Converting Analog Music Cassettes Into Digital MP3s

If you were born during the 80s and 90’s and and recognize the value of owning albums from your favorite artists, then you must certainly have a box of old cassettes tapes that are collecting dust. Bet it has all the greatest hits of Joe Cocker, the Allman Brothers band and may be even some classic Willie Nelson!

Don’t you ever wish we could just press play and listen to the classy tunes on our iPod or blast them out loud in our home stereos or even better, play those songs again the way there were originally meant to be played. Out in the open road as we cruise in our Chevys.

Those cassettes can help us relive our favorite music memories or give us clouser as we listen to the recording of a dear one who has passed on. That voice is now forever on that one cassette tape that is kept hidden in our locker.

The time has come for us to convert analog cassette tapes to the digital format of MP3s.

Must Read: 10 Best Duplicate MP3 Songs Finder And Remover for Mac 2017

Our dear friends at Amazon, offer a variety of devices that claim to convert into MP3, any tape. They are cheap and made in China. Which means, there is no guarantee on its working and in turn damaging the tape within. Is it worth taking the risk? We leave that up to you to decide!

One easy way of achieving the transfer of Analog into Digital is with the help of the software known as ‘Audacity’. It offers to not only transfer all type of music output files into digital MP3s but even helps us by breaking down music separately into individual songs.

A Step by Step process break down has been mentioned below:

1) Hunt in the attic for your secret tape stash. Once found, ensure that the tape in question was in a cover and the damage to the reel is at its minimum. Once that is ensured, assemble 3 items that will be required for this process.

  • the tape who’s contents shall be transferred into digital.
  • A laptop / home PC with Audacity software downloaded. (you can download the software here )

Note: On the page that the link displays, there are multiple options to access. Click on Downloads and choose your preferred platform

download audacity

  • A transfer cord that was also probably kept in your attic with all those old cell chargers and VCR cords. Commonly known as the male/male cord. Shown below.

VCR cords

2) Once all 3 items are assembled, attach one end of the cord into the tape player where the headphone jack is supposed to go. Then, attach the other end into the laptop / Home PC. ( in case your PC/Laptop does not have the option to attach said cord end, then my dear friend, go online and order its replacement here

3) When UpS finally delivers your cord, attach it as mentioned above in point 2. When the Cassette player and PC /Laptop are attached open Audacity and set the following parameters for a proxy test.

audacity sound capture

  • Set the parameters of the recording input to the tape deck as displayed in the above image. If you happen to use a mic, set it on low and then hit the record button. This shall ascertain if the original quality is maintained and there is no generation loss. Once it starts to record, you shall see a blue wave on the timeline.

audacity blue wave

  • Once a proxy test is done, select and then delete the file created and bring the ticker back to 0 Seconds.

Must Read: How To Stream High Quality Music On Spotify

4) To capture the entirety of a cassette, rewind the tape and bring it to the beginning. Similarly, make sure that the recording device is at the start. Then, hit play on the tape deck while also clicking on the record button on the software. Audacity shall automatically capture the sounds and record one side in one go!

Audacity tracks

Note:·      We can drop markers at the beginning of individual songs and then export them all together. Simply bring the cursor to the beginning and then go to ‘Tracks’ tab and click on ‘Add label at selection’ to number individual songs. It’s easy to do visually as a flat blue line may signify the end of the previous and beginning of the next song!

5) Now that one side is done, it is time to export. Go to the File menu and click on the ‘Export’ button. That will open a number of file format options. Click ‘convert to Mp3’

audacity export

  • When you hit export, the option to rename tracks pops up where you can change the numbers into proper song names. See image below for reference.
  • Once all your tracks are renamed here, click on save. This exports all your songs individually.

6) There you have it. You have successfully managed to convert your tape into a mp3.

Must Read: 5 Best MP3 Downloading Apps For Android

Now for the main part. Once all your songs are converted you can share them across social media and expose the younger generation to good quality music. You can share with them the magic of listening to ’Whipping Post’. As they hear the way the guitar bleeds into the song, i am sure that they too shall be head banging along with you. Pat your back! You have managed to do a  job well done. Rock on Forever dudes!

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