to Copy cassettes to your computer! Below are
instructions provided By Joe
First you must have the following hardware:
1. cassette deck (no reason to leave out the obvious)
2. sound card on your computer
3. a stereo cable appropriately outfitted to run from one to the
In my case, that means about three feet, with a 1/8" jack at
one end (to plug into the sound card, at the back of the computer)
and a 1/4" jack on the other, to go in the headphone jack on
the cassette deck [under $10 at Radio Shack].
You can also run the signal out of the usual jacks in the back of
the cassette deck, [RCA pin jacks] just like regular hookup to a
receiver, which looks a little nicer but makes no difference in
4. A CD burner in your computer, plus the software to run it
(almost always included with the burner itself). Easy CD Creator is
a popular CD-creating program; my burner came with Rome. It doesn't
matter which one you use.
Now comes the online part: the world of shareware. Perhaps you
know that 'shareware' means programs for sale online that are
available to try for free; if you find that it meets your needs, the
creator asks that you send in money for 'registration'.
Here they are:
is the home of Cool Edit, the most popular shareware for recording
is another popular editing/recording program.
Since both are available as free trial versions, try both and see
which you prefer. Cool Edit is the one most often mentioned by name
(SoundForge is another), but Goldwave is what I have used for the
past 8 months. All such programs allow you to record and alter
sound: correct for errors of pitch, volume, and balance; delete or
add empty space, connect broken halves
and that's without getting into the effects: equalization (graphic
and parametric), flange, echo, plus more.
Also, you might try these two programs -- they aren't large and
they come in handy:
is for cutting larger tracks [tape side] into smaller tracks [songs]
-- essential to conversion from tape or LP; otherwise each tape side
would be one long track [unless you record each song individually].
Burning software usually has some ability to do this as well, but CD
Wave does it easier, better, and faster.
is for another function -- ripping tracks from CDs. While you CAN
simply record tracks from CDs by playing a CD player into the
computer (just like playing a cassette deck into the computer), this
eliminates any analog steps: strictly digital-to-digital, and
consequently much faster; volume is already set; and it preserves
all the index points
[track splits]. This is a particularly useful program if you want to
resequence a CD -- just rip the tracks, reorganize as desired, and
burn to a new disc.
Allright then: now you are ready to try your first conversion!
1. Run the cable from the cassette deck to the soundcard.
2. Somewhere in your computer is a program that controls inputs on
your soundcard; you'll have to set it to accept signals through
whatever input you're plugging into.
3. Play a cassette, and adjust the incoming level so as to accept it
as loudly as possible without distorting, just as if you were
4. Open your recording program (Coole Edit, Sound Forge, Gold Wave),
and create a new file (click 'new') of the necessary duration --
that's right; you have to tell the software how long a song you
intend to record.
Click 'record' to start, 'stop' to stop, 'save' to save.
*A tip: always go a little high, because you can just delete the
unused time -- but not too high; the more time, the longer it takes
to reserve the necessary disc space. I record 90-minute tapes at
47:40 a side, just to be sure. Nothing so aggravating as having the
recoding space run out five seconds before the song does, and have
to start over again.
After that, you handle and edit the music files just like any
drag-and-drop as you like. Use CDWave to split the tape sides into
songs.There's more, but this should keep you busy for a few weeks