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Author Topic: Mixxtape Wireless Cassette Adapter (MicroSD)  (Read 167 times)

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Offline Cholo

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Mixxtape Wireless Cassette Adapter (MicroSD)
« on: 16:54, 20 January 19 »

Warning: the v1 kickstarter version im reviewing here is not the same as the new v2 adapter's that they have for preorder, so i have no idea about if the v2 also works with an Amstrad 464. Also to actually used this adapter do understand that it requires you to have the skills to "remaster" games/software into a compatible audio file. Then there is all the negative aspects to consider (price, speed, etc).


Got hold of a Mixxim Mixxtape Bluetooth Cassette Adapter (MicroSD) a while back (same version as the old kickstarter here, sold out):

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mixxtape/mixxtape-the-cassette-reinvented


Tried it right away making a quick tape Wav image using Winape at 2000 baud speed put the wav on the microSD card, put the card in the adapter, then realised that i had to remake the Wav with a 10 second buffer in front because the time i takes to press play on the front of the adapter, notice its playing, insert it, close the lid and press play .. actually takes a good 5-10 seconds.

Then the struggle to find the right Volume began. Sadly, no matter what volume i tried  i kept getting random read errors at 2000 baud speed. Odd, and i dont think its the volumes fault as it has a incredible range from 1 to 32 (at 20 there is a softlock as higher volume can damage your ears). I suspect the 464 mono head gets confused by the stereo head adapter even though its also a mono file (someone let me know if im wrong). So i put the whole "on hold" back then.

Months later i finally got the idea to try at speed 1000 baud speed recording instead. Found the "sweet spot" at volume 21  (well 20-22 volume range is ok its not that demanding) and it works great really. Havnt had a single read error since. Not even using the "Quicksave" (that turns a multi-Block file into just 2 blocks) as used in Amsback De Luxe to cut down on loading time. So the 464 clearly dont get confused at 1000 baud speed.

So now i have tested a small selection of games & tools on a adapter for easy (slow) access. Importent here to notice that ive had to make the Wav's myslef from scratch. Also improtent to remember that the adapter dont have any motor control along with the speed issue so you cant just make a audio file of like CDT tapes you found online as they motor controlled pauses & most protected games usually need an exact (faster than the adapter) loading speed/timings. So to use the adapter you really need to know how to copy files to tape yourself (and perhaps crack games/software if a compatible amstrad block version dosnt excist).

A quick Con/pro list will probably help.

Cons:
- No motor control: just like with a wired adapter you get the trouble of the playback dosnt stop if the amstrad player stops, and in this case its actually worse as with a wired adapter you at least can manually press pause on the audio player.
- Bluetooth: in this v1 version you can only send audio from the adapter itself (to like bluetooth speakers). I had hoped that the adapter could also recieve audio via "bluetooth" so you could a bit of motor control but nope. Id does appear that the new v2 may have that feature though (the expensive model A). But cant tell untill tested.
- Price: auch! the kickstarter version wasnt cheap epecially after international import taxes & shipping. Also these new v2's is even more expensive.
- Slow: 1000 baud speed is pretty much as slow as it can get.
- as a mp3 player: a bit flimsy shell, so not for mobile use or similar. Had to reformat the MicroSD card as it got confused at first when i added files. But havnt had this issue since.

Pros:
- Equalizer has a "normal" setting. Quite importent this one so the signal dosnt get distorded.
- The adapter dosnt get confused by amstrad audio playback & kills itself. I had a denver CD-player who died from playing back an amstrad audio file. Donno what happened, perhaps the player thought it was firmware flashing or something? Anyways CD-player died & couldnt play music anymore.
- Good volume range. I used Vol 21 with the Wav audio files i made with Winape, but vol 20 or 22 also work just fine, its not that picky at speed baud 1000. To go beyond volume 20 you get a prompt telling you to unlock the higher volumes: press the "menu" (3 lines) button while holding the "vol" volume button.
- Menu fairly easy to navigate but you need to learn the keys of cause. "play" is "yes/enter" and "Vol" is No/exit" basicly.
- Supports a wide range audio files & bitrates (MicroSD came with a bunch of different music files).
- Nice battery that charges fast in a hour or so. Also last a good 10+ hours. Dosnt hold the charge forever though.
- The adapter also works as a MicroSD adapter so you can connect it to pc using the usb cable and access the files that way. The Usb cable also charges the battery at the same time.
- Garanteed no tape salad :D

Verdict: So is it worth getting one? No not really i guess. If you already have one its nice to know that its an option. Also if you have the skills to filecopy/remaster software to fit it, then you probably already have some other faster way to play/run amstrad files (like a gotek). Like already mentioned in this forum, you can get a wired adapter & mp3player/dictaphone for just a handfull of bucks. Also i dont know yet if the v2 works. Ive preordered one & once i get it ill test it and let you know.Then there is the crazy price to consider. The only reason im getting one is because i have a cassette fetish i guess.


Last minit note: on the site the cheaper 4GB memory v2 is no longer sold/sold out.


Links:
Homepage:
https://mixx.im/

Old kickstarter video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1VLB-LroHI&t=2s


"Reviews"-ish:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSENl3ZEok8


and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PF2jnmxKb8
« Last Edit: 16:56, 20 January 19 by Cholo »