We Just Reached Peak Hipster With A Cassette-Playing Turntable

We Just Reached Peak Urban Outfitters With a Cassette-Playing Turntable

Are you happy now, hipsters? Instead of walking away from your fashionable fad at its peak hipness, you've let it linger long enough to become a consumer commodity. Not only is hipster-beloved brand Urban Outfitters thriving, it's now spawning unholy consumer electronics like this cassette-playing turntable.

We Just Reached Peak Urban Outfitters With a Cassette-Playing Turntable

It's easy to point the finger at ION Audio for a creation like this — and we do, at least in part — but Urban Outfitters deserves most of the blame for continuing to fan the hipster flames and creating genuine demand for a $US99 ($140) record player that also plays another medium we were all pretty certain was dead.

We Just Reached Peak Urban Outfitters With a Cassette-Playing Turntable

Urban Outfitters positions the portable device (powered by four AA batteries) as an easy way to convert classic vinyl and forgotten audio cassettes to MP3 files through iTunes. But that's complete BS when elsewhere on its site it's also selling albums on vinyl and cassette, and even blanks for making your own modern mix tapes.

To make matters even worse, the ION Duo Deck is almost certainly not the best way to listen to either your vinyl or cassette collection. So even if you've convinced yourself that analogue audio is superior to digital, at least spend a few extra bucks to make your outdated music sound as good as it can.

[Urban Outfitters via Chip Chick]



    Well to be picky analogue is technically superior and to say it simply. You can make a direct copy of the analogue sound being made by the instrument. Where as digital no matter the bit rate is still the original sound chopped into little prices and put back together. Digital mediums are still the best storage and user mediums though. Long the cd.

      I struggle with this argument. I actually have a lot of vinyl, and even a box of cassettes from my underground metal tape trading days, but I really don't believe the "it sounds better" thing. It has some vibe that I think suits certain styles of music, for sure, but the dynamic range is severely limited as is the frequency response. If you have a really high-end turntable with some great circuitry in it then that can sound really flattering and, arguably, better- but that isn't the medium itself. Not to mention that 99% of modern music would be recorded digitally, even if it is cut to vinyl later..

        You do know vinyl isn't the only form of analogue audio around? I never mentioned it once. Your argument to me seems completely void. I didn't specify a format and you based your counter argument on one of the worst forms of analogue audio.

          Considering the article is about a turntable/cassette-deck I think you probably should have specified if you were referring to another medium.

          Please do enlighten me though, I've only been studying/working in professional audio for ten years and relish the opportunity to either shoot you down or learn something ;)

      Except that the majority of vinyls in existence today are not the "original" sound. Most have been digitised at some point before being pressed to vinyl, so the argument is moot.

      Also, the bit rate is high enough to be perceived to be the same thing, which is the most important thing.

      Most people can't actually tell the difference and those that do are almost always basing their preferences on the idea that vinyl is better, so they perceive the sound as better whether it is or not from a technical stand point, which is the only stand point that can be measured and therefore deemed superior. Subjective stand points are just that, subjective, and hold no value over anything other than the individual whose point it is.

      Experts such as Audio Engineers, you know the people that actually record the damn things and base their living off of the minute differences in music that they help produce, don't even collectively agree with "vinyl is better".

      The vinyls are all copies of copies, so even if it is an original print of a record pre-digital age, it's still a copy of an imperfect medium that did not store the recording in a perfectly accurate representation of what was recorded.

      The argument of analogue vs digital is purely subjective and just that.

        Read my reply above. Plus it isn't subjective. I was talking analogue vs digital not specific formats. Analogue gives you the ability to make a direct copy of the sound. All digital formats take that original analogue tones chop them into little prices and then put the back together into a pseudo analogue tone. Can you hear the difference. Down to formats. But theoretically analogue is better.

          I am going to disagree with you again here. Microphones such as AKG's C451(very commonly used mic back in the analogue days) were deliberately hyped in the top end to try and make up for the fact that recording to tape simply didn't have a wide-enough frequency range to truly capture the sound. With digital we have much more headroom and using a mic like that now is a creative choice afforded to us by the medium, not something we have to use as a crutch. While it is perhaps true that with analogue we can get an exact copy of a pre-existing recording, it is not true that we get an exact representation of the source. Yes, recording to tape can sound great due to the extra harmonic content and natural compression, but a high-quality digital recording is going to be a lot truer.

          Analogue gives you the ability to make a direct copy of the sound
          No it doesn't. When you make a copy of an analogue sound, regardless of the medium you're always getting the sum of the recording, the imperfection of the source medium and the imperfection of the destination medium. Which means the copy, and even the original are never a perfect reproduction of the sound that was produced by the instruments. Get two tapes, and re-record it over and over again from tape to tape and back again and you'll see.
          The only way to truly hear what was originally recorded was to have been in the studio when it was recorded.

          I'm fully aware of how digital recordings work, and regardless of the "gaps" chopped out and reinterpreted, the bit rate is sufficiently high enough in digital studio recordings and cd reproduction that the assumed sound wave reproduced (which when reproduced is a real sound wave, not pseudo) is near enough to not be of any perceivable difference.

          Essentially, the argument comes down to whether you prefer a partially assumed reproduction of the original sound or a partially incorrect reproduction of the sound. Neither of which these days is of any perceivable difference.

    Dam hipsters they are multiplying.......
    I went to Newtown the other night for dinner (centre of the hipster culture in Sydney) and wile eating dinner I saw at least 3 people with Fedora's and scarves (on a hot night) every single person was taking photos of there food for some reason and there was even a guy listening to some old cassete player wile he walked down the road in cloths that looked like they should have been thrown out 10 years ago.

    I dont mind Audiophilliacs, its their hobby and good on them. I dislike the ones who act like im a lower class citizen for daring to listen to music with cheap headphones on my phone or listening to music through a streaming services on my comp with speakers that arent worth $1000

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