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[school-discuss] Re: listening centers and cassette tapes

Here is a solution. $50 plus the cable from the sound card of the computer. We can reuse the existing head phones. I checked and they have 1/4 inch phone plugs. Then come up with a interface that shows a menu of the files on the computer. Use MP3 tags to auto generate the list of selections. Any comments?

ART Head Amp 4-Output Stereo Headphone Amplifier


Product Description
Most home recordings involve from 1 to 4 people, any or all of whom are going to need headphone monitoring. The monitor amp would be connected to the tape deck’s headphone output or a mixer output so that the performers can hear themselves and each other. Of course the same application can apply to band rehearsals and even home entertainment. HeadAMP provides amplification and individual volume control for up to 4 headsets. It can be driven by either line-level or headphone amplifier signals (mono or stereo).

ARTcessories™ Overview
The ARTcessories line includes direct boxes, headphone amplifiers, small mixers, mic cable combiner/splitters and much more. The ARTcessories line is designed to deliver solutions for a number of audio needs – like having phantom power, having 1 or 2 more mixing channels, testing cables, headphone processing, preamplification for microphones & turntables, and many more real-world applications. ARTcessories are a “must have” for stage and studio, and will satisfy the needs of working musicians and sound engineers everywhere.
Technical Info
Signal To Noise Ratio: >90dB

IMD (SMPTE): 0.01%

Maximum Input Level: +14dBV

Maximum Output Level: 20dB per channel

Output Impedance: 51 Ohms per channel

Output Connectors: Four stereo 1/4 in. headphone outputs

Power Requirements: 12V DC (Adapter included)

Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.01%

Power: Power on LED

Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.875 x 1.5 in. (150mm x 75mm x 38mm)

Weight: 1.3 lbs. (590g)


The current implementation is a cassette player with four headphone jacks, picture books and tapes with the text of the books read aloud and voice queues to "turn the page". Usually (not always) there are four books to go along with the headphones. One side of the tape is one book (8 to 12 pages, 3 to 5 min is my guess).

A personal mp3 player would need a good interface that the operator could quickly change tracks on with four impatient kindergradeners waiting on. It would also need enough output signal to run four sets of full over-the-ear sets of headphones.

The wireless headphones are a mixed blessing. Increased weight, more maintenance, more expensive to acquire and replace.
Justin Riddiough wrote:

How about inexpensive portable cd players - convert the tape to cd :) or mp3 on CD

I thought about that, portable cd players with mp3 aren't that
expensive.. but the rewind & fast forward capabilities can be tricky.
Whenever I try to rewind or fast forward or pause & play these things, I end
up on some other track or stopping the play and having to restart. If the
audio was put onto the media as one long track, that could get frustrating.