How to Transfer a Cassette to a CD on an iMac

Written by james clark
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How to Transfer a Cassette to a CD on an iMac
Burn CDs from cassette tapes with an iMac. (cd's image by Horticulture from

An iMac equipped with a CD burner can be used to copy cassettes for recording to disc. The set up requires a simple stereo cable connection to a tape deck with a Y-adaptor that will fit the stereo recording jack on the iMac. Apple computers typically come with GarageBand for recording audio to the computer and iTunes for burning the recording to a CD. You can download free recording software from the Internet to capture the cassette recording on the iMac.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape deck
  • Stereo cable
  • Y-adaptor
  • Blank CDs

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  1. 1

    Connect the stereo cable's colour coded plugs to the matching white and red playback jacks on the tape deck, then insert the plugs on the other end into the two jacks on the Y-adaptor.

  2. 2

    Insert the Y-adaptor plug into the recording jack on the back of the iMac monitor.

  3. 3

    Click "Finder", select "Application", and then click once on the audio recorder software to start the program on the iMac. These include GarageBand or the free Audacity recorder, which is available for Internet download.

  4. 4

    Place a cassette in the tape deck and cue to the starting point, then press "Play" to test the sound level by dialling the level control knob clockwise on the tape deck. The sound should rise to the middle range on the tape deck's metering gauges, which can be LEDs or needle meters. The audio software sound level adjusts by clicking and holding the mouse button on the slider control and dragging to the desired position to set the level.

  5. 5

    Rewind the tape to the starting point and press "Play", then click the software "Record" button. Click "Stop" when finished.

  6. 6

    Save the audio recording on the iMac by clicking "File" on the recording software and choosing "Save As" to open a box for typing a name for the file. click the "Save" button to store to copied cassette recording.

  7. 7

    Repeat Steps 4-6 to record the other side of the cassette tape, if desired.

  8. 8

    Slip a recordable CD into the media slot on the right edge of the iMac, which will pull in the disc automatically.

  9. 9

    Start the iTunes software and click the "Import" button to open a folder of audio files on the iMac. Click on each desired recording and click "Import" to place the file in a Burn field. Once all files are in place, click and hold any file in the Burn field to drag it to a new position on the list.

  10. 10

    Click the round "Burn" button with black and yellow triangles to record to the CD.

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