Tech Records and cassettes into MP3's?

natalie78

Did you die?
O.G.
May 6, 2008
5,035
12
Texas
I finally retrieved my old music collection from my mom's house. I have a few hundred records and cassette tapes, but I don't know what to do with them. I would love to turn all my music into MP3 format. I found a turntable at Best Buy that I could use with my computer, but no one knows anyway to convert cassette tapes. Is it even possible?

Has anyone else ever converted records into MP3 format? Does it come out okay?
 

ShimmaPuff

Sentient IMBUSILE
Oct 12, 2006
9,752
2
Earth
The andybrain tut is the simplest and easiest to understand, I think. Here is a paste:

What you need

You'll need a cassette tape player with a headphone jack, a computer with a soundcard, the free "Audacity" software, and a 3.5mm (1/8-inch) male-male stereo audio cable. (Though 3.5mm is a standard size, your own hardware may be different.) A six-foot cable can be found for about $5.00 at your local electronics store like Radio Shack.

How to convert

1) Plug one end of the audio cable into your cassette player's headphone or "Line out" jack, and the other end into your computer soundcard's "Microphone" or "Line in" jack. To prevent possible soundcard damage, use the "Line in" jack if possible, and not the "Microphone".

2) Start Audacity, and change the input type to "Line in" or "Microphone", depending on what soundcard jack you're using. This tells Audacity to record whatever it "hears" on the soundcard input. To do this, open the Edit menu, then Preferences. You'll then see a screen that should do what you need: Use the "Device" selector to pick your input (soundcard, microphone, audio jack, etc), and change the "Channels" selector to pick from mono or stereo recording.

3) Press the record button (red circle) on Audacity, then press play on your cassette tape.

4) Press the stop button (yellow square) on Audacity when the tape is finished playing.

5) Use the "File -> Export as WAV" menu item to save your recording. The resulting WAV file can be saved on your computer, converted to MP3, or burned to a CD. Get fancy with Audacity's audio editor features: You can cut, paste and add effects easily.

You should record a ten-second clip at first, so you can play it back immediately in Audacity (green triangle button) and make sure your volume levels are right. If the recorded audio is too loud or has too much static, decrease the volume on your cassette player.

Don't stop with cassette tapes. The same technique can import, record and convert records / LPs / vinyl, 8-tracks, and other older audio formats. You may need a different cable to match your playback device, but the actual dubbing process is the same.
 
Nov 30, 2008
3,307
145
Under a Palm Tree
Wow, I didnt know that could be done either...thanks Shimmapuff. I have a large trashbag full of cassette tapes from my teens that I'm sure I would love to have some of on my iphone. I'll have to look around and see if I still have a cassette player anywhere :P
 

yen800

Member
Aug 11, 2009
25
0
I kinda found Shimmapuff method to be kinda troublesome, instead, I would really recommend the MP3 Direct Cut program, which can be directly saved into mp3, or any format you like... feel free to pm me for download link or I can actually send it to you, plus it's a freeware and it doesn't require any installation...
 

ShimmaPuff

Sentient IMBUSILE
Oct 12, 2006
9,752
2
Earth
I kinda found Shimmapuff method to be kinda troublesome, instead, I would really recommend the MP3 Direct Cut program...
I can't claim credit for it, I should have disclaimed its Old Schoolhood, though, it has been so long since I had to do any cassettes, I'm glad to know there is a Sleek and Modern Today method available! ;)
 

blah956

Member
Aug 16, 2009
6,589
5
DFW
looks like you already have help! but my BF has made his vinyls into mp3s and has programs/hardware to "mix" (he used to be a DJ) mp3s as if he is playing them on vinyl.

if that is something you are interested, i can ask him.