Transferring cassettes to CD, FM reception and antennas, Bose and Google Ads

Sound Advice

By Don Lindich

Week 19, 2007

Q: I have a laptop Mac running OS 10.3 Panther. Is there any way I can transfer cassettes of my parents voices to CD’s?

-Virginia Patton, Minneapolis, MN

A: Yes. You can buy the $39.95 Griffin iMic I mentioned in last week’s column and use it with your Mac. The iMic includes Mac software called Final Vinyl that can be used to record and enhance cassettes as well as vinyl records. Just connect it to the cassette deck and your computer, launch the software and you are ready to go.

Q: I am using a very old omnidirectional outdoor fm antenna on my receiver. I have the antenna mounted in the basement and use 75 ohm RG6 coax cable with a 300 to 75 ohm transformer at the antenna end for impedance I live down in a valley in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh and I can pick up the radio station WLSW a small low power station in Scottdale Pa, 40 miles away. I like to listen to WWSW, a Pittsburgh station closer to me and no matter where I position the antenna the reception is bad.

Do you have any suggestions on what type or brand of antenna I can use to get better reception??? I’d love to use a outdoor omni directional mount antenna mounted on my house chimney BUT at my age climbing a 35 foot ladder is not my idea of fun. And, putting one in the attic is out because I have blown in fiberglass insulation and crawling around in fiberglass make me itch!

-Bob in Pittsburgh, PA

A: It sounds like the valley is blocking your reception of the local station somehow. You should be able to receive it, but I suspect the old antenna may not be doing its job. The wiring in it may have weathered and degraded.

Try a pair of ordinary, unpowered set of VHF television rabbit ears. I’ve found them to be incredible FM antennas and at under $10, a great value. Try moving them around the room and pointing them in different areas to improve reception. You can use 75 ohm coaxial cable to extend the reach, just as you do now.

Q: Congratulations on the new site. I am looking forward to reading reviews and continued learning in the audio/video fields. Just one question-why is Bose advertising on YOUR site? It seems like you made a deal with the devil. Just kidding, but not really.

-Kenneth Spawton, Atlantic City, NJ

A: No need to fear, I have not signed a deal, Faustian or otherwise, with Bose or anyone else. I do not have any control over who places the ads as it is the Google Adsense program.

Google look at the words on my site and automatically downloads ads likely to be relevant. My objectivity is undiminished as I do not have any specific advertisers to please, as if I signed a deal with them to promote their products. If people read what I have to say about Bose and still click on the ads (I only get paid if they click on them) then they deserve what they get…


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