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Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs

Pauline L 14 Jan 07 - 07:47 PM
artbrooks 14 Jan 07 - 07:55 PM
Zhenya 14 Jan 07 - 09:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 14 Jan 07 - 10:12 PM
Pauline L 15 Jan 07 - 12:43 AM
eddie1 15 Jan 07 - 01:35 AM
Zhenya 15 Jan 07 - 01:38 AM
Cluin 15 Jan 07 - 01:47 AM
The Fooles Troupe 15 Jan 07 - 02:08 AM
The Villan 15 Jan 07 - 02:15 AM
Stilly River Sage 15 Jan 07 - 02:51 AM
oldhippie 15 Jan 07 - 08:38 AM
Pauline L 15 Jan 07 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,Ray 15 Jan 07 - 11:58 AM
artbrooks 15 Jan 07 - 12:23 PM
The Villan 15 Jan 07 - 02:03 PM
bobad 15 Jan 07 - 02:14 PM
Andy Jackson 15 Jan 07 - 03:33 PM
The Fooles Troupe 16 Jan 07 - 04:31 AM
Pauline L 16 Jan 07 - 01:42 PM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Jan 07 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,Elfcall 17 Jan 07 - 08:43 AM
GUEST 25 Jan 07 - 05:48 AM
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Subject: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Pauline L
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 07:47 PM

I have lots of good music, some never commercially released, on cassette tapes, and I'd like to put it all on CDs. I can burn CDs on my computer, but I don't know how to input and convert the data from audio tapes. I think we've discussed this issue on Mudcat before, but I can't find the information. I'd appreciate any help and advice you can give. I'd especially appreciate learning how to do it without spending much, if any, money. (I'm broke.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: artbrooks
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 07:55 PM

Pauline, as you say, this has been discussed here before and one of the MudElves will probably provide a complete set of the previous threads very soon. I have done it, it's not that hard, you will need a bit of software to do it, and there are many options out there.


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Zhenya
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 09:12 PM

Here's a discussion from 2006 with lots of good info and other links.


Cassettes to CDs


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 10:12 PM

That other thread was particularly fun because we got Art Thieme going on transferring over many of his tapes to CDs. I daresay he's the resident expert on the process at this point!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Pauline L
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 12:43 AM

Thanks for the link, Zhenya. That thread does not answer my questions, though. I need to learn how to input my data (music) from my cassettes into my computer, store it, and convert it to the appropriate format. What hardware and/or software do I need? I know how to burn CDs, and I have free software for that purpose. I need something free or almost free or some financial assistance. Hell, I've been unemployed for 5 years, and life is difficult!


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: eddie1
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:35 AM

Hi Pauline
To the best of my knowledge, you need a programme like Audacity, which you can download for free, or CoolEdit which costs money. You then need a cable from your cassette player to your computer. Record it into whichever programme you have chosen, save as whatever kind of fille you want (MP3 takes up less space with only a slight drop in quality and there you go.
I'm in a similar situation to yourself but what puts me off is the time involved as the recordings have to be done in real time – if you have 100 hours of cassettes, it's going to take you 100 hours to record them into your computer.

Good luck

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Zhenya
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:38 AM

Hi Pauline,

I see we have two threads going now, so I wasn't sure where to answer, but hopefully you'll see this one.

I started to write a lot here, but it got way too long. The bare bones steps are:

Your computer should have a recording device, either in your music program or sound card. (Check the Help sections for these two programs.) Start by locating this.

Use a cable to connect your tape player to your computer's line-in jack.

Now, record from the tape player onto your computer hard drive (using the recorder you located in the first step above), and save the file you just recorded.

Make a copy of the file to work on, and then use a music editing program to adjust the volume of the track, clean it up, etc. Save the edited version.

You may want to convert the format of the track to MP3 or another format, using your music editing program or another music program on your computer.

Add the track (it if doesn't go there automatically) to your usual music program, where you can then burn it onto a CD.

If you've never done any of this, the "bare bones" may not sound too helpful. I wasn't sure how much of this you already knew.

Why don't you take this one step at a time, and post again if you're stuck, and then I (or another Mudcatter) can give you more detailed information about that particular step.

If I try to write it all down here, it may seem overwhelming, although it's really not difficult once you've learned how to do it. (I know, easy for me to say…)

Zhenya


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Cluin
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 01:47 AM

First of all, does your computer have a sound card? Which one? One with inputs?

They should look like regular sound jacks (either RCA-type or maybe 1/8" jacks somewhere on the back of the computer.

Without those, you aren't going to be able to bring any music into your computer.

If you have those, then you can move onto getting the proper cables and choosing software.

It goes without saying that you will need a tape deck with output jacks as well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 02:08 AM

If your PC has none of those jacks, you CAN get a USB plug in gadget that provides those plug facilities.


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 02:15 AM

Try these links and follow parts 1 to 5.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Hope it helps


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 02:51 AM

Go to the top of the other thread and look at all of the links to previous threads that have discussed this already. With the exception of noting updates to existing programs, there really isn't a need to describe this all over again.

I use Nero, which has evolved to perform a variety of functions beyond burning CDs. It comes with a bunch of different little programs, including at least two that are specifically designed to perform this function. SoundTrax and Wave Editor in particular.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: oldhippie
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 08:38 AM

You could also hook a "Burn It" (HHB) or similar device to your casette deck to burn CDs.


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Pauline L
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 11:41 AM

Thanks, everyone. Step 1: What kind of cable do I need to connect my tape player to my computer?


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 11:58 AM

What kind of cable? You need a stereo one but depends on what the input socket on your computer is (probably a mini jack) and the output from your tape player is - can you take the player to a shop which sells cables? e.g. Maplin - I'm sure they would give you free advice and they sell almost every type of cable available. And don't record the tapes in MP3 format for burning onto CD unless you have an MP3 CD player or understand what you're doing - it won't work.


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: artbrooks
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 12:23 PM

If you are recording from a portable tape player, you will most likely be using the headphone jack as the line-out, so you will need a mini-pin plug for that end. The input on the PC will likely be into either the mic jack or directly into the sound card (on the back of the PC). Both of these are usually also mini-pin plugs.

If you are recording from the receiver/amp of a stereo system, you are probably going to use either the record-out or the aux-out (on the back (usually) of the amp). In that case, you will need (1) a set of RCA plugs (right and left) and, (2) for the other end, a Y-adapter that converts the 2 plugs into a mini-pin plug for the PC input.


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: The Villan
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 02:03 PM

From the part 1 link above

Connecting a cassette player to a PC isn't difficult. Most hi-fis with built-in tape decks and standalone cassette players have a headphone socket and many hi-fis also have a stereo line output socket and either of them can be used. Virtually all PCs and laptops have a 3.5mm minijack stereo line input socket, so to connect your hi-fi or tape player to your PC you will need a stereo phono to 3.5mm stereo minijack or stereo minijack to stereo minijack cable. These are very widely available from electrical and electronic retailers, usually for less than five pounds. By the way, there's no point spending more on super hi-tech cables with gold plated plugs, it won't make an iota of difference in this particular application (or most others for that matter, but that's another story...).


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: bobad
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 02:14 PM

There is a lot of useful info here along with pics of adaptors, cables, typical sound card sockets etc.


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 03:33 PM

Thought I'd save a bit of confusion and post here as well.

I can strongly recommend Polderbits

Free download and 28 day trial and only a few quid to licence. Dead easy to use and it splits tracks automatically. I also gives you full control of fade in outs etc.
Try it,

Andy


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 04:31 AM

"What kind of cable do I need to connect my tape player to my computer? "

All good info so far, but there is the nasty technical matter of "impedance" - simply put, both inputs and outputs have a 'virtual resistance' - if you try to feed a high impedance into a low impedance, you may have heaps of hassles - but this is unlikely in these particular circumstances.

If you have a reasonable range of volume available at the input to the PC sound card, you will be able to adjust the volume to 'fill the channel' without it being so high as to introduce distortion, or so low that you get lots of noise - this means that you shouldn't need to worry about 'impedance matching', so relax. Only if you DO have such problems need you worry about 'getting a proper match to the impedances'.
Then you may need to ask further...


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: Pauline L
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 01:42 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your advice so far. Special thanks to bobad for that useful link. I looked at my cassette player and found that it has places to connect a mic, a monitor (8Q?), and something unlabeled. Which do I use for a cable to connect to the PC?


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 06:04 AM

The unlabelled thing may well be an external 'control switch' to turn the recorder on and off - that was not uncommon - no audio connections - it is most likely a smaller plug than the others in that case.

If you use the 8 Ohm the funny symbol is an 'omega' the symbol for 'resistance' - then you should have no 'impedance matching problems with a normal 'line in' on your PC.

The trick is to turn up the volume on the recorder, but not all the way up, so that you have a good level of signal out.

As I said before, "without it being so high as to introduce distortion, or so low that you get lots of noise " - you can adjust the PC 'input level control' to get a good level - a few short tests will be necessary to ensure that the level is not too high or too low for the same reasons. - it is better to have less 'amplification' inside the PC rather than too low a level from the playback machine, as long as you do not have distortion, as you will get less noise.

It is unlikely that your gadget will have a 'line out' connector.


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: GUEST,Elfcall
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 08:43 AM

Pauline L

I have used a cheapish cassette walkman to transfer over 200 cassettes to MP3. Plug the lead as described above into the headphone jack and the other into your PC.

I too can recommend Poldersbits as above for ease of use and price. You can get free progs but I could not get on with them - Poldersbits worked for me a little £ but ease of use. Editing needs a little practice but as miskin man says it will do automatic track cuts - but beware many folk songs have long gaps in their delivery and this can confuse the program. One song by Anne Fentiman was cut into 12 or more 'tracks' and needed to be 'edited' and joined together - but it took only a few seconds to do so.

Take advantage of free trials before buying - you will find something to your satisfaction eventually. I do store all my tracks as MP3 (to save a lot of space on your computer) and I simply use a little program to create a WAV file again when I want to burn a CD.

Elfcall


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Subject: RE: Tech: From cassette tapes to CDs
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jan 07 - 05:48 AM

Refresh


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