/ Cassette tape to CD

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handofgod on 04 Dec 2017
I have a very rare cassette tape from 1999 which I now wish to transfer to CD.
What is the easiest way to do this?
I don't own any form of cassette player anymore but really want to listen to the music on the tape.
Thanks
Siward on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to handofgod:

You need a player. Then a cable from the headphone socket, or line out, into a pc sound card.
Tobes on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to handofgod:

What is it?

Have you checked to see if it’s available online somewhere? There’s tons of stuff on YouTube of rare recordings, radio sessions, live (bootleg) recordings etc.

I guess if it’s available online then you have the option to download then transfer it to CD.
Andy Johnson - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to handofgod:
I did this recently with some tapes from the early nineties. with good results. You could capture the audio as a wav or mp3 file on a PC or Mac, split it into tracks (if appropriate), and then burn the file(s) to a CD. This process is pretty straightforward.

Best approach is to get a USB cassette player and use the free Audacity sound editing software. I got this cassette player new from Amazon (£18): https://goo.gl/6VBfBg. You can download Audacity free from here: http://www.audacityteam.org/download/. A simple workflow for capturing the audio is here: https://goo.gl/UmWvyB. Using a USB player keeps as much of the process as possible digital, which improves the sound quality.

Alternatively, you could connect the headphone socket of a non-usb player to the microphone socket of a PC, and use Audacity to record from that. This is probably going to give sub-par results as the circuit is mostly analogue, and most PC sound cards are relatively poor at audio capture. If you do go down this route then you might want to invest in a screened audio cable, and experiment with playback volume levels.

A couple of tips: Keep the cassette player away from mobile phones while the tape is playing, as they can produce interference. Also, before playing the tape, equalise the tension by FF-ing it to the end and then rewinding it.

Hope that's useful.
Post edited at 16:51
wercat on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Andy Johnson:
I use a Zoom digital sound recorder (H2) and traditional stereo cassette decks, taking the low level audio from the phono out jacks into the line-in of the zoom recorder. Recording direct to WAV Pretty well captures the total quality from the cassette deck, much better than most of the USB devices, though these are more easy to use.


I've managed to do this with off-air recordings made as far back as 1981 with decent results
Post edited at 16:38
handofgod on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Tobes:

Its a very rare bbc essential mix. I've not come across it anywhere else.
handofgod on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Andy Johnson:

Thanks Andy. Super advice and I have ordered the tape player off amazon.
Blue Straggler - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Andy Johnson:

Just to clarify - that player feeds sound into the PC/Mac via USB rather than the 3.5mm mic input does it?

Thanks
Andy Johnson - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Blue Straggler:
Yes, the audio goes to the PC/Mac via usb.

On windows the usb cassette player shows-up as a digital audio input device, and in Audacity you can select that as the audio source in the device toolbar. For the player that I mentioned I didn't have to install any windows drivers - it appears to present itself as a standard USB audio device. Should be the same on a Mac but I haven't tried it.
Post edited at 12:42
Philip on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to handofgod:

I look forward to your post about transferring CD to AAC in a few years time when that format also becomes obsolete.

> I have a very rare cassette tape from 1999 which I now wish to transfer to CD.

> What is the easiest way to do this?

> I don't own any form of cassette player anymore but really want to listen to the music on the tape.

> Thanks

Andy Johnson - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Philip:
In my case I didn't actually transfer to CD. I captured the audio as 32 bit float WAV files, and converted those files to 320 bit/sec CBR MP3. The MP3s go on my iPod classic and upload to my Google Music library. The WAV files are archived on my SAN.
Post edited at 15:51
Lurking Dave - on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to handofgod:

> Its a very rare bbc essential mix. I've not come across it anywhere else.

https://www.mixcloud.com/BBCEssentialMix/playlists/live-essential-mixes/

Cheers
LD
captain paranoia - on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to Lurking Dave:

I had a vague recollection I'd seen all the BBC Essential mixes somewhere, possibly whilst searching for metadata for my music collection. I guess it would have been mixcloud.
handofgod on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to Lurking Dave:

Hello LD,
Thank you so much for the link. I can recall many of these essential mixes and they take me right back to the 90's but unfortunately the mix I'm looking for doesn't future.
See, rare are rocking horse ...
Blue Straggler - on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to Andy Johnson:
Thanks, I’ll buy one

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