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This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

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If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

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A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

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SPECIAL DASHCAM CARDS

The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for dashcams...here's some.

 

 

VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

            

 
« Drift Stealth 2 - Smaller is better | Main | S10 budget 1080p Helmet Camera Review »
Saturday
May162015

The Teac O'Cass is the Worst Idea Ever and it's brilliant

How do you like the link-bait headline? After seeing the Gizmodo review of the Tefifon go viral, it seems like it's all about having a catchy headline. I'm joking... but it did make me think how we are so quick to retrospectively judge the work of others whilst sitting at our keyboards eating cheesy puffs.

The Gizmodo headline referred to the Tefifon as "Germany's Doomed 1950s music player". I suppose in that respect a 1980s video recorder was ultimately just as 'doomed'. The Tefifon was manufactured from the 1940s to the 1960s and just because it didn't ultimately take over the world, doesn't mean it was a failure in its day, it just died off, just like everything else eventually will. I'm sure Sony even made a good profit on the Mini Disc....just perhaps not as much as they would have liked.

Now with those things in mind... today I'm looking at a Teac Open Cassette, an idea that seems looks so idiotic you wonder if it was made to win a drunken bet. Every article about the O'Casse I've read states that Teac believed it would work out cheaper for people to replace the reel of tape rather than  buying a whole new cassette every time. I call poppycock on this. I feel like that's revisionist history.

My theory is that Teac brought this out because they hoped people would think it was cool. Japanese culture has a strong fondness for things that are miniaturised and kawaii and I think this was intended to appeal to those people.

It seems wacky ideas are being stifled nowadays, people always want to know the reason for something existing - it must serve a purpose or fill a specific need. However not everything is supposed to replace things that went before, and nobody ever needed a Lava Lamp or a Big Mouth Billy Bass.

The Open Reel Cassette is still a ludicrous idea, something that has no reason to exist, and yet it does....and that's what makes it brilliant. 

With that out of the way, ladies and gentlemen I present to you the Teac O'Casse.

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Reader Comments (14)

Hi Mat, novel idea....no idea why it didnt catch on lol.

Daz

May 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Ha ha, what a bonkers idea. I agree that it looks nicer than the standard cassette, but I can't imagine trying to change one as I'm driving along in the car!

As always though Mat, an excellent review.

May 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterQuaser

"Only in Japan" .... says it all actually, I have been there several times and stuff like this (elaborate and nifty gadgets sometiems without any real use) are "normal" in Japan... ;) highly recommended! :)
Thanks for the review!

May 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMatte

It reminds me of the ridiculous freeze dried happy kitchen cooking culture they have in Japan. Like 1" burgers and matchstick fries... So bonkers, I have to keep watching... http://youtu.be/g8gJOCwBuFc

May 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterWizzardchimp

Funny - and that in turn reminds me of the Tiny Hamster Eating.... series of videos https://youtu.be/JOCtdw9FG-s

May 18, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Amazing indeed, thanks for another great review!

May 19, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterwebvan

Actually, TEAC built on this idea with cassettes that had the spools built-in. Were much more interesting to look at than normal cassettes. Searching Google for "TEAC cassette" will bring up many images of them.

May 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercmanas

I have a few enclosed reel style cassettes and you can see one in side 'B' of my tape-to-tape Walkman.

May 22, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

where to find where to buy

Thanks

May 29, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercarlfrei

I always had a good number of the blank Teac tapes that looked exactly like the O'Cass spools anyway (didn't we all?). I liked the way they resembled the large reel-to-reel tapes. I never liked "fiddling" with tapes, so I would definitely not be a fan of this contraption.
I really like your (near) Liverpool accent!

August 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAudio File

Ah yes, brings back memories. I can't think why CDs ever caught on. This was such a perfect idea. The sound quality of cassettes was so much superior too, not to mention the ease of searching or switching between tracks. :)

August 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHarvey

If the O'Casse was invented as just a way to make a cassette deck display model look cool then it served its purpose. Back in the 80's and 90's I always got the TEAC cassette deck brochure delivered to me and used to drool at the pictures of the fabulous machines - all of the photos had these tapes in them and made them look even more delicious.

October 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Brannigan

There's another important point that's been missed as to why this was a ridiculous idea. How long did a spool play for? In a conventional compact cassette, when the left hand side is full the tape occupies some of the same space in the middle as when the right hand side is full - ie there is a virtual overlap of spool space, so the spools have to be considerably smaller if real spools are used to avoid this overlap.

July 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Vagg

The Japanese have a word for this: chindōgu. (See chindogu.com for more!)

August 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterObsolete Cynthia

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