September 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Retailers Suddenly Sell Out of Cassette-to-iPod Converters (But They’re Restocking)

cassette to ipod iphone converterApparently, plenty of people have cassettes lying around that they want to turn into MP3s on their iPod or iPhone — to the point that Hammacher Schlemmer has sold out of the Cassette to iPod Converter, pictured to the right.

Don’t be fooled by this product’s name — it also rips MP3s to the iPhone, unless you bought one of those new, taller ones. To use it, you simply insert the hand-recorded cassette you made like a million years ago into one bay, and an iPhone or iPod Touch into the other bay. Then, you activate a free recording app that comes with the device, press a button or two, using headphones to monitor the sound and select tracks for conversion, and the MP3s apparently proceed in an orderly fashion onto the iOS device — or onto a computer, if you so desire.

After Gizmodo wrote about the Cassette to iPod, the usual suspects echoed that emotion to the point that the thing is sold out not only at Hammacher Schlemmer, where Gizmodo — and now BoingBoing – originally linked, but on B&H Photo as well.

Here’s what a Hammacher Schlemmer spokesperson told about the run on these things:

“The Cassette to iPod Converter is currently out of stock. However, the vendor has given us an expected shipment date for October. This is not a guaranteed shipment — just an expected shipment. I am unsure as to why the item is not available at this time. We did receive an overwhelming demand, which may play a role in that.”

Yeah, that would appear to have played a role here. According to B&H, it should be available on October 15 (i.e. in time for the holiday buying frenzy).

The larger message: There is a big, pent-up demand for freeing cassette tapes, even in 2012, and this likely will not be the end of that. What’s next, “Cassette-ify?”

(via Annette Cardwell)