Cassette to iPod
May 16, 2008 7:19 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to transfer several hours of audio from old cassette tapes to CD for my mom and to iPod for me. Of course if I can get them to CD I can take it from there.

I'm sure this can be done, because I called a PC repair shop and was told that while they didn't do it, it was 'easy' and to 'just get a so-and-so cable from Radio Shack and do something-or-other'. But I didn't feel comfortable asking them to explain (guy seemed rushed) and Radio Shack seemed clueless.
So, to transfer audio from a cassette tape, played on a normal cassette player, to compact disc, on computer
I would just buy the recordings as disks, but they aren't produced because of a lack of demand.
posted by dawson to Technology (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Mac, Windows, or Linux?
posted by advicepig at 7:25 PM on May 16, 2008

Response by poster: sorry, Windows.
posted by dawson at 7:26 PM on May 16, 2008

Best answer: There are services that do this better than you will probably ever be able to, for not much money. In my opinion, if you do this yourself, the results are free/cheap only if your time is worthless.
posted by intermod at 7:47 PM on May 16, 2008

Best answer: You can use Audacity, which is an open-source recorder and exporter. You'll need to be able to have a cassette player with a line-out, and your PC has to have a line-in. A simple Radio Shack male-to-male cable should be what you need.
posted by chengjih at 7:47 PM on May 16, 2008

Best answer: For Windows, use Audacity.

Here's a step by step process from Lifehacker
posted by advicepig at 7:50 PM on May 16, 2008

Best answer: If you have a desktop with a free slot, this is an option. It's a bit pricey though ($109). If you have a little more to spend, this works with a desktop/laptop via usb and transfers cassette audio to itunes mp3 with a few clicks.

You could also just hook up a regular old walkman (get one on ebay if you don't have one), and hook up the audio output to a microphone input on your PC and just use a recording program (sorry I don't have suggestions for one).
posted by special-k at 7:50 PM on May 16, 2008

Best answer: Tutorial at Help2Go.
posted by exphysicist345 at 7:51 PM on May 16, 2008

Response by poster: wow thanks! perhaps it defeats the purpose to mark every answer as best answer but in this case they really are. I think I'll try the getting someone else to do it route, but if that isn't feasible, or I decide to do lots of it, there is plenty of helpful info here to get started.
posted by dawson at 7:58 PM on May 16, 2008

Best answer: DBPoweramp auxiliary input does this, and you can configure it to stop recording when it hears silence. However, the latest version didn't have it, you would want version 11.

The easier way is to use Audacity as described above. Make sure you have a decent tape deck, check and re-check your levels because clipping is awful.

Also, mp3 direct cut lets you work directly with mp3 files. I find it faster than Audacity for chopping up a long track into individual tracks.
posted by tomble at 8:03 PM on May 16, 2008

Best answer: If you can get hold of a suitable mp3 player, then the ones with audio-in do direct to mp3 (or wav if you prefer) encoding. We've recorded several children's story tapes to mp3 in this way on an iRiver H320, using an audio editor to cut the mp3s into pieces and tag them afterwards.

It's a bit less hassle than hooking a tape player up to your computer, since you can take the mp3 player to the tape player. Of course, if you're using a laptop this isn't such an issue.
posted by pharm at 5:25 AM on May 17, 2008

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