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Digitizing Old Cassettes

Barbara in Fairbanks, Alaska listens on KFBX 970 AM and asked us about digitizing her tapes

Barbara asked: “My dad played the fiddle for years and we have a lot of his music on cassette tapes. I was wondering how we transfer it over to the computer to digitize it.”


Barbara, the easiest way would be to plug any cassette player to your computer’s audio input, play the tapes and record on any free recorder software, it would cost you nothing more than a cable to connect both devices.

The problem with this approach is that it’s pretty likely that you will introduce noise into the MP3 recording. To avoid that, you can invest in a Cassette to MP3 converter.

They’re not too expensive,  think around $20 or $25, and they usually connect to your computer via USB to ensure you get a better quality audio file and come with their own software, some of which can correct some audio issues.

It will cost a little more, but it may be worth it if you have a lot of tapes, like you say.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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  1. I would siggest that you download ‘AUDACITY’ which is piece of freeware that enables you to record from cassette onto your computer.
    You will also need to download the MP3 ‘LAME’ add on, (from the same site) so as to allow you to save out in MP3 format.
    It will then be possible to enhance recordings, using Audacitiy’s built in facilities, including noise reduction.
    From there you will have the option to Export (NOT Save) the finished result as an MP3, which you can burn onto a CD or an MP3 player.