Want to convert your favorite mixtapes to MP3?


It’s easy. Just get your old tape player with a phone jack output. Run a cable from the player to the back of your sound card’s/laptop’s mic input. Then just use your favorite audio software (or find a new favorite) to record and save in MP3 or other favorite format.


Wanting is never easy! It means I have failed to find understand the perfection of the moment. But I can confirm that these steps work even when taken dispassionately.


Without being too technical, what audio programs do you recommend? I have been using audacity to make mp3s of foxtrot 78s for my mother-in-law. Not sure how to remove the scratches and pops.


Techmoan might have some thoughts on the matter. Tape players always varied in quality, but these days, the manufacturers are even less likely to care.


I don’t remember what I used. It was years ago when I did it. Just something free on the net so not too fancy.

I just saw the recent store post and thought I’d save a mutant a few bucks if they already had the tape player and a cord (or could get one cheaper than that whole machine.)


Audacity should work, it is cross-platform and has become quite fully featured. But I don’t know what sort of de-noising it offers.

My go-to has usually been SparkXL, which is now old and unsupported. But for scratches and pops I have usually done manual cleanup, which can often be done with any two-track editor and some patience. It’s easy if the noises are mainly in the silent bits. Otherwise it requires some guesswork to restore the affected audio. Sometimes you can isolate a bit of hiss, pop, or scratch in a silent part, and use convolution to subtract that same sound from the musical parts, with varying degrees of success.


Yup. I did this in college with some crazy Godzilla radio drama i found for a quarter. Baby’s first torrent upload.


I’m partial to foobar2000 because its endlessly customizable, though it can be a bit daunting to newbies…

But really any currently supported audio encoder is going to use the LAME encoder for making MP3s, including the most popular, iTunes and whatever media player is built into Windows these days.

To do that you’ll need an audio editor, but the process is fairly labor intensive and takes a bit of practice.


Or just buy iZotope software. It’s what the husband has been using since memory was measured in Ks. He started using it for a project for the Sheriff’s Office de-noising tapes from wires.
There’s a reasonably good “lite” version for about $100.


Works great with vinyl too!

Unfortunately I realized one day that I now no longer have any device that plays cassette tapes, which is a bizarre feeling.

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