How to transfer cassette tape to computer

Written by chris yokum
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Audio cassettes were extremely popular in the past. You could easily create wonderful playlists that expressed your moods and feelings. Now that technology has evolved further, audio cassettes are virtually extinct. However, there are numerous songs on them that we would love to convert to MP3 format. With a few tips, you can learn how to transfer a cassette tape to your computer.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stereo receiver
  • Cassette player
  • Y stereo adaptor
  • Regular stereo cable with RCA connectors
  • Computer with a sound card

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  1. 1

    Collect every cassette tape you have into one easy-to-reach pile. Throw away any that are degraded. You won't want to try and convert a cassette tape that may produce horrible sound quality. Considering that audio will be transferred from the cassette tape to your computer, the sound quality will most likely not be superb.

  2. 2

    Fast-forward or rewind to the specific songs you want to transfer to your computer. This may take an entire weekend if you have a large amount of cassettes to convert.

  3. 3

    Attach the white and red RCA plugs from your stereo receiver to the corresponding input area. It should be colour-coded for an easier connection process. If you do not have a stereo receiver, then use a compatible cassette player.

  4. 4

    Connect your computer's sound card to the other end of the “line in” cable. This plug looks just like an iPod plug. There are plenty of adaptors available online or at your local electronics store that will let you use your computer's USB port instead. Whichever method you choose will give you successful results.

  5. 5

    Turn on the stereo receiver or cassette player along with your computer. Doing this will allow your computer to easily identify that there is a new device connected to it. It also prevents you from going through the complicated process of getting your computer to access this new attached device.

  6. 6

    Launch your current sound recording software. Most users have access to Microsoft's built-in Sound Recorder application. However, it will provide you with small snippets only, unless you are using Microsoft Vista. If you don't have a sound recording application, then search the Internet for free or paid versions.

  7. 7

    Press the "Record" button in your current sound recording software and then hit the "Play" button on your cassette recorder or stereo receiver. This will help you avoid missing the very beginning of a song. If you press the buttons in the opposite order, you may sometimes mistakenly leave out the beginning stages of your chosen song.

  8. 8

    Press the “Stop” button when your song has completed, and save the audio file to your computer. Make sure that you have specific folders so that your newly converted audio files will remain organised.

  9. 9

    Save space on your computer by editing some of the silent periods or mistaken recordings. You can find plenty of free editing software programs via the Internet. After doing your editing, you can easily burn these audio tracks to a CD for portable listening.

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