How to use a computer to make CDs from cassettes?

United States
April 13, 2009 6:40pm CST
I have a lot of cassettes, and since cassette players are getting more expensive and harder to find, I would like to copy all of them to CD. My only CD burner is my computer, and I was wondering how I would connect the tape player to the computer. I think I need to use a 3.5mm audio cable and plug it into the audio in jack on the computer, but do I connect it to the headphone port of the cassette player? I only have a basic boombox with a tape deck, radio, and CD player.
3 responses
@Asylum (48157)
• Manchester, England
10 Oct 15
This was a far easier task years ago than it is today. When televisions used analogue all TV tuners for computers were analogue, so you could simply connect the cassette player output to the TV tuner input and record it. Since televisions became digital so have TV tuner cards so your cassette player will no longer work with them. There are stand alone machines made to transfer such dat6a directly without using a computer, but may not be worth buying for temporary use. I am fortunate in that my music centre will perform this function.
• United States
10 Oct 15
I was surprised when I got a notification for this old post that I made years ago! I saved up Amazon cards, and got a unit with all the right outputs to play the cassettes and record them into the computer. It works with free software like Audacity.
@Asylum (48157)
• Manchester, England
10 Oct 15
@connierebel I had forgotten about the adapter cables that had been marketed. I often scroll through old posts to check for worthwhile material.
• United States
10 Oct 15
@Asylum This is actually a whole unit, with a double deck cassette player, and the adapter cables. It doesn't have built in speakers, though. It's easy to use, and I made several CDs from tapes. I haven't used it in a while, though. too busy with other things.
@albedo (55)
• United States
14 Apr 09
You can get USB powered cassette players. And believe it or not they even make audio cassette drives that got into your computer like a CD-ROM! You can find them on thinkgeek.com. There are many others ways to do it as well. Record it with a microphone into your computer. Hook up a tape player to your DVD Recorder or your computer. Lots of methods and lots of different equipment. It all depends on how much you want to pay and how complicated you want it to be.
• United States
16 Apr 09
Thank you for all the suggestions. Do you have any idea what the cheapest way would be? Also, how do I hook up the tape player to the computer?
@albedo (55)
• United States
17 Apr 09
You would need to find a tape player with RCA connections (red & white cables) and hook that up to your computer somehow. I'm not sure how this would be done though. You might still need software of some sort. And a sound card or audio device that accepts RCA cables. I've never tried it that way. You might be able to hook up your tape player to a DVD Recorder and burn it onto a CD. But again I've never tried it that way. My first success was playing the tape and recording it with a microphone hooked up to my computer. That's probably the cheapest way to do it, but you're out of luck if the phone rings while you're recording.
• United States
20 Apr 09
What a great discussion! There are some good things and bad things about this. When it comes down to it how can anyone really have such a bold and powerful opinion on this,