Copying cassettes

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Howard Brazee, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Howard Brazee macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lafayette CO
    #1
    I would like to copy some cassettes to iTunes. I have a stereo near (8' away) my Windows machine and have some questions before I start.

    1. Is there any problem in connecting by buying a patch cord from the cassette player's headphones to the sound card's input?

    2. What program do I use to record from the cassette in the least lossy iPod compatible format?

    3. When I have connected, how do I save off separate songs from the cassette?
     
  2. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #2
    I copied some vinyls to my computer using Audio In. It was quite good, and lets you choose the quality you want. The only problem is that you get one huge "song" for each side, which you then have to manually split, but that's the same with any software.
     
  3. greg555 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    I use a program called Audio Cleaning Lab. I use it to import LPs (and once in a while tapes) into the computer. Then I use it to clean up the sound (de-pop, de-crackle, de-hiss, etc.).

    You can have it try to automatically find the song boundaries. It works pretty well as long as the songs don't run togeter. Then I name the songs and export them as .wav files, one file per song. Then I use iTunes to convert to AAC for my iPod and use the Get Info to add the album name and other info.

    It's a fair number of steps but works pretty well.

    Greg
     
  4. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #4
    You need to be careful not to overload the soundcard's inputs. The inputs will be line level whereas the headphone output will be considerably higher.
     
  5. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

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    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lafayette CO
    #5
    I see that there are a couple of things I need to learn:

    1. How to break a long song up. (I have a long song that I have in Apple lossless format that I want broken up as well). I will look for Audio Cleaning Lab.

    2. How to control my recording level to an optimal level.
     
  6. Patronus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #6
    Do you realize how bad your cassette music will sound on an iPod?
     
  7. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

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    Oct 24, 2006
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    #7
    I want to minimize loss of fidelity - but I wouldn't be copying from cassette if I had a better option.
     
  8. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    hi howard,

    patronus is dead, dead wrong (sorry patronus, but you don't know what you're talking about here). you can make your cassettes sound great on an ipod. i was playing a bunch last week for some friends and they freaked when i told them the tunes were from my mom's old records (nothing like good ol' CCR :)

    this is what i do:

    i bought an imic from griffin (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic/)

    it connects via usb to your mac or windows machine. from the imic to your stereo/cassette player, it connects via the rca (red/white) jacks.

    i'm sure the windows software recommended is great. i use CD spin doctor from roxio's toast (not sure if they have a windows version). any decent audio software will de-pop, de-crackle and de-hiss. some even have equalizers which make a huge difference in terms of maximizing your audio.

    i've been doing my parents old LPs and cassettes. there's a bit of work to be done in terms of tagging the track and album details, but listening to the music and doing this is fun.

    hope you get into it.

    my suggestion is to try 1 tape. try some settings in terms of the equalizer or de-hissing/de-crackling etc..etc.. once you found the sweet spot for you, write them down and then giver on the rest :)

    best of luck!
    keebler
     
  9. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

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    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lafayette CO
    #9
    What's the best cheap Windows program to split up cassettes into songs?
     
  10. skrutzen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    #10
    While the iMic will work fine. I have an inexpensive mixer made by Behringer. It only cost me $30. I ran my cassette player into that and then imported the songs into Garageband. The cool thing about Garageband is that you could essentially let the whole tape record and then split your tracks up. Also, you have the ability to EQ your tracks as you see fit. The nice thing about using a mixer is that you can also adjust the levels so as not to run too "hot". Another thing about Garageband is that you can directly import into iTunes which will import as an AIFF file and then you can convert and backup your cassettes to a hard copy.
     
  11. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

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    Location:
    Lafayette CO
    #11
    I might copy them to my Windows machine, then LAN them to my wife's iMAC and split them there when she's out.
     
  12. greg555 macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Canada
    #12
  13. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
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    #13
    I connected the headphone output from my stereo to the mike input to a Sound Blaster Live! and started playing, and tried running a variety of trial software to see if any picked up the music. I had to turn on the mike (in line-2) to hear the music on my computer.

    I don't necessarily need Windows software to break up the songs, as there is a Mac on my workgroup, and I can use Mac software.

    But first I need to record it at all.
     
  14. skybolt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    #14
    I use Audacity -- it's free, fast and does everything you need. Will take out pops, etc, split songs into tracks, etc. I used a patch cable and Wire Tap Pro to record cassettes to folders on my desktop, then used Audacity to split them up to import into iTunes. Works like a charm!

    Good luck!
     
  15. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

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    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lafayette CO
    #15
    I downloaded Audacity and copied a tape in. I can select just a song, but haven't figured out how to save just a song yet. (I experimented to see if moving the album to iTunes would work - it moves, but as all one song). I also did not find "pops" in the help menu.
     
  16. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #16
    Too funny...this is exactly what I do. I think I even have the exact same mixer...a little 3 (well they call it five) tracker with only 1 XLR in?

    I have also used other methods, but prefer this way because it is the fastest way I find. When you record, split, mix/edit all with the same app, you save time.
     
  17. eluk macrumors 6502a

    eluk

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Location:
    East London, UK
    #17
    Under the 'Edit ' menu you'll find 'Split' (although this doesn't work for me in the latest version, I have to use 'Duplicate') to break the tracks and then export them individually.

    You'll find 'De-Click' under the 'Effects' menu.
     
  18. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lafayette CO
    #18
    I noticed that my recording is mono - the cable is stereo. I don't know why the recording in mono.

    I was able to split off the first song in the Audicity project. But when I tried exporting it as an MP3, it wanted to export the whole project/album. Is that what I want (to create an album that iTunes would recognize?) That would be very nice - but seems unlikely.

    Alternatively, I could try to find time when my wife is not on her iMac and use it, but we are on our computers pretty much the same time.
     
  19. skybolt macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    #19
    To save your song, rather than the entire side of the tape, or whatever, click and hold at the beginning of the song and drag the finger/cursor to the end of the song, thus blocking the song. Then File>export selection as MP3 (or whatever format you want). You will be prompted for a name and location. Fill that in, finish your album, then you can "add to library" in iTunes.
     
  20. eluk macrumors 6502a

    eluk

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    Dec 14, 2006
    Location:
    East London, UK
    #20
    Possibly the jack is not fully inserted.
     
  21. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lafayette CO
    #21
    I found out that the default setting for Audacity was mono, so I recorded the album again. Now I have a project for the cassette (all other settings were defaulted - I don't know enough to change them better). I can split the project at the end of the first song - but I can't do anything with it split. Any MP3 I make still has the whole album, not the split off song. There are options to add text to the split tracks - which probably can be accessed somehow - but which I'm completely ignorant of the implications.

    I still want to create an album with all of the songs within my iTunes. I suppose I could just record one song at a time - but it really seams that there's a better way.
     
  22. eluk macrumors 6502a

    eluk

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    Dec 14, 2006
    Location:
    East London, UK
    #22
    Double click on the split track and it will be selected. Then 'File | Export As… MP3'.
     
  23. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lafayette CO
    #23
    I still haven't figured that out. Whenever I try, it tries to save the whole project. Instead, I split the file, save the project, then close the track with the rest of the album. Then I save the song, quit and load the album again, and delete the 2nd track. After the first couple of songs, this technique puts time in front of the first remaining song - but that doesn't appear to make any difference.

    Then I copy the mpg to iTunes, giving it the next track number, the same grouping name and checking "Part of a compilation". I hope I play the songs separately in the shuffled play. When I didn't check that, the songs went to separate albums. I'm about 1/3 of the way through my first album.
     
  24. eluk macrumors 6502a

    eluk

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Location:
    East London, UK
    #24
    1. Split tracks so that you have just one song on the top pair of channels.
    2. Select all of this and go to File | Export Selection As… MP3 (sorry this was my mistake).
    3. You'll be offered a form to add Meta data. This will can also be edited in iTunes.
    4. This file can now be dropped into iTunes.

    It is the Meta data that tells iTunes how to organise your music.

    HTH
     
  25. Howard Brazee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Howard Brazee

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Location:
    Lafayette CO
    #25
    I'll try that tonight. How do I get rid of spaces - such as where I flip my tape over using this technique?
     

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