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How to Connect a Portable Tape Recorder to Your Computer

Updated April 17, 2017

You might want to record audio stored on cassettes into your computer, or record audio from a computer onto a cassette. Or perhaps you just want to listen to audio cassettes through your computer. The problem is that computers are not equipped to deal with analogue cassette tapes. Therefore, to listen to or record sound from cassette to a computer (or vice versa) you have to first connect a tape recorder to your computer. Connecting a portable tape recorder to your computer can be done in a few simple steps.

Plug one end of the stereo cable into the portable tape recorder's headphone jack.

Connect the other end of the stereo cable to the Line In jack on the computer. If you are using a PC desktop computer, the Line In jack is the small, round blue coloured jack located on the rear panel of the computer.

Right-click the speaker icon located in the notification area of the task bar. Select "Playback devices." Double-click the speakers in the Volume Mixer box. Go to the "Levels" tab. Make sure the "Line In" volume level is raised.

Right-click the speaker icon. Select "Recording devices." Right-click "Line In." Go to the "Levels" tab. Make sure the "Line In" volume level is raised.

Insert an audio cassette into the tape recorder. Press "Play" on the tape recorder. You should be able to hear the audio playing from the tape recorder through computer if everything is connected properly.

Plug the stereo plug end of the stereo Y cable into the computer's headphone jack.

Insert the white RCA plug on the other end of the stereo Y cable into the portable tape recorder's white RCA jack. Insert the red RCA plug into the portable tape recorder's red RCA jack.

Click the speaker icon located in the notification area of the Windows task bar. Make sure the speaker's volume slider is raised.

Insert an audio cassette tape into the tape recorder. Press "Record" plus "Play" to play the tape recorder in record standby mode. Begin playing audio from the computer. You should be able to the hear sound coming from the computer playing through the tape recorder if everything is connected properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows 7
  • 3.5mm stereo cable
  • 3.5mm stereo to Y RCA cable
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About the Author

Maya Austen began freelance writing in 2009. She has written for many online publications on a wide variety of topics ranging from physical fitness to amateur astronomy. She's also an author and e-book publisher. Austen has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the New England Institute of Art and currently lives in Boston, Mass.