How to copy audio cassette tapes to Macbook?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by davidinva, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. davidinva macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA
    I have a small collection of audio cassette tapes that I would like to transfer to my Macbook and then to my iPod. I searched the net for instructions and am trying the following:

    Connect my cassette player (a boom box) to my Macbook with a stereo audio cable from the headphone jack on the tape player to the microphone jack (using the line-in setting in preferences) on the Macbook.

    I downloaded Audacity and Lame and installed them on my Macbook. I then open Audacity, put a cassette tape in the tape player and push play. The instructions from the net say that I should hear the tape of my computer speakers (I use externals), and see the sound graphic on Audacity. I get neither one. I am apparently missing settings or such somewhere.

    Help will be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Why did you select Audacity over Garage Band? GB works well and it should already be on your Mac.

    "Lame" is an MP3encoder. Why MP3? If I were doing this I'd use Apple losses as my archive format.

    Next. Don't use the boom box. Not if you care about quality. I was just in a Goodwil thrift shop and saw a really nice Sony cassette tape machine for about $30. These are much better and have real line out jacks.

    Do the recording in 24-bits and you will not have to be so carful about setting the levels right. Later encode to AAC if yu need to save space. But do the recording in 24-bits and wav files.

    Expect to have to trim the recording. Star gbrecording then start the tape. Trim later.
  3. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    a. Stick with Audacity - it's great
    b. In Audacity there's a little drop down next to a microphone which determines where it gets its input. You want yours set to USB Codec (if I remember right)

    Message me if that doesn't work & I'll check when I get home & provide clearer instructions

    I rip lots of vinyl this way (with a phono pre amp) & have ripped some cassette too (no preamp required) ... vinyl quality comes out pretty well ... cassette can sound pretty muddy - the limitations of the source media, I'm afraid ..

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