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How to convert your old audio tapes to digital audio files

As a music aficionado you are likely to have a collection of prized audio tapes by old masters. Even if you work hard to preserve the audio tapes, you are likely to be fighting a losing battle because the tapes will wear out, lose their tensile strength and snap or fray, or simply lose the recording because of exposure to magnetic fields. Moreover, the tapes occupy plenty of physical space and are difficult to keep organized.

Stack of old audio tapes

Another issue with the audio tapes or cassettes is the fact that you cannot easily play your favorite song from it. In most cases you need to play it from the beginning or rewind and hope to start playing at the right point.

Advantages of Digital Format

When you convert your old audio tapes to the digital format, you will be able to enjoy multiple advantages. The space saved is enormous; you can even store the music in the cloud and access it from everywhere as long as you have Internet connectivity. You can enjoy potable music of marvelous quality without having to worry about carrying the right tapes with you. Organizing and accessing the particular song you want is much easier. Moreover, digitized music is safe for all times. You can make multiple copies and the quality of the recording remains the same.

Converting Audio Tapes to Digital

RCA Plug to 2xRCA

The easiest way of converting your audio tapes to a digital format is by using a computer. Once the digital version is available in your computer you can easily burn the music onto a DVD or CD using a read / write software. You can also transfer the music on to a cloud storage platform from the PC with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Connecting the Devices

2-RCA Jacks to 2-RCA Jacks Coupler

In order to accomplish the conversion, you need a cassette player, a computer, conversion software – either paid for or free, and cables. Most cassette players will have RCA line output jacks while the PC will have a 3.5 mm line in jack. As such you need a cable with RCA plugs at one end and a 3.5 mm plug at the other. Depending on the cassette player you will have to use either a mono audio RCA plug or a cable with two RCA plugs for the cassette player that provides output in stereo.

Now insert the RCA plugs in the cassette player and the 3.5 mm plug in the PC. In case the cable you have does not have these plugs, you can use appropriate adapters such as a 3.5 mm jack and 2 x RCA jacks and so on. The 3.5 mm plug should be inserted in the line input of the computer not the microphone jack or speaker jack. Read the PC manual or look for the blue jack with communication waves around it.

Running the System

Once you have connected all the cables, you can play the tape and record the output in digital format on your PC. When doing so, you need to ensure that the volume of the cassette player is kept low initially and then gradually increased to the appropriate level. This will ensure that the sound card in the PC is not damaged. Additionally, the volume of the cassette player should not be very loud since it can distort the sound while a very low setting will produce a hissing noise that detracts from the quality of the music.

You can preserve the marvelous music you collected in old audio tapes by investing in a few cables and converting the audio recordings into digital format.

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