Amstrad iPod Shuffle tape drive

amstrad

[sbeam] was really excited about his latest acquisition: an Amstrad CPC 464. This model has a tape deck instead of a floppy drive. sbeam had no way of transferring software on his computer to the Amstrad. He looked around and found the PlayTZX tool. PlayTZX reads a .tzx tape backup and generates a WAV file. sbeam dumped these conversions onto his iPod Shuffle and used a car cassette adapter to play them in the Amstrad’s deck. Nice new school solution for old hardware.

Comments

  1. der.wolf says:

    awsome, never myself would i think of something like that, but then im a bloody idiot

  2. ez says:

    That’s kind of cool, never heard of a computer using audio tape before.

  3. flaunt_dzx says:

    Awesome! He doesn’t have to worry about the console erasing his tapes!

    I lost Buck Rogers for my ADAM that way. :(

  4. alex says:

    that is so fucking awesome.

    but does it run linux? ;)

  5. carpespasm says:

    #2, back in my day, we took 15 min to load a game, and that’s the way we likesed it. actually, most 8bit computers had some way to use audio cassette as storage, c64, early pcs, tandy comps, adam, atari comps…

  6. Magnavoid says:

    Whoa, thats awesome. I am going to have to try that, some how.

  7. Pedro says:

    this is exactly what i have been looking for to get rid of some of the tapes i have laying around for my old TI machine.

  8. This could be used for any computer with a tape drive, it’s awesome!

  9. Em386 says:

    I had one of those computers, It was my first one, with over 400 Games and programs on tape of corse

    It takes approx 1hr to load a program plus you could save files using different Baud rates which was used as copy protecion for programs sold on tape.

    Mine was a CPC 464 with a GT65 Monitor (monochrome green screen)

    Cool to see this :-) brings back memories

  10. PK says:

    I never would have thought of that. Great tape deck hack. Commodore Pet users would be so proud!

  11. Ed3 says:

    That is so awesome!! I’m very surprised some C64, TRS-80, or TI99 user hadn’t already tried this.

    Unless they did and never told anyone about it…

  12. Tired2 says:

    i had a friend who did this a few years back… Instead of the digital converter though he ran an audio cable from a tape player into his computer. after recording all the tapes he had, he could play them in this same way through winamp to load up software. Pretty cool, this is nice bacause you can do it all digitally w/o having the possible signal/noise problems with running it into your sound card first.

  13. ccrook says:

    My dad had a friend a while back who rigged up his VCR as a tape backup. Held several gig when that was a shit ton of space. I might try to recreate the hack soon.

  14. CYRIX says:

    really nice hack, but how many people will use this? i dont think there are that many old schoolers here anyways.

  15. weirdguy says:

    Ahh..After a bit of researching I found a c64 tape .wav converter
    http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Platform/8224/c64tape/faq.html

  16. carpespasm says:

    #14, i plan to use this a plenty, my c64 has been hungry for programs since my floppy drives died

    what i need is a hack to turn any old cassette player into something a c64 or tandy color computer can use

  17. mike says:

    ah, see, all you nay-sayers, here is a genuine hack. damn interesting if i may say so myself. i have been contemplating using various analogue mediums as digital backup for a while now. with the correct application frequency and amplitude modulation, this could be nearly bullet proof. think about it, in the analogue world there are more than two states. cook up a program, capable of not only encrypting the data into your fave-flave, but also applying public and private frequency and amplitude modulation, you would have yourself a perfect (albeit slow) way to encrypt all of your Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVD rips.

  18. JoaCHIP says:

    “Amstrad Shuffle – life is random”. Obviously Apple’s slogan still fits here. I should have thought of submitting my home-build amiga casette tape streamer setup. I even wrote my own software for that…

  19. retep vosnul says:

    I Used my Gravis Ultrasound Max in my old linux server a couple of years a go to send and recieve data from server to SpectrumZX.
    The server could locate the tapefile by reading the load command. ( never got around building a TCP layer on it !!!!!!! ).

    I also did a trick with a old MZ700 and MZ800 (sharp ), Let them communicate for a submarine game over a couple of 27MC boxes !.

    Retep.

  20. Matt says:

    Hey #16 – http://pinouts.ru/data/CassetteC64_pinout.shtml should help you out.

  21. myukew says:

    #17 indeed it would be cool to have some way to backup to analogue media, but afaik audio cassette hold only a couple of megabytes reliably. I wonder how much data one could cram on vinyl…

  22. spaceman says:

    Why not speed up the play back as well? You could speed it up by 1.5x or even 2x the normal speed of play back.

    The CPC can still handle it. I used to half press down the play key (meaning that not the full pressure was on the tape, letting it go by faster) on my spectrum +2 to load the games in faster.

  23. JameS says:

    If i could find a tape deck, I would rig up some crazy backup system for my PC

  24. JUSTIN says:

    yeah, but can you play doom on it?

  25. mitch says:

    I think that has to be one of the most ingenious things I’ve read in a long time. Freaking awesome man, nice work!

  26. joecool says:

    ipodlinux has had this support for everything but the shuffle, without having to convert to wav :P

  27. Dennis says:

    I remember there was a hack years ago where you took the tape player from a C64 and used it to digitize audio.. It sounded like total crap, but it was interesting no less. Another favorite hack/project my brother and I did was we used an EEPROM chip as a CCD and build a very primitive digital camera. With this one, the results were actually quite good. The whole thing worked through the parallel port.

  28. Sean Mcmanus says:

    This is cool – the original tapes take up loads of space, and it would be easy to store a whole games collection in a proper iPod and use the menus to organise it. Also, once you get a good digital copy, you can back it up and preserve it without the risk of data degradation that tape has.

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