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Don’t worry if you’re converting something you recorded for that superb retro cassette sound or backing up old tapes to save your memories. It’s easier than you would think to convert your cassette tape to an MP3 file.
You can choose two conversion techniques: either a cassette deck or a cassette-to-digital converter. The more affordable and convenient choice is to use a digital converter. However, the sound quality is inferior to that of a cassette deck.
In either case, you should convert your cassette tape into a digital file as soon as possible because cassette tapes lose their quality with time. Fortunately, converting your tapes into digital files is relatively simple, and the following technique will make it even simpler. Start with this blog to convert tapes to digital.
Method 1: Using a Cassette-To-Digital Converter
Although this procedure doesn’t require much knowledge, there’s a risk your digital assets’ quality will suffer a little.
You will need the following supplies before you start:
- A cassette to digital converter: Suppose you don’t already have one at home. In that case, you can buy a cassette-to-digital converter, new or used, depending on your budget. Online, it’s simple to get a brand-new one for anywhere between $20 and $40.
- A computer: You can accomplish this on a desktop or a laptop computer.
- A USB connector: If you’re using a laptop, a USB connector with a 3.5mm mini jack, or if you’re using a desktop, an RCA phono output with red and white coloring.
You now possess all you require. You can follow these simple instructions to complete this process:
- Utilize the cord to connect your cassette tape converter to your laptop or desktop computer.
- Install the tape converter’s companion software, typically delivered on a compact disc that you can place in your computer’s disc drive. If the software for your cassette converter wasn’t included, or if you’re using a laptop without a disc drive, you can download free programs like Audacity that will accomplish the same task.
- Once the required software has been loaded, you must launch the application and play the audio from the cassette. The converter will concurrently convert it into a digital file.
- You’ll be able to store this file as an MP3 on your computer once it’s made available in your software.
Method 2: Making Digital Files Using a Tape Deck
The cassette tape deck approach is the best choice if you don’t mind doing extra work in exchange for a higher-quality audio file. Even if you’re not highly tech-savvy, you can still use this method, even though it’s more complex than a cassette converter. You must first be aware that not all tape decks are created equal, and as a result, multiple output cord types may be present. Finding out what kind of output cord your tape player requires will be your first step.
The following output cords are the most typical:
- There are two types of 3.5mm microphone inputs: an RCA to 3.5mm cable is used for cassette tape decks without an audio output port. A male-to-male 3.5mm cable is used for those that do (don’t let the terminology throw you off! A jack is nothing more than a hole or connection point where audio wires can be plugged in.
- If your deck includes a 1/4-inch headphone jack, you’ll need a 1/4-inch to 3.5mm connection.
- You will require a stereo cord if your deck has two 1/4-jacks.
You’ll need to purchase a capture card if your laptop lacks a microphone output to which you can connect your tape deck.
Similar to how your microphone output would record audio, a capture card allows you to plug this capability into your USB drive.
After confirming that you have the proper cord and capture card, you must additionally confirm that you have the following:
- Although a tape deck is somewhat more expensive than a cassette converter, you can acquire second-hand models for less money.
- Similar to the first approach described, you can utilize a laptop or a desktop computer.
- You may download Audacity for free (or any similar software that can convert your cassette into a digital file).
Now that you have the necessary tools, follow these instructions to complete the tape deck conversion:
- Use the required cord to connect your cassette deck to your computer.
- Open Audacity and select an audio source. The menu item for this is located next to the microphone icon.
- Test your tape loudness to ensure that the recording is not distorted. Play the audio from the cassette while turning up the deck’s volume until the sound bar becomes green. If it’s red, your volume is too loud.
- Rewind your cassette once you’ve found the right volume, then start recording from the beginning without interrupting. To maintain the audio quality, you must continue recording while switching to the opposite side after the audio has finished.
- Drag your cursor over the recording area you want to save while holding down the CTRL key. The recording can then be saved in a variety of formats. However, MP3 is the most popular one for private use.
Using a cassette tape deck is typically advised if you’re trying to convert numerous cassettes at once or if you’re a music enthusiast who values clear crisp sound quality. If not, utilizing a cassette converter is a simple operation that produces excellent results.
Any employee of an electrical store will steer you in the right direction if you’re worried about getting the right equipment.