How To Transfer an Audio Cassette Tape

Transferring the music in your old audio cassettes into your PC in order to have a digital copy or to be able to burn it into an audio CD is a pretty simple task to accomplish provided that you have both sides of the technology spectrum set up. On the analog audio cassette side, you will need a cassette player connected to a stereo with speakers. On the digital side which is your PC, you will want to have some kind of recording software and a soundcard installed. In the middle, you will need a standard RCA plug to mini jack connector. If you have all these, then you can easily transfer the analog music in your cassette tapes to your PC converting it to digital music in the process. Here are some steps to help you through the process.

  • Set up the audio cassette side. Get a cassette player that can still play old audio cassettes. Plug the player into the line in of the stereo. Insert a cassette tape and test the connection. If you can hear the sound on both speakers, then you have set it up correctly. At this point, get your RCA to mini jack connector and connect the red and white RCA jacks into the stereo’s output.
  • Set up the PC side. First off, your PC will need a soundcard and it is highly recommended to have a PCI-express soundcard as opposed to the on-board card because the quality of an external audio source will be higher with an add on soundcard. Now, aside from the soundcard, you will definitely need an application that can record audio from an external device that passes through your soundcard. Windows Vista and 7 have a built in sound recording application that you can use but if you want to really get the best sound out of your audio cassettes, then consider more advanced recording software instead. Once the software and hardware is ready, connect the mini jack to the soundcard in order to connect the stereo’s output to the PC’s input.
  • Set the audio cassette. Set the music on the audio cassette by forwarding or rewinding it until you come to that start of the track you want to record. At this point pause it.
  • Start recording. Now that the audio cassette has been set, it is time to set the digital audio recording software. Run the program and set everything so that it will record the audio that will travel from the audio cassette player to the stereo, through the cable, into the soundcard, and into the software which will then save the recording as a digital file. Coordinate the pressing of the recording button on the PC with the pressing of the play button on the audio cassette. Let the music play until it ends. When it does, stop the software and the audio cassette at the same time. Save the new digital audio file and test it. If the quality is good, then you have successfully transferred the music from an audio cassette to the PC.

Once you save the file, you can repeat the same process with all the other audio cassettes you have in hand. Once each track has been transferred to the PC, you may want to burn it on an audio CD to successfully transfer an audio cassette tape into a fully digital audio CD.


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