Device to record & playback music ?

Is there a modern equivalent of the tape deck that I can connect to my pre-amp through the rape Rec/Play RCA jacks that will work?
I would prefer a stand alone device with an easy user interface.
Any suggestions?
If what you want is the closest possible equivalent of a tape deck in terms of user interface and functionality it would probably be a MiniDisc player, like this Sony.

The technology never really caught on outside certain specialized areas, partly because Sony refused to allow the digital files to be downloaded directly. But, it works exactly like a cassette deck except that you're recording to an optical disc, the quality is higher and you have the option of recording from a digital signal as well as analog.
There is another device called a personal computer you can also use to perform this task. All you need to do is add the appropriate card.

It is said that one can actually transform LPs to computer files in this way.
Thanks Sfar-
Do you think a MD would sound better than a R2R ?
You might consider one of the stand-alone Tascam CD recorders (mine is a CD-RW700 but there are later models), which record on any CDR or CD-RW and produce quality discs indistinguishable from the original, IMHO. I also have an Otari MX-5050BII2 reel-to-reel deck too that produces outstanding recordings. The MD format (tiny discs, little space to write anything about the performance) has never appealed to me. Good luck, Dave
Korg MR-1, Korg MR-1000, Alesis Masterlink.

I suggested the MD primarily because I thought it was probably closest in functionality and interface to a tape deck, at least to a cassette deck. It's capable of making a perfect digital copy so the sound of it will be as good as the digital original played back through the same system.

A reel to reel deck would be a great way to preserve the analog character if you're recording from a turntable and that sound is important to you. It would be less convenient but if leaving digital out of the equation is what you want, it's a good way to go.

I haven't used the Tascam, Korg or Alesis units recommended by Ajahu and Dopogue but I'm sure they have their own advantages. CDR and CDR-W blank media are going to be easier to find and cheaper than minidiscs.
DAT - Digital Audio Tapes, see panasonic (professional) and Tascam, along with others.
Follow Dopogue's suggestion. The only thing I will add is if you want higher resolution than Red Book CD, go for Tascam's DV-RA1000 high res. digital recorder. I will plug into your system just like a cassette deck or CD recorder would. As for CD recorders, there were a number of them offered to the consumer market. If you go that route, stick with the CD recorders used in the pro market. Besides Tascam, there is HHB (made by Pioneer), and the well made Sony units CDRW33 and CDRW66.

best of luck

What;s the difference in all the Tascam models? What brand and model is the best? The best for the money? And why. Many thanks,
If you are not concerned with taking the music with you on portable cassette or CD, and you want to "recycle" a piece of gear that probably hasn't seen much use since the advent of DVD and Tivo, you may want to consider dusting off your trusty HiFi VHS deck.. They don't call-em HiFi for nothing! It will record near-CD quality stereo audio that will trounce the cassette format for signal/noise and you get a minimum of 2 hours of music per tape. Many decks even have VU meters so you can set your own recording levels. You could record in EP mode and get 6 hours on a standard T-120 tape which would still sound very good for mix tapes/background music. The tape counter would make it easy to index and find your songs. Just set the VCR's input to "Line" and you're good to go.

I can't help you with that blinking "12:00" though.. :)

"Near CD quality"? The Alesis Masterlink IS CD quality; you also have the ability to record 24 bit (playback only in Masterlink) but the convenience of burining bit for bit compilations and playing back in your CD rig (or car) is a big plus. DAT is very good, but I don't have a DAT player in my car. You can get a Masterlink for $800. I love mine and the CD's I have recorded actually sound better than the source CD. I use the Mobile Fidelity Gold CD's and have had no drop outs and excellent, excellent sound.
Any other players?
You might want to look into sound devices offerings - industry standard for recording digital sound - they are also portable.