Cassette tape to Audacity conversion using Tape2PC



Question:

I am trying to copy a bunch of old audio cassettes to my computer (and edit them) using an Ion Tape2Pc and Audacity.  I want to hear the songs as they play, since I only want to copy certain songs.

I do not know which inputs to select or any settings I should be using on Audacity.  I boils down to, “I don’t know what I’m doing”.  I probably have everything set-up incorrectly by now.

I have iTunes, Windows Player Media, and some EZ something recording program from Ion.
 

Answer:

>I am trying to copy a bunch of old audio cassettes to my computer (and edit them)
> using an Ion Tape2Pc and Audacity. 

Since you mentioned Windows Media Player, I’m assuming you’re going to run this tape conversion on Windows, and not a Mac. If that’s the case, read on. (If not, please let me know.)

1) What you first need to do is to have a cable between the Tape2PC device and your computer. Use the provided USB cable. One end will plug into the Tape2PC device. The other end will plug in to your computer. The USB cable is pretty easy to figure out – it will only plug in one way in each end.

2) Next, you need to tell your computer to recognize the Tape2PC device. If you’re lucky, this should be as easy as turning your computer on and letting it auto-detect the Tape2PC device. Alternatively (the instructions should detail this, if applicable), you may need to insert a CD into your computer after you plug in the USB cable – this CD tells the computer how to “talk” with the Tape2PC device.

3) On your PC, install Audacity.

4) Start Audacity. In the “Edit” menu, go to “Preferences”. In the “Recording” section, check out the field called “Device”. Pick that dropdown list and you’ll see several choices. If you see a device called “Tape2PC” or “USB Microphone”, then pick it and click OK. If you don’t, just leave the selection as is and click OK.

5) Insert a test tape into the Tape2PC device and press “Play”.

6) In Audacity, click the red circle button – this starts recording.

7) If the tape is playing, and you’ve picked the right recording device (in step 4), you should hear your tape playing. As a test, you can stop the tape, stop the recording (press the yellow square to stop recording). Then press the left purple arrow (to “rewind” what you’ve just been recording), and finally press the green triangle (to play back your recording). If you’ve done everything right, you should hear your small section of recorded tape.

If you get success on step 7, you just need to perform the above process for the entire tape you want to record. After that, you can take your Audacity files, and export them as a WAV or MP3 file. You can later burn that WAV or MP3 to a CD for later playback and storage, or import them into iTunes.

>I want to hear the songs as they play, since I only want to copy certain songs.

If you want to hear what you are recording, then in Audacity’s “Edit – Preferences” menu, check the box for “Software playthrough”.

>I do not know which inputs to select or any settings I should be using on Audacity.
> I boils down to, “I don’t know what I’m doing”.  I probably have everything set-up incorrectly by now.

Hopefully the above steps should help you. If you haven’t seen it yet, a related article that I wrote is here, a summary of the cassette-to-Audacity instructions I just gave you, only meant for a general audience, and not for a Tape2PC device. It still may help answer some questions.

Other articles related to this topic:

6 Comments

  1. charles branch:

    I downloaded the audacity and it does well and is easy to navigate. However, unless you register it and pay a subscription fee, any recording that you save will have a voice over on it throughout the recording. Also, you can’t listen to the recording as it records because the preference button only takes you to desired menus without the registration. Sorry.

  2. Andy Kaiser:

    Charles,

    I’ve been using Audacity regularly for years, and have never had a voiceover limitation. Are you sure you’ve downloaded and installed the right version of Audacity (and not a competing commercial product). The Audacity install is here:

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    To my knowledge, there is also no commercial “registered” version of Audacity. It is 100% free, fully-functional software.

    Andy

  3. Joni Mangeris`:

    I have several casette tapes I would like to transfer to a cd format. I have read several articles about doing this, but am still confused. I have a headphone jack as awell as a microphone jack (no line “in” jack. also, what is a tape2PC?

    I don’t want to load audacity until I know exactly what I’m doing. Can you help?

    Joni

  4. joy:

    I thought everything was going along well — I have my Tape2PC hooked up to my Mac per the enclosed instructions, I recorded the songs onto Itunes and it seemed to be fine. But then I played the digital recording back to hear my voice singing along with the songs on the digital version — and the recording was poor at best. Help!! Please.

  5. Troy:

    when recording from a cassett tape Audacity seems to record it fine but when i play it back i can’t here anything. How do i get some sound?

  6. Troy:

    Sorry ok speakers weren’t in properly. :)