The humble cassette player gets a modern-day makeover, sort of

There were a lot of things to hate about the humble cassette tape. The sound quality, the clunkiness, the endless winding back and forth looking for the right track, the limited play time, and the persistent, niggling fear of the tape unspooling inside the device … to name but a few.

Still, if you relish a bit of retro, or are simply curious to learn more about the first-world struggles of the older generation, then this contraption out of Hong Kong may be just the ticket.

Ninm Lab, which was also responsible for this offbeat camera gadget, describes its latest offering as “the world’s first Bluetooth portable cassette player.” Impressively, it has managed to reach its $13,000 funding goal on Kickstarter in about the same time that it often took to locate a music track on an audio cassette — 24 hours.

The product is called It’s OK, though whether it really is OK depends much on your disposition and how you tend to approach sales pitches linked to items that went out of fashion with big hair, massively padded shoulders, and underwear as outerwear.

All right, it has Bluetooth 5.0 built in, so you won’t be messing about with a mass of wires. But because it uses audio cassettes, it’s almost certain that at some point you will be messing with a mass of thin brown tape as it unspools inside the cassette player during a particularly energetic jog or bike ride. The good news is that the device has a transparent case so you’ll be able to watch the tape emerge from its plastic housing in real time.

In fact, It’s OK comes with a tagline as mangled as some of those old tapes: “Reappearance of the romance of the 80s’ portable cassette in more perfection.” The device will sell in three colors — cloud white, sakura pink, and evening blue — and includes a record button, too, so you can log all of your thoughts regarding the quality of your decision-making when it comes to backing retro-inspired devices on crowdfunding sites.

If you do decide to fund It’s OK and then realize you don’t have any cassettes to play on it, our advice is to hit eBay. A quick search pulled up a compilation of festive songs for $2.50, a Harold Faltermeyer effort for $6, and a limited-edition Sheena Easton collection for $15.

The It’s OK portable cassette player costs $63, with shipping planned for December 2019. As always, though, be sure to exercise caution when coughing up cash for a crowdfunded project.

For more ideas on what to back on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, check out Digital Trends’ guide to some of the best campaigns running right now.


Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus brings a performance boost to flagship phones

Qualcomm is giving a modest performance boost to the Snapdragon 855. The company has taken the wraps off of the new Snapdragon 855 Plus, which offers a few new features over the original Snapdragon 855.

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Drone lens, laser synth, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Get the most out of your Chromecast with these handy tips

Google's Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra are the ultimate budget-friendly streaming devices for cord cutters. We've put together a list of our favorite tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Chromecast.
Home Theater

Diagnose and fix some common Apple AirPods problems with our handy guide

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've hand-picked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.

The best Apple iPhone Prime Day deals, from the XS Max to the iPhone 8

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here, and there are a number of great iPhone deals available during the event. You can even get a deal on Apple's latest and greatest big-screen phone, the iPhone XS Max.

The best Motorola smartphone deals for Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here, and there are some awesome deals on smartphones, especially when it comes to Motorola's range of devices. For Prime Day 2019, Motorola has discounted phones like the Moto Z3 Play, Moto G7, and more.

The Google Pixel 3 XL is $250 off for Prime Day

The Google Pixel 3 XL is one of the best phones of the last year, thanks to the fact that it has an amazing camera and super smart artificial intelligence features. For Amazon Prime Day 2019, the device has been discounted by around a hefty…

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 gets $300 shaved off just for Amazon Prime Day

The Samsung Galaxy S10 usually lists for $900 but in the spirit of Prime Day, Amazon brings the price down by a whopping 33%. That's right, you can get one of the best smartphones in the market today for only $600.

Here are the best Samsung Galaxy smartphone Prime Day deals

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is finally here, bringing with it some of the best smartphone deals you're likely to see all year. In particular, there are some amazing deals on Samsung Galaxy phones, including the much-loved Samsung Galaxy S10.

Here are the best Amazon Prime Day smartphone accessory deals

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here, and with it comes a ton of great deals on smartphones and smartphone accessories. No matter what you're looking for, here are the best Prime Day smartphone accessory deals we could find.

Boost Mobile takes on Amazon with Apple iPhone deals during Prime Day 2019

Boost Mobile's two-day sale has discounts on both Android and Apple smartphones, and we rounded up the best iPhone deals right here. You'll have to act fast, though, as this online sales event lasts for Monday and Tuesday only.

The Asus ROG Phone may launch as the most powerful phone in the world

Asus will launch the ROG Phone 2 (that stands for Republic of Gamers, for those new to the company's gaming brand) on July 23, and rumors of its specification and more have been leaking for a while.