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Subject: Buying Pianocorder Tapes

Roger Dalziel
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Date Posted: 11:18:25 03/01/06 Wed

There are reasons why you do not want to buy original Pianocorder tapes.
1) They are aging. Often the binder which adheres the oxide to the mylar backing fails and causes the tapes to become unplayable in very short order.
2) The little felt pressure pad inside the cassette comes loose and prevents proper contact between the tape and the playback head.
3) If the tapes have been stored horizontally, gravity will, over time, cause the tape to bind inside the cassette. Often the only solution is to replace the cassette housing and physically place the tape in a new "case."
4) The 300+ tapes in the library are often recorded at a tempo that is too rapid, even if the tempo control is set to minimum.
5) No new tapes are being produced.
6) The player mechanism itself is prone to failure. There is a switch operated by the Record pushbutton that oxidizes over time and will prevent playback. There is a plastic spring post inside that often breaks, rendering the player unusable.

A very cost effective alternative is to use Mark Fontana's plugin for the WinAmp MP3 player. You can store an unlimited number of songs on a computer and either play them in real time or create new tapes on a cassette recorder. You will find thousands of piano sequences on the Internet to download. Search Google for "piano midi" and you'll find them.

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