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The Cassette Player Guide

How do I transfer a cassette tape on my computer

Cassette Tapes

March 2, 2023

The popularity of pre-recorded music and tapes has affected the cassette industry to a great extent. Although, many people still store some of the important collections in cassette tapes which are unable to play as cassette players are almost vanished from markets. Technological growth provides a pertinent chance to transfer cassette tapes with a secure and simplified method.


The process is quite easy and one of the best methods to preserve the archaic recording in a safe format. Further in this article, we will discuss the best methods to transfer cassette tapes on a computer with limited resources and a secure format. So, let us start:

At the Studio
Method To Transfer to Cassette Tape On Computers


There are multiple methods to transfer cassette tapes on a computer. We will discuss each method in brief. The old cassette usually loses its fidelity with time. There are two standard methods for this conversion. It does not require core technical knowledge but a few basic steps, which we will discuss in further steps. These two basic methods yield the best and most high-quality results. One of them is quite quick, but another is a bit time-consuming. Let us discuss them briefly:


  • Digital USB cassette converter: It is one of the simplest and most economical methods for converting tapes into digital files. The methods are just required to plug in the converter with a computer, and the inbuilt software handles the conversion process. The major limitation of this method is that the audio quality of the cassette tape player does not particularly match the converted format.

  • Digitisation through an old tape deck: This is one of the time-consuming methods to convert old tapes into digital formats. If the tape deck is available and the computer system has an audio input (capture card or a microphone port), this combination can work effectively. The conversion through this method provides improved audio quality against the USB cassette converter. In this method, the bias for chrome or metal tapes is adjustable according to your requirements. 


The major aspect to keep in mind while both the transfer cassette tapes are that the tapes are ancient and unpredictable. Hence, to expect their sound as good as CDs is a myth. All these conversion procedures are simple methods to secure the recordings from constant deterioration and eliminate analog tape hassles.

Process To Use The USB Cassette Converter


Using the USB cassette converter is one of the simplified methods to convert audio cassettes into digital format. In this method, you do not have to deal with several cable connections and novel software. Let us discuss the process: 


  • Purchasing Of Good Quality USB Converter: USB cassette converters are one of the easiest and simplest ways to digitize the tapes when you do not wish to use any kind of unfamiliar PC wires or cables and software. This is a primary stage to start the cassette tape conversion. There is a wide range of USB cassette converters available in the market, which you can choose according to your system compatibility and requirement. Some renowned picks are Reshow, which is popularly known for recording for iTunes, and MYPIN, one of the great picks for recordings to MP3 file conversions.

  • Downloading The Associated Software: Whichever USB cassette converter you purchase is integrated with a compatible software downloading disc. You can contact the software website manufacturers if the computer lacks a disc drive. It is easy to download its core source according to their instruction.

  • Connect The Tape To Converter, Plug In With Computer, And Follow The Instructions: In this stage, login to the software to understand the given instructions for digitizing the audio recordings. While conversion, it is easy to add an artist and album tags with desired track listing (track a, b, etc.). This tagging and listing are a personal choice that maintains the audio files streamlined and arranged. 

  • Adding The Artwork To Each Converted Album: This is an automated process that software handles in Music Tag. However, it can be handled physically within converting music software such as foobar2000 or iTunes. For adding the artwork with a manual process, you need to log in to the music player and search for the desired track.


Click every selected track of the album while holding the CTRL key. Finally, press right-clicks on your selection. The dropdown set of choices will ask for either “properties” or “tagging” of audio tracks. You need to select one of them to add the artwork to your selected album through Google pictures.


Tape Deck Arrangement For Audio Tape Conversion


The tape deck method is one of the best methods to transfer cassette tapes with maintaining the best quality. You can easily buy cassette tapes in the market and on multiple e-commerce websites. There are multiple important steps you need to follow when conducting the conversion through the tape deck. Let us discuss some of the imperative stages:


  • Select the tape deck in a working condition: To start the conversion with the help of the tape deck, it is necessary to play it and consider the general problems such as excessive audio distortion, strange audio play speed or fluttered or disturbing background noises, etc. if the tape deck sound any of the mentioned issues, it is incompatible for the digital audio conversion. Hence choose it which delivers the perfect sound. 

  • Downloading Audacity Software: It is one of the best audio editors with simplified usage and free of cost. It works quite efficiently for analog-to-digital audio conversion and will be best to transfer cassette tapes. 

  • Adjustment of the type and tape bias: Every audio tape which is ready for the digital conversion must mention the details of “normal bias” or “high bias” almost all the primeval or modern tape decks have a bias control button or knob which can be adjusted according to the requirements. The tape decks which lack the bias control knobs can have automated control that is easily adjustable. In case the tape deck has no such facility, testing a sample track to test the audio quality will help anyways.

  • Connection of tape deck to your computer system: Setting up a stable connection is necessary to digitize the audio and transfer cassette tapes. You need to connect the tape deck with the inbuilt speaker of the computer. Although each tape deck and desktop works with distinct attributes, it might need different cables for connection. 

  • Input Of 3.5mm Microphone: For effective conversion of the audio tapes in digital format, a 3.5mm cable is required for connecting the computer’s microphone input and 3.5mm tape deck headphone output. In case the headphone port of the tape deck does not match with 3.5mm, using an RCA with3.5mm cable can work for the conversion process. 

  • 1/4 inch to 3.5mm: Using a 1/4-inch-to-3.5mm cable can efficiently transfer cassette tape when the tape deck comprises a 1/4-inch headphone jack. Certain audio tape decks have two distinct 1/4-inch jacks with their output audio. In such a scenario, a stereo 1/4-inch-to-3.5mm cable is required to conduct the hassle-free audio conversion.

  • Capture Card: In some instances, the computer system lacks 3.5mm microphone input. In this case, plugging a basic audio capture card with a USB port will support the microphone functions. 

Set Up Audacity


If you have already downloaded the Audacity, this means your tape deck is successfully connected to your PC. But you need to set up the Audacity and for that, you just follow some simple steps below.


  • Just open the audacity software and search for the mic icon on the menu bar. After that, you have to hit the dropdown menu which you will find right next to the microphone icon. From there, you must select your audio input. You should do the listing as a ‘Line In’ device.

  • After doing that, now you can play your cassette. If your tape deck features a built-in volume knob, then put the volume level at 75%. But you don’t have to worry if it does not contain any volume knob. In Audacity, you will be able to fine-tune the input volume.

  • Then, you can search for the equalizer which you will find at the top of the Audacity. It is mainly a kind of a meter that will showcase if your recording is too loud. Look at the meter to know if the recording is too loud because then it will alert you with an orange or red flash. In this way, you can set up the volume to get it working properly.

  • You can minimize the volume by adjusting the Audacity input volume slider. You need to set it to a sweet and right spot where the visualizer goes green. Remember, a tint of yellow is fine but if it goes all green then it is ideal.

  • Now that you have done almost everything, it is time to rewind your tape to start the digitizing.


These are efficient methods for transferring cassette tape into digital audio. These methods are easy and require limited resources for securely transferring the old audio formats into the latest digital audio forms. These methods work with the effective arrangement of audacity level and help you synchronize and streamline the audio track with proper arrangement. Try out these methods to convert the precious audio formats with this simple procedure. Hope the article helps you!

​Recommended Reading

A comparison of portable cassette players

At that time, there were a lot of players making cassettes, but technology transition changed everything. Do you know that while Sony ruled the personal cassette player industry in the 1980s, Apple led the mp3 category in the 1990s?

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