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How to Transfer Computer Music to a Cassette Tape Player

Many people seek to preserve their old analogue media by converting songs into a digital format. But others might want to go back one step and transfer digital files to vintage equipment such as cassette tapes. With a few inexpensive items and a couple of clicks of a button, you can transfer your music to a cassette.

Plug the 1/8 inch end of your audio cable into the audio line out on your computer.

Make sure your cassette player has a line-in audio jack and record button. If it does not, you cannot record your music onto a cassette and will need to find another unit. If the cassette player has an 1/8-inch audio input, you will need an 1/8 inch to 1/8 inch audio cable.

Connect the RCA plugs into the line-in of your cassette player.

Load your computer music files into your favourite audio player on your computer. Any standard audio player will work when recording your music.

Place a blank audio cassette into the cassette player.

Hit record and then pause on the tape deck so that it is ready to go. Audio cassettes have a few seconds of blank space at the beginning, so you may want to wait a moment before pausing the tape. Also, some units may require you to hit record and play at the same time to record.

Hit the pause button again so that the cassette tape is rolling.

Press play on your computer. Your computer music is now being recorded to the cassette tape.

When your music is done recording press stop on the cassette deck, or pause if you want to choose another file to record.

Tip

  1. Consult your computer manual if you cannot find the lines out. In rare cases, some laptops will not have an audio out. In this case you may need to buy a USB device that gives you an audio out. Conversely, your computer may have more than one option for a line out such as an RCA or even a 1/4 inch jack if you have a high-end sound card. If this is the case the choice is yours, though the 1/8 inch jack will suffice.
  2. Pay attention to how long one side of the audio cassette is so that you don't run out of room when recording.
  3. Many companies also make USB cassette decks, which may help the audio quality of the recording. However, this will also drive up the total cost of transferring your music.

Warning

Watch the audio levels on both the cassette player and computer. If the volume is too high on either one your recordings may be distorted. If it is too low you might not be able to hear the audio. Play with your set-up to find out an optimal level for recording.

Things You'll Need

  • Cassette deck
  • 1/8 inch (3.5mm) to RCA audio cable
  • Blank cassette
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About the Author

Freelancing since 2004, Frank Bryan has written for print, online and on-air media. As an educator he has worked with special needs populations and in various healing modalities. Bryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He also holds a teaching certificate from the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco.