Frequently Asked Questions/Info

Q:What is your ordering process?
A: The best way to proceed is to click the "Order form" button located just above the large "Customer Comment" section on the "Cassette to CD" page. Simply fill out and complete this form by typing into all the blank spaces. Next, select any options you would like such as Track Separations, Jewel Case Upgrade, duplicate copies etc. etc. (you can also add any special instructions on this form).
Next, once the form is completed , print it out and include this form with your tapes when sending in your order.

You are welcome to send payment ahead of time (personal check, money order etc.) if you know your exact total. If you are unsure of your total or would simply prefer, you may also call us at anytime with your payment information after receiving our email confirmation that your order has arrived at our studio. We gladly accept MC/VISA/Discover/AMEX and debit cards, (you are also able to include this information on your order form).

Next, package your order (cassettes and order form) in a box or padded envelope and send them to our studio address listed below:

MediaLocks
16510 NE 82nd St.
Vancouver, WA 98682

We will send you an email confirmation when your order arrives, and another email confirmation (with tracking number) when your order is sent back to you.

Q:How long does it take to get my order back?
A: Our normal turn-around time is 3-7 business days after receiving your order. If you need it back faster, please let us know of any deadline you may have and we will expedite your order at no extra charge. For even quicker service, there are always various shipping options such as Priority Mail, Express Overnight Service etc.

Q:How is my tape converted to CD?
A: Every cassette tape we convert to CD receives careful individual attention with the goal of improving the sound quality whenever possible. Each tape is played just one time, and is digitized into our system (converted from analog to digital). There is a never a situation where we simply put a tape into one side, and out comes a CD on the other. With each tape, we start by fast forwarding and rewinding it to ensure it flows freely. Next we will play a portion of each tape somewhere in the middle and make various audio adjustments. All audio tapes are ran through graphic equalizers which are then individually adjusted to enhance the sound of your individual tape. We also at this time adjust input and volume levels. Once these adjustments are made and set, we then rewind your tape and start recording from the beginning. We will always record both sides (unless otherwise instructed) to make sure no audio is left out.

From this point after the entire tape has been recorded, we eliminate/cutout any large "blank spaces"that are very common at the beginnings, ends and as tapes switch sides. Next we amplify the audio if your tape has been recorded at too low of a volume.

Also included in our process is noise filtration. Each tape is analyzed to determine if certain "hiss filters" should be applied. Tape hiss unfortunately is very common, and is embedded in the audio. As filtration is applied, the clarity of the audio can be dinimished. For this reason we try to find a good balance with each individual cassette.

If Track Separations are ordered (most commonly with musical cassettes), we manually locate each song. We then isolate each one of these songs and create a separate individual file. Each one of these individual files will become a separate track on your new CD.

If your tape is of live music, we normally prefer NOT to add Track Separations. There are 2 reasons for this: (1) It can be very difficult to locate the individual songs, which increases the likelihood of more than one song on a single track. (2) When a track is created in live music, it places an odd 2-3 second silent space in the audio.

Each tape we process normally receives 2 free tracks. One individual tracks for each tape's side, even when Track Separations are not ordered. When Track Separations ARE ordered, the entire cassette tape is separated into many individual tracks.

Q:How many minutes can fit onto a CD?
A: Each CD can hold approximately 75 minutes. If your tape is longer in length than 75 minutes, it would require an additional CD to transfer the entire tape's audio. In this case each tape's side would be put onto it's own CD. Or if you would prefer we can fit as much audio as possible onto a single CD, then just leave off the remaining audio. Either way is fine, just let us know which you would prefer. Please note: A double CD set is priced as 2 cassettes.

If several tapes are of extended length and of the same subject, we can also (if requested) simply run the tapes consecutively end to end and fill up CDs as we go. This is a great idea if you have several tapes that are of the same subject, and you don't mind if the tapes are spread over several CDs.

As a part of our transfer service, we do eliminate/cut out large "silent gaps" (tape lead-in and lead-out times, and also the center of the tape as it switches sides). These edits can often allow an extended length tape to fit onto a single CD, but not always. If you are not sure of the length, please include your choice on our order form when sending in your order (1 or 2 CDs) just in case your tape's audio is longer than the 75 minutes.

Q:Can I make my own copies of the CDs Medialocks creates?
A: Yes, your new CDs belong to you, we have no copy-protection built into them. They are very flexible and can easily be downloaded into your computer for IPOD use or making additional copies.
Q:Will I get my tapes back?
A: Yes, your tapes will always be returned to you just as we received them.
Q:Do you keep a back-up of my tapes?
A:Yes, we keep a back-up file of your tapes in our system for about 2-3 weeks after we send them back out to you. If something were to happen to them during shipping, we could easily reproduce the same CDs. We have not had to implement this system as of yet, but it is in place just in case.
Q:My Cassette tape is broken, can you repair it for me?
A:Yes, we can repair 99% of the tapes that are broken. The charge is $6.00 for a simple splice repair and $2.00 additional if a replacement cartridge is needed. If more extensive repairs are required, we will let you know the estimated cost before proceeding. Please note: If any part of the tape itself is damaged (crinkled, twisted etc.), that portion would need to be removed.
Q:Can you list my song titles on the CD or case?
A:Yes, all song titles are listed on the back of a jewel case, when a "Jewel Case Upgrade" is ordered. We do not list song titles on the CD itself.
Q:My cassette tapes are home-made, can you transfer these?
A:Yes we can transfer any type of cassette tape you have made yourself.

Q:Can you add "Track Separations" to my home-made tapes?
A:Yes, if Track Separations are ordered (most commonly with musical cassettes), we will manually locate each song. Next, we will isolate those songs and create a track for each one on your new CD.

If the songs on your home-made tape run completely together without any space between the songs, it is almost impossible to find where one song ends and the next begins. We can do our best, but most likely you will have more than one song per individual track.

If your cassette tape is of live music, we prefer NOT to add Track Separations. It can be difficult to locate the individual tracks, and a new track will always add a 2-3 second "silent spot"... this disrupts the natural flow of the audio.

Q:Can you list the song titles from my home-made tapes?
A:Yes we can, you will need to indicate on your order form you woud like our "Jewel Case Upgrade". With this upgrade we list the individual tracks on the back of the CD case (not the CD itself). Also please note: A very legible song list must be included with your order.
Q:Can you combine several short tapes onto a single CD?
A:Yes we can. We can combine as many tapes as you would like onto a single CD as long as the combined audio does not exceed 80 minutes. However, the price per tape does not change, as each cassette tape is individually processed. If you would like your cassettes combined to fewer CDs, we would be more than happy to do this for you as a convenience. Please indicate this preference in the "Special Instruction" portion of our order page when sending in your cassettes.
Q:Do you accept orders from Canada and other countries?
A:Yes, everything is exactly the same for our "Out of the USA" customers. The only difference will be the cost of shipping back to you. Shipping costs are determined by the size of your order and your location, we can provide you a more exact quote once we receive your order. Shipping costs typically vary between $16 - $24 for our Canadian customers. Also, payment does need to be made in US funds via MC/VISA/Discover/AMEX/Debit. Unfortunately, our bank does not accept personal checks or money orders drawn on banks outside the US.
Q:What type of files are the CDs I receive?
A:The CDs we create are very flexible audio files. If you load them into your computer they will say .cda which simply stands for CD Audio.
Q:Can I pick and choose individual songs from a cassette to be put onto CD?
A:Generally no, however we do on occasion provide this service. You must include very clear instructions with your cassettes regarding song locations and a specific timeline (minutes, seconds). Please note: A custom editing charge of $28.00 per hour does apply to this service.
Q:Do you supply any music or songs that I can purchase?
A:No, MediaLocks does not sell any songs or music. We provide a transfer service only of songs you already own.
Q:Do you transfer micro/mini cassette tapes to CD?
A:Yes, all pricing and processes are exactly the same as a standard size cassette tape.
Q:Can you transfer CD to cassette (reverse process)?
A:Yes we can. The cost is $8.00 per CD to cassette up to 80 minutes.

Q:I am nervous about sending my cassette tapes, how can I know they will be safe?
A:We have GREAT news in this area!!! We have never even once had an order not reach us that has been sent. Nor have we ever even sent out an order that did not reach its destination. We also send every order out with a tracking number, as well as keep a digital back-up of your recordings for about 2-3 weeks from the time your package leaves. If something were to happen to it, we could easily make identical CDs and send them out again.

The best way to send/protect your cassettes is to completely enclose them in a box. For further assurance, you can always purchase some type of tracking number through the regular US Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS. We will then email you when your order arrives.