Recording audio cassettes to CD

OK, I admit it, I’m a newbie. :slight_smile:

But, I’m a newbie who read the newbie FAQ and used the search functionality!

I have some old audio cassettes from a band I was in during college, and I’d love to record them to CDs, both for preservation purposes, and also so that I can e-mail them to friends and such.

I found a few old threads where this was discussed in one form or another, particularly this one:

I think that I may have enough information to get started, but much of what I found was centered around LP recording. Also, it seems that some of the products listed are either no longer available or have changed.

Can anyone give me any recommendations for this, circa 2004? I’m a Win XP Pro user, and I have no special software. Right now, on the cassette side I simply have an old Nakamichi component cassette deck. I have ZERO experience with ripping CDs, recording .WAVs or .MP3s other than burning data backups using Roxio.

Some of the specific questions I have include:

  • These days, which software products are likely to meet my need, and are any of them shareware or freeware?
  • Anyone aware of a web site where some kind soul has documented this very process?
  • For a noob to such things, would it be preferable to try to record individual songs as individual WAV files, or record the entire thing as one WAV?
  • Is “de-crackling” something that is used exclusively for LPs, or does it pertain to cassettes as well?

Many thanks in advance,


Really,this is not a hard endeavour, but not simple either…:slight_smile:

Here’s all you really need as far as tools using the kis method ( aka keep it simple stupid )

  1. a sound card with a line in jack
  2. a cassete player with a line out jack
  3. a stereo cable to connect the 2
  4. a software program to capture that audio stream and save it as .wav, or if you prefer, a more advanced program with more options for file format. (wmp will capture as .wav
  5. a conversion program if you capture as .wav, to make them .mp3 .ogg .ape, whatever…:slight_smile:

Soundforge was a great program for this kind of project if you can find it, but almost any audio app supports saving line in streams as stereo in .wav :slight_smile:

Hi there
I think ZigZagMan has covered all the hardware requirements. Regarding software, you can find a lot but the cream of them are Cool Edit Pro & Sound Forge.
I have personally used Cool Edit Pro (now changed to Adobe Audition) a lot & it has done the job almost perfectly for me. Its noise & hiss reduction features are second to none. I prefer recording songs as individual wav files. Then you can edit them & burn to an Audio CD . You can compress them to mp3 , wma & a lot of other popular formats too .