Transferring Cassette Tapes To PC

I have several cassette tapes that I wish to transfer to my PC so that I can burn them to CD. As can be seen in my signature I have a SB 5.1 Audigy sound card.

At the moment I’ve borrowed a friends JVC KD-720 cassette deck just to experiment with.

I’ve looked on eBay(UK) and there are several cassette decks for sale but I’m not sure if they are suitable for playing back tapes to the PC on their own or if they need a separate hi-fi amplifier.

Can anyone advise me how to identify a suitable cassette deck.


Get the appropriate adapters Im assuming you will need to go from rca cable left and right(Tape Deck Output) to 1/8in stereo plug (PC-Input.) You can pick one up at Radio Shack if you have one around, or a shop that sells audio accessories. As for software, try Nero (Latest Version) You can get a demo at their website: After installation, open Nero StartSmart and in the Audio section you will find “Convert Tape to CD.” Try that and see if it works for you. :iagree:

Peace and Luv,

DJ Mind

Thanks for the info.

Have found my old Yamaha KX-500 deck in the loft and it works, so no need to spend any cash!!!

Unfortunately, I live in the UK so Radio Shack doesn’t apply but there are plenty of shops that sell the right connectors (I’m using one from my digicam at the moment).

Hadn’t thought of using Nero StartSmart. Just taken a look and found that the slider on the bottom gives more options, including the Convert Tape To CD you mention. It’s marvellous what you can find if you know where to look!

As always the forums come up trumps!!

I’m going to play around with Nero but in the meantime do you know off hand if Nero allows you to include more than one side of tape on a CD (I assume it does)??


For Radio Shack read Maplins for us I think.

Yes Maplin are a good source.

Another less known one is Rapid Electronics.

For me they have the added avantage of being just ten minutes down the road so I can collect and save postage.

CD’s hold 80 minutes of music(700MB). So as long as you have 80 minutes or less of music it will fit on a CD. Also, did you want to split up the file you get with Nero into a seperate file for each song. This can be accomplished with the Nero Wave Editor. Not sure if you get that with the trial version. If you do it’s well worth the effort. If you need help I’ll try to help. I’ve used Nero to upload 100’s of my old albums onto my computer. In my opinion Nero is well worth the cost. I’ve read on other forums that nero’s encoder is pretty bad though. I’ve never used it myself. :cool:


Thanks for the info.

My last question was more whether the Nero Covert Tape To CD function allows more than one side of tape to be captured and added to the CD project or whether it just captures and the writes. Looking quickly at Nero it does look as if several sides of tapes can be added.

Ideally I’d like to spilt the captured audio into separate tracks as this would make finding specific tracks easier. It would also be easier to “rip” the track off the CD of course (don’t want to store them on the hdd).

Some of my tapes are royalty free music/sound effects that I bought some years ago for adding to home created DVDs. The “silence” between each track is quite hard to determine so creating separate tracks “on the fly” could be a problem although stopping the capture and pausing the play back is a way around this but of course very fiddly.

The other tapes are mainly Opera and these are more of a problem because there is only a small “silence” between each section.

Not sure which format Nero saves in, I assume it’s wave. Am I right to assume this would have to be encoded before writing to a CD? I note what you say about the Nero encoder so how do you get around this?

Any tips you cnaan give on the process would be much appreciated.


If your going to go with Nero, I found the easiest method, & I tried a lot of them, was to use the Wave Editor. When you have that open, click on Audio & then Record & bingo there you go. You’ll see the Recording Console, just play the music to make sure you have the Levels set correctly. Then rewind the tape & start over. Press the red Record button on the Console & your creating a Temporary File. You can pause when you get to the end of one side of the tape, or you can keep recording & flip the tape. You can edit out bad stuff later. By the way, I don’t know if this was answered yet but, a tape deck can be hooked up directly to your computer. Now, what I did was create a folder in My Documents, titled it “Music in the raw”. This would be where you save to after you’re done with the recording. If you would like you could do all your Editing right after the Recording. I just felt it was easier to do all recording first then come back later to do the Editing. I also created a file in My Documents titled “My Albums”. This is where I put the Edited music. You open up the Wave Editor, click on open file & go to “Music in the Raw” & click on the file you want to edit & it creates a Peak File. When thats done you’ll see your wave file. To cut out the bad parts you just have to highlight the bad section & hit Ctrl>X on your keyboard & it will be gone.To highlight you just left click & drag. This was most useful to me since I recorded from LP’s. you can cut out the really bad pops & such. In the end though, what you’ll do is highlight 1 song, click on “Edit” then “Copy to File” you’ll get a “Save As” box. You’ll see where you can save as PCM Wav file. Migrate to your “My Albums” folder, create a sub-folder title it “Whatever you want”, in most cases it would be the title of the album. Open that & in the file name line write the name of the song. Hit enter. I always put a number, 01, 02 ,03,etc., before the song name so as to keep them in order. These would be the files that you would burn to a CD. No encoding necessary. If you wanted to save them to your Hdd, you could use a seperate encoder to do this.

Just a couple of things you don’t want to learn the hard way. Never click on “Save”, always click “Edit” then “copy to file”. When you highlight a song & are done copying it to a file just hit Ctrl>X & it will be cut from your wave file & out of your way. You can highlight the small gap that comes between the songs & cut that out so you have no pause at the beginning of the next song. When you get to the last song,copy it & click to exit the Wave Editor, it will ask if you want to save changes. Always click “Do not save changes”. This way you will always have your original raw file intact. You’ll have to play around with all the buttons to see what they do, but the ones I used the most were “Declicker” & “Volume change”. Mainly because of recording from LP’s. If your tapes are in good shape you won’t have to worry to much about noise reduction & all that. I know I kind of went through this quickly but you’ll just have to experiment & I think I gave you enough to get started properly. Remember your folder tree will be My Documents>My Albums>Album Title>Song Title. It will save a lot of headaches later when you go to burn them. If & when you specific questions(I know you will) feel free to ask. Almost forgot, the scroll wheel will stretch out the wave file your looking at in the Wave Editor so that you can cut out a very minute little part & make more precise edits. Have fun with it & Good Luck


Thanks for a very comprehensive reply.

There is a lot to take in so I’m going to have play around with Wave Editor until I get familiar with it.

Thanks for the offer to come back again if I hit any snags, I’ll bear it mind.

In the meantime, thanks again for the help it sould save me a lot of time wasting.

Cool! Glad I could help. I tried putting in some screen shots but couldn’t figure it out at the time. I got it now though. I’m not all that great with computers. Youll see what I’m talking about when you start playing around with it. Good Luck & I’ll be here. :cool:

For anyone who can’t lay their hands on a tape deck with proper line out jacks, you can get reasonable results with a line from the headphone jack of a decent portable cassette player to your soundcard input. You need to play with the volume of the cassette player and the PC sound mixer to get right recording level, but it works. This saved the day for me when my old hi-fi tape deck packed in just before a tape recording session.

may i also recommend audacity

it’s a nice free alternative to both the full fledged dbpoweramp and nero. i’ve line-in’d a minidisc player (minijack to minijack) and converted to mp3 within 5 mins of downloading the program. slicing and dicing is soooo simple with this app. dbpoweramp is also nice to work with.

i’m planning on doing this for all my pink floyd boots once i find a deck worthy of my tapes …bought the made in japan good stuff even back then :wink:

ahh, the drum and the bass :eek::bow::cool: