Want to protect your cyber security and still get fast solutions? Ask a secure question today.Go Premium

x
?
Solved

Convert Analog Cassettes-Digital

Posted on 2007-08-07
13
Medium Priority
?
363 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
 I have Vista Home Premium and currently have about 70GB of free space.  In my personal music collection i have approx. 700 cassettes.  I wld like to convert these cassettes to digital and put them on my hard drive for now.  What hardware and software wld i require to do this.  Wld appreciate suggestions.
0
Comment
Question by:jobox11
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2
13 Comments
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:fredshovel
ID: 19648757
This is fairly simple to do -- in its simplest form. But can be greatly improved using additional equipment.
In its simplest form, you play the cassettes direct from your cassette player via a lead that is 2 x rca plugs into one stereo minijack that goes from the polayer's output into your soundcard's line-in or aux-in -- don't use microphone in. Then you download either Audacity or MyMp3
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
http://www.mp3mymp3.com/mp3_my_mp3_recorder.html
Choose record on your software and play the cassette -- firstly trialing the input level of the software to make sure you are not overloading the input or alternatively that the signal is not too weak.
You can save them as either wave files (very big) or MP3 files.
Secondly there's a more sophisticated way to record using a mixer, which sits between your cassette player and your soundcard. If you want to go nuts some of these mixers today even have firewire out and come with their own software, which is to professional standard. Take a look at this baby:
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/FireWire410-main.html
I personally recommend M-Audio, having used their 2496 soundcard for years now.
But if you just want to do it the simple way just go straight into your soundcard. There is also some software around that will take out some of the tape hiss. I use Soundprobe.
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 19650429
I did a similar task a year or so ago:
This was what I used:
info here:
http://www.br0wn.co.uk/vinyltocd.htm
and I hooked the Line Out from my amp to my PC Line In sockets with 3.5mm cables

software:
http://www.ripvinyl.com/
http://www.medafan.com/ - meda mp3 splitter

You'll also probably want to add mp3 tags to all the tracks, and there's loads of software to do that.  

It was cool to do for a few tapes, which is what I wanted to do as it was a gift for a friend, but it was time consuming too.  You have to play the tapes in real-time (though some software offers the ability to"rip" the tape at 2 x speed if you can play it that fast), and then you have to split the resulting file into each track.  I liked RipVinyl as it could at least attempt to do this for me by listening for the gap between tracks.  Didn't always work though, and if the tracks mix directly from one to the next, then you'll have to do it manually.  

Audacity as above is clever, but I couldn't get on with it...

Good to do, but it's a lot of work for 700 tapes....!
hth, Danny
0
 

Author Comment

by:jobox11
ID: 19650890
  To: fredshovel.  Tks for your reply. Sorry but my earlier reply apparently didn,t get through because of my erratic wireless connection.  The m-audio approach is a little rich for me.  I hope it is no disgrace to say that satisfactory reproduction will be good enough for me, bearing in mind that i will still have the original tapes and the many compilations (playlists?) will save a lot of the arranging of the tapes.  I went to the 'mymp3' site and they seem to suggest using "Real Player Plus" and "Audio Recorder Software" that appear to be available on their site.  Am i in the correct site and are these useable items?
0
Hire Technology Freelancers with Gigs

Work with freelancers specializing in everything from database administration to programming, who have proven themselves as experts in their field. Hire the best, collaborate easily, pay securely, and get projects done right.

 

Author Comment

by:jobox11
ID: 19651334
 To: DanCh99:  Thanks for your reply.  The links that you list all seem to refer to converting Vinyl LPs.  Does any part of the hardware or software referred to apply to converting cassettes?
0
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:fredshovel
ID: 19652087
Nothing to do with Real, which is really for streaming -- even given MyMp3 records streams, this does not concern your project. If you follow the download link for MyMp3 it takes you here:
http://www.download.com/Mp3-My-Mp3-Recorder/3000-2140-10369269.html?part=dl-Mp3MyMp3R&subj=dl&tag=button
Also have a go using Audacity -- and see which one you like the best.
If you don't have a specific 'line out' on your stereo pre-amp/mixer/amplifier you can come directly out of the back of your cassette deck, and if it has a headphone socket you can monitor (listen to) the sound with your headphones on to cue the sound.
I would record each cassette 'warts and all' that is don't worry about long intros or noise at the start or end as you can easily edit this out using the above software (just highlight the garbage and delete it).
It's important not to overload the input signal -- and you do this by adjusting the recording input (up, or down [if the signal is too weak].

0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 19652897
Yep, all the stuff I've listed refers equally to tape, vinyl or whatever.  All the PC will see is an analogue sound input, and the software will manipulate that.  
0
 

Author Comment

by:jobox11
ID: 19654906
  I downloaded the mp3 mymp3 app and as far as i can see,  all it does is put some editing software on the desktop.  There didn,t seem to be any links to other parts of the software or to instructions. I had a look at Audacity 3 yrs ago when i first was going to tackle my project but thought i,d wait for a later version since i was just new to computers.  I originally did my recordings onto tape with a radio-recorder-dubbing piece of equipment which i doubt i can find now and also probably wont apply here.  So, what sort of reasonably priced piece of input equipment will be needed to go with the software.  I,m getting the impression that the right input device is important.  Tks for help so far.  
0
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:fredshovel
ID: 19665337
If you downloaded MP3MYMP3 recorder 2.0 , when you open it there is a 'skin' with a number of buttons and choices as well as a large display, which reads like a graphic equaliser (2205Hz etc.).
You really don't need any instructions, but I understand if you're new to this it could be confusing.
So as they say in the learnin' books. Let's start recording. Firstly let's start with recording a radio station.
On the right (under Donate) you'll see Sound Mixer and Record Mixer (these are really shortcuts to your existing Window mixers). Click on Record Mixer.  In this instance you will need to see "Stereo Mix" in the capture window that opens (don't use this for your cassettes just use line-in)
If Stereo Mix is not in your capture window, click on OPTIONS and Properties and select it from the list -- AND BE SURE TO TICK IT IN THE CAPTURE BOX.
Now open up some live Internet radio station -- try Live 365 if you don't have a favourite.
http://www.live365.com/stations/lonesomelacowboy
Get some radio playing in your browser window, then take a look at MyMp3 -- you should see the incoming signal. Select the 'source' to Stereo Mix and click the big red record button -- and you're recording. Click the square stop button to stop. And click the Save to mp3 or save to wave to save.

A good tip is to set the master volume before you start recording -- just taking it up into the yellow -- never the red. Then as you're recording you can also adjust the record level.

To answer your player device question you just need a good cassette deck with left and right line outputs.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jobox11
ID: 19669591
Tks for your reply.  I downloaded the program and see the screen you mention and took some other screenshots they have on their site.  However, i couldn,t get past the 'let,s get started'.  When i cl on "Record Mixer" nothing happens except a message further up that says "If you experience problems setting your source or volume, cl here to open the system 'RECORDING MIXER'.  As i approach the message to click as per instructions, the message disappears and there is no apparent object to click. Is there something i,m doing wrong?.  Meanwhile i,ve been exploring the displays (screenshots) and it looks very interesting for my  project.  
0
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:fredshovel
ID: 19673093
Looks like for some reason this path might not work in Vista. I don't have Vista and don't know how much they messed with things that used to work fine, but you could try going to the Start Menu / Control Panel / Sounds and Audio Devices / Click on the Audio tab -- in the drop down box select your soundcard in the SOUND PLAYBACK AND SOUND RECORDING BOXES.
Then click on Volume in the Sound Recording Box. This should open up a CAPTURE MIXER, where you can select Stereo MIx for the Radio recording (or to record anything that your soundcard plays) or Line In for your cassette recording. If all this doesn't work in Vista just empty the contents of a Kitty LItter box into a large envelope and send it to Bill Gates.
 
0
 

Author Comment

by:jobox11
ID: 19675871
  To FredShovel:  I  will try to be brief and to the point.  I downloaded the program from "Download.com" but failed to read the 'requirements' which stop at XP.  Meanwhile, yesterday and last night i scoured Google and have quite a pile of instructions and screenshots. In the FAQ it says that the program is free because it dosen,t work on all computers(Vista?) or all sound card configurations and there are many compaints in Google about the sound card problem (especially Sony,s Sigma Tel).  Having said all this, I have my previous XP computer sitting on my desk and given my age and energy limitations, i will soon enough get around to trying the program on that machine.  However, i gather that the only equipment i,ll need is the tape recorder-player and a microphone.  P.S.  I put a couple of hundred CDs on the Xp computer(two years ago)without any problem and transferred them to the Vista computer. I then added about fifty CDs directly to the Vista machine before testing the result.  All the CDs on the Vista had stutter during the playback.  So much for the 'improved' Vista.  Thanks very much for your help on this item.    
0
 
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

by:
fredshovel earned 1000 total points
ID: 19676791
<i gather that the only equipment i,ll need is the tape recorder-player and a microphone>
No microphone. You use a lead.
99% of all cassette decks have 2 x RCA output sockets -- and most sound cards have  STEREO 3.5" minijacks for the inputs.  The soundcards usually have three minijacks-- sometimes coloured pink, green and blue.  Pink is for microphones (don't use this). Green is a line out usually used for speakers -- so YOU NEED TO CONNECT TO THE BLUE MINIJACK. If not coloured the stereo minijack should be labelled either aux-in or line-in. The lead you need is readily available; it's 2 x RCA Plugs at one end and a STEREO 3.5" minijack at the other.
Good luck.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jobox11
ID: 19676900
 Thanks for this follow-up message.  I discovered after my last reply that the XP machine has no mike. so i didn,t attempt to run the app but now i will.  The rest of the items i understand so will go ahead soon enough.  Thanks again for your help.
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: IP Lookup

Get more info about an IP address or domain name, such as organization, abuse contacts and geolocation.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Not everyone is tied to the Microsoft Office suite these days, as more free cloud-based solutions are entering the market. You might be used to creating presentations in PowerPoint, but did you know Google offers Slides  (https://www.google.com/slid…
Great sound, comfort and fit, excellent build quality, versatility, compatibility. These are just some of the many reasons for choosing a headset from Sennheiser.
The viewer will learn how to search for and apply Apple Loops, as well as create their own in Logic Pro X. Record a region in the tracks area: Select the region: Go to File > Export > Region to Loop Library: Select the appropriate search terms…
Viewers will learn the basics of creating custom device Racks in Ableton Live. Place instrument(s) and effects onto a track, and select them all by holding the Shift key and clicking on the device title bars: Group them by typing Command-G (Ctrl-G…
Suggested Courses

580 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question