JAPAN: iPod popularity leads to healthy sales of analogue-to-digital copiers

In Japan, the country that gave us the Walkman, the iPod is proving popular with middle-aged and senior buyers. And that's leading to strong demand for devices able to convert analogue music formats, such as cassettes and CDs, to digital for pocket storage.

One company reports having shipped 3000 USB-equipped tape decks in just two months. Novac's retro-styled Cassette to Digital unit, which sells for around £50, not only digitises music, but detects silences and makes track breaks automatically.

All the user needs do is insert the cassette, hit 'play' and the Novac unit does the rest.

And USB turntables have been doing well, too: Denon DP-2000USB, which sells for just over £200, has a USB slot to transfer music direct to a memory device without a computer, while Sony's PC-attachable PS-LX300USB (below) is also proving popular.

And teens and twentysomethings, the traditional fans of all things 'i' and Poddy?

Well, in Japan they're certainly buying the Apple players, but they're as likely to be streaming or surfing using their mobile phones.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.