A cassette to cd converter is required in order to preserve your analog audio recordings on tape. Most of the recordings that we would like to preserve are oral histories or recordings of family members young and old. Some individuals would also like to convert their current audio music cassette tape collection as well.
These are cassettes that were purchased commercially and now there is a desire to have them in digital form. Transfer of home recordings is generally not an issue. However, there may be copyright issues when converting audio recordings that were commercially bought. Therefore, the emphasis of the advice on this page is for homemade audio recordings that are not hindered with any kind of copyright issues. Note that without analog cassette conversion to a CD or a digital file, audio cassette tapes will eventually become unplayable because of the lack of playback equipment and because audio tape will chemically degrade over time.
There are three main elements in a cassette to CD converter operation. These three elements are: the playback device which in this case is an audio cassette player; an analog to digital converter which can be in many forms; a computer with an optical disc burner to record a CD.
The player of course is a very crucial part of the cassette to CD converter chain. You need to be able to play the audio cassette in order to convert it into digital form. Therefore, step one is that you need a cassette deck. Although not being produced in abundance, new cassette decks can still be bought if you do not have one. Also, used machines can also be bought though eBay and various other outlets. The key is to have a proper functioning machine that is delivering good audio output. If the audio output is poor the CD produced at the end of the process will also be poor. Some manipulation of the audio is possible before producing a CD, but usually this is only done on small defects. A totally poor recording would require a lot of manipulation, so it is way more efficient to make sure the signal coming out of the audio cassette tape player is good quality.
Next is the converter. The converter can be in many forms. You can have combination units where the equipment consists of an audio cassette tape player and a converter (all-in-one) that connects to the computer with a USB connection. You can also use a portable digital audio recorder that is often used by reporters or by individuals to record meetings, etc. These devices can hook up to the computer via a USB connection or because the recordings are often stored on SDHC flash cards, the digital audio recording can be transferred to the computer via the card, assuming the computer has a card reader. Finally, there are many other units in various price ranges that will convert the analog audio signal from the audio cassette to digital form. With any of these devices, you have to ensure that you can properly connect the audio cassette player to the converter and to somehow be able to transfer the digitized audio from the converter to the computer.
Lastly, you have a computer with a burner to be able to record CDs and if you want to edit and manipulate the audio files in any way, some audio editing software. When using a cassette to CD converter it is best to select a WAV file as the target digital format. A WAV format does not compress the audio information and therefore nothing is lost. Selecting MP3 will result in a smaller file size, but quality will likely be sacrificed.
Once the digital file is on the computer, most optical disc burner software will allow you to produce an audio CD as one of the burn options. Alternatively, you can simply make a CD with audio files on it but this audio CD will not play in standard audio CD players.
More information at:Convert to MP3