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Objectivist Lectures on Cassettes

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I wish the Bookstore would transition all the audio-tape books to CDs or digital downloads. Since I got a new car, we don't have any way to read tapes in my home.

You can buy an inexpensive cassette player and transfer the tapes to CD on your PC.

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You can buy an inexpensive cassette player and transfer the tapes to CD on your PC.

Of course it's doable, but I have an infinity of things I could do and only time to do a select few of those things. Transfering tapes to CDs isn't a very efficient way to spend my time (or anyone's, really).

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You can buy an inexpensive cassette player and transfer the tapes to CD on your PC.

Of course it's doable, but I have an infinity of things I could do and only time to do a select few of those things. Transfering tapes to CDs isn't a very efficient way to spend my time (or anyone's, really).

It depends on whether or not you want the contents of the tapes. You can also pay a service to do it for you, but it is simple enough to plug the casette player into your PC and let it run while you do something else.

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It depends on whether or not you want the contents of the tapes. You can also pay a service to do it for you, but it is simple enough to plug the casette player into your PC and let it run while you do something else.

I'm not sure why we're having this discussion...

Of course it can be done, but I would have to research and buy a dedicated tape recorder which I would then have to discard (I definitly don't need anymore junk in my house), figure out how to connect the tape recorder to my PC, and then either copy the files on iTunes or on a CD. Do you know many businesses that succeed with those principles?

It would be much easier and faster for me if the Bookstore used the current standards of technology, be it CDs or downloads, rather than requiring potential customers to revert to some kind of paleotech workaround. I'm unwilling to jump through hoops (in addition to paying $110) for the privilege of listening to this content, so I loose the benefit, and they loose a customer.

I assume that it is obvious to all that tapes are not very convenient for anyone right now, and not the best vehicle to maximize the diffusion of this or other Objectivist material. I subscribe to enough free podcasts to know that putting content online can be done cheaply and simply enough, and would allow a very nice profit at this price point, if only the Bookstore had a slightly more commercial and customer-centric outlook.

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I actually prefer the tapes, because the medium is just very well suited to recorded lectures. I don't have to worry about losing my place on a tape, like on a CD. I can even remove it and still come straight back to the point where I left off.

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I actually prefer the tapes, because the medium is just very well suited to recorded lectures. I don't have to worry about losing my place on a tape, like on a CD. I can even remove it and still come straight back to the point where I left off.

The fidelity of the recordings offered is generally not up to the standards of CDs, but I find the digital format more convenient, provided the player has the proper controls. In particular you have to be able to go back to where you left off at a particular index. The older CD players couldn't do that, but some modern players and programs on PCs can. Once you have that kind of control over where you are in the recording, it also makes it easier to conveniently go back and listen to a particular passage several times, which is harder to properly locate with the rewind of a tape player or older CD. If you put an audio file into a program like CoolEdit, you can even isolate a particular passage in the window, precisely re-navigate to anywhere inside it by looking at either the time index or the shape of the wave, and automatically play the whole excerpt in a loop. You can do all of that on a PC once you transfer the tape or CD to a file, which is easy to do. You can use the same setup in a car by plugging a laptop into the car stereo if it has an input jack (but anything not set to play automatically requires someone else to be the driver :ph34r:).

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I actually prefer the tapes, because the medium is just very well suited to recorded lectures. I don't have to worry about losing my place on a tape, like on a CD. I can even remove it and still come straight back to the point where I left off.

I prefer the tapes too, for the reason that my car has a tape player (but no CD player), and for the reason you state - that one can easily restart where one left off. (Sometimes there are two different players when this is necessary. E.g., I might listen to a tape partly in my car and then take it in the house to finish, on a different machine. With tapes, this is trivially easy of course.)

Also, audio lectures are expensive enough on tape; I'd rather not pay the premium for the CD version. For voice, the improved CD audio quality isn't worth it to me. And, because so much of the music I listen to is on tapes, I'll likely own a tape player or two for the rest of my life. (But if a lecture I really wanted was only available on CD, I'd buy it anyway.:ph34r:)

.....

Cassette tape decks are so cheap that the purchase of one shouldn't be a barrier to somebody who really values the lecture set in question.

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I prefer the tapes too, for the reason that my car has a tape player (but no CD player), and ...

But that won't remain. It is hard to buy a stereo for a car today that has a tape player -- at least if you are replacing it; I haven't looked at what is in new cars. But you can now buy a car stereo with an input jack and plug a portable cassette player (or a more modern digital source) into it.

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I prefer the tapes too, for the reason that my car has a tape player (but no CD player), and for the reason you state - that one can easily restart where one left off. (Sometimes there are two different players when this is necessary. E.g., I might listen to a tape partly in my car and then take it in the house to finish, on a different machine. With tapes, this is trivially easy of course.)

I agree that the tapes are somewhat easier to keep at a given point, especially if removed from the player (in my car, I only have a CD player, but at least it keeps track of where I was when I turn it off - as long as I don't remove the CD). This advantage is however lessened or negated by the ease of browing that CDs offer.

In terms of sound quality, durability, ease to transfer to a digital medium, space taken, resell value, etc, the CDs are rather better, I find.

Also, audio lectures are expensive enough on tape; I'd rather not pay the premium for the CD version.

I believe that the cost of productions for one tape are rather higher than for 1 CD, but in any case, I don't think that the unit cost is the driver of the cost. The small batch is certainly more meaningful. Note that I'd even prefer to but the lectures in a digital, downloadable format.

Cassette tape decks are so cheap that the purchase of one shouldn't be a barrier to somebody who really values the lecture set in question.

As far as I'm concerned, it's not so much the price as it is the space that it takes, not to mention the inherent inefficiency of buying a piece of equipment just for this one lecture (effectively raising the price of the lecture by the price of the player).

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CD, or even better, digital download, are a lot more convenient to me, so I have been wondering too when the ARI will rerelease it in a newer format.

What would be the biggest things causing roadblocks in releasing it in a newer format?

I can imagine that with a CD version, that logistics would be a factor(storing both tape and CDs in a warehouse) but with digital downloads, this is not an issue.

Would it be the cost of professionally transferring and remastering for a new medium? Perhaps a donation fund could be started just for this purpose.

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What would be the biggest things causing roadblocks in releasing it in a newer format?

My surmises:

-- Judgement on the time and cost of the transfers and making the CDs vs. expected return. There are very few Objectivists in the world and the market for them is surprisingly small (for now), at least at current prices.

-- In some cases, licensing. I worked for awhile with a men who ran the bookstore before it was finally basically donated to ARI, helping helping him to explore digitization and transcription of some of the lectures (i.e. for CD/MP3 with some ideas I had to integrate audio with written text and text searching.) He threw in the towel on the effort (and the bookstore generally) largely because of the total non-cooperation of a prominent Objectivist philosopher.

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CD, or even better, digital download, are a lot more convenient to me, so I have been wondering too when the ARI will rerelease it in a newer format.

What would be the biggest things causing roadblocks in releasing it in a newer format?

I can imagine that with a CD version, that logistics would be a factor(storing both tape and CDs in a warehouse) but with digital downloads, this is not an issue.

Would it be the cost of professionally transferring and remastering for a new medium? Perhaps a donation fund could be started just for this purpose.

Every tape I have listened to has a drastic need for quality improvement. The problem isn't with the tape format, which is capable of high fidelity, it is in the amateurish recordings themselves. CD will not help with that. I have never got over the shoddy recording efforts, bearing in mind that these were to be sold commercially.

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Every tape I have listened to has a drastic need for quality improvement. The problem isn't with the tape format, which is capable of high fidelity, it is in the amateurish recordings themselves. CD will not help with that. I have never got over the shoddy recording efforts, bearing in mind that these were to be sold commercially.

In all fairness to those who made the recordings, they were operating on a shoestring budget (and still are), so I'm grateful there are so many recordings at all, despite the quality.

That said, I do agree with Phil Oliver's assessment of the situation.

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Has anyone noticed that many ARB audio cd's get an "error" when you insert them into a car cd player? For example, I purchased Harry Binswanger's Free Will recently and some of the CD's in the package work, some give an error. The same with the audio CD's in the foreign policy package, and an Andrew Bernstein lecture I have. Some work, some don't. On a computer CD-rom drive, they all work fine.

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Has anyone noticed that many ARB audio cd's get an "error" when you insert them into a car cd player? For example, I purchased Harry Binswanger's Free Will recently and some of the CD's in the package work, some give an error. The same with the audio CD's in the foreign policy package, and an Andrew Bernstein lecture I have. Some work, some don't. On a computer CD-rom drive, they all work fine.

Your car's CD player might be somewhat dirty inside or otherwise wearing out. It could also depend on the media they're using (mass produced vs. CD-R (then the quality of CD-R)). Or it could be a combination of those two (an old player will have a harder time reading low quality media, or CD-R vs. mass produced.) Neither CD nor CD-ROM players last forever, they're highly mechanical and also exposed to the external environment's dust/dirt to some degree.

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It looks like it is a combination of the two. My car plays all of my music CD's fine, which are regular CD-ROMs with a case and are not CD-R's. The Ayn Rand Bookstore CD's look like CD-R's and occasionally give a playng error. In any case, I will buy a cleaner. Thanks Phil.

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Every tape I have listened to has a drastic need for quality improvement. The problem isn't with the tape format, which is capable of high fidelity, it is in the amateurish recordings themselves. CD will not help with that. I have never got over the shoddy recording efforts, bearing in mind that these were to be sold commercially.

In all fairness to those who made the recordings, they were operating on a shoestring budget (and still are), so I'm grateful there are so many recordings at all, despite the quality.

That said, I do agree with Phil Oliver's assessment of the situation.

It also seemed that the copying process from the master was poor. It sounded like a high speed copy machine had been used, which affects the sound quality through inaccurate tape speed reproduction. I remember one tape that was so bad it was unlistenable. (They of course replaced it.) If this is still the case, distribution on CDs would help because at least the digital copying is accurate. Of course it is also not difficult to make a good quality tape copy.

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