard tape deck to rip two of a
>> cassette's four tracks at a time and do post processing to account for
>> tapes having non-standard formats, I've been searching for a suitable
>> one on Amazon, and while there are several rather affordable models
>> designed specifically for converting cassettes to digital files, it
>> isn't always clear which models are stand-alone, which rely on a PC
>> and specific drivers, and which should work with any recording device
>> with a line-in/microphone jack, and many sound like they're hardcoded
>> to output mp3, which I deem completely unacceptable in this age of
>> terabyte harddrives and 256GB memory cards, and even cutting record
>> time by more than half isn't worth lossy compression when I already
>> have a recording device with line-in and wav support, and there's no
>> mention of sample rate or bit depth on any of the product pages I've
>> checked. If anyone has any suggestions for cutting through the cruft,
>> it would be greatly appreciated.
>> I've only ever used sox for concatenating flac files, but I understand
>> its one of the most versatile command line tools for manipulating
>> streamed audio. Can anyone provide instructions on how to do the
>> following tasks in sox or via another command line tool?
>> -Reversing an audio stream in a way equivalent to playing an audio
>> cassette backwards.
>> -Altering the sample rate for playback without altering the samples
>> themselves. Also, am I correct that, if your analog source is playing
>> at double speed, you'd want to record at twice the target sample rate
>> before slowing the recording down?
>> -Splitting multi-channel files into single channels files or merging
>> single-channel files into multi-channel files.
>> -Trimming silence to a given length at the biginning/end of a stream
>> or splitting a stream into multiple files in the middle of internal
>> silence exceeding a certain length.
>> -Anything else that might be useful for the task at hand.
>> Oh, and my digital cartridge player eventually finished whatever it
>> was doing, but still offered no explanation, not even a "no content
>> found" message. The contents of my SD card seems unaffected putting it
>> back in my Blaze ET.
>> Sincerely,
>> Jeffery Wright
>> President Emeritus, Nu Nu Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa.
>> Former Secretary, Student Government Association, College of the Albemarle.
>> _______________________________________________
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Christopher (CJ)
Chaltain at Gmail

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