How Put an Audio Cassette’s Recording on a Computer
Audio cassettes are old news, but what if you had something recorded on that old audio cassette that you hold very dear? Maybe the cassette was given to you as a present or it has never been released in a digital format.
Either way, its content is valuable to you and you would like to keep it and listen to it whenever you feel like it.
Luckily for you, there is a solution that allows you to transfer the audio from your cassette to your computer.
Transfer an Audio Cassette Tape to Your Computer
The following steps will show you how to get the audio from your cassette to your computer.
1. Prepare the Equipment
The best way to transfer audio from a cassette to a computer is to record and save it on your computer. To record the audio from your cassette, you first need to connect your cassette player to your computer’s microphone port.
By connecting your cassette player to your computer, you will eliminate external sounds and background noise, thus ensuring you get a high-quality recording with clean audio.
Depending on your cassette deck, you will need some of this equipment:
- 5mm standard cable (Stereo RCA) – 3.5mm headphone jacks are common in most cassette decks.
- RCA-to-3.5mm cable – If your cassette player *has* unbalanced red and white ports, you will need to get the RCA-to-3.5mm cable.
- Adapter – Some high-end decks may require the use of adapters that fit both your cassette deck’s output and your computer’s regular 3.5mm jack.
2. Connect Your Cassette Deck to Your Computer
Use one of the cables from Step 1 to connect your cassette deck to your computer.
Check if the RCA jacks on your cassette deck say “Audio Out” (on some cassette decks, you may find “Line Out” which is the same) and then connect the male side of the RCA cable into the female RCA connectors on the cassette deck.
After that, connect your cassette deck with your computer by plugging the other side of the RCA cable to the back of your computer.
Most computer ports are color-coded, so it won’t be difficult finding the right port. If, however, your cables don’t fit into the ports, try using an adapter instead.
Although the adapter will solve this problem, it may lead to a loss of audio quality.
3. Record the audio from your cassette with Audacity
Audacity is a piece of software that allows you to record audio and save it on your computer. If you don’t already have Audacity installed on your computer, make sure to download and install it.
After that, it is time to record the audio. In Audacity, click Edit and then select Preferences.
If you can’t find that option, select Audio I/O from the left-hand menu. From there, you will be able to select the input source (in your case audio cassette) that you want to record from.
There is a drop-down menu labeled Device, located exactly under the Recording option.
Once you have found your device, it is time to adjust the volume. Click on the arrow pointing downwards, which you can find on the red VU recording meters. From there, you will be able to set your volume.
After that, click on Start Monitoring or Monitor Input. To begin recording, click on the Record button. What’s important here is to inspect the volume and adjust it if needed. You can do so by watching the red bars to check if the sound is going too far to the right. You will find a slider in the Mixer toolbar that you can slide to the left or right in order to adjust the volume.
Click on the Stop button once you are finished recording. To save your sound, click on File and then choose Save Project As.
After you have selected the folder where you want to save your sound, it will be saved as an Audacity project, so you’ll be able to edit it later.
To get the final version and convert the sound into MP3 format, click on File and select Export As. You can choose different formats, such as WAV, MP2, AIFF, OGG, FLAC, and MP3.
Get Rid of Your Old Audio Cassettes
The steps outlined in this article will allow you to digitize the old audio cassettes that have been collecting dust on your shelf.
If you don’t want to bother looking for cables and installing software, you can try the more expensive method which includes the use of a USB Cassette Player. The player, which you can buy online, will arrive with its own software, and you will only need to plug the device into your computer.
Everything else is pretty straightforward, so if you don’t mind spending some money, this should work for you.