Re-e-e-eal Basic!

I am an old musician, moderate computer user, webmaster, and now just trying to get a handle on audio-visual stuff for use on websites and recording.

Is there a really good primer on music out there? See, I don’t really know if the files on CDs are .wav or .cda or what the difference is…and so forth. I mean bottom-line basic. And l am not stumbling over this information out there. You know that some of the basic basic info is hard to come by. I remember what a mystery HTML was when I first heard of it, and FTP. At first I did not even know what they WERE, or how to find out.

What I want to do for the moment is simply take a cut from a CD and convert it to MP3 to put on a website. Actually, that much I have done in Music Match Jukebox. Next, I want to be able to edit a track down, just put a sample of a song on a website. I want to be able to input a tape recording to my computer, translate to a CD track; or translate to MP3. Ditto a digital studio recording (have no idea what kind of file that amounts to).

Eventually, I want to be able to record and mix studio songs.

Is there a Dick-and-Jane tutorial somewhere? And are there programs so transparent that they say, “plug this wire into this jack in back of your computer, now push the play button on your tape deck, and the song on the tape will be converted to and will be found in THIS folder, and when you want to convert into .abc, do THIS…”

If you have reached this sentence, thank you for your patience! BTW, I realize all you geniuses are about 16 years old…do I have to explain Dick and Jane?