How to copy a cassette to cd and mp3

This article explains how to use Audio Digitalizer to copy a cassette tape to audio cd and mp3 tracks from start to finish, including the initial setup of connecting the tape player to your computer.

Initial setup

Connect the tape player to your computer

Connect the tape player to the pc
  1. Using the included audio cable, connect the tape player’s headphone socket to the microphone or line-in socket on your computer.
The audio sockets on your computer may be coloured-coded. Pink is the microphone socket. (Green is for headphones).
If your computer has a headset socket

If your computer has only one audio jack it is a headset jack – the same type found on mobile phones.
This type of jack can’t be used to record tapes because it only records in monaural audio (not stereo) and doesn’t work with the type of audio cable we include.
If your PC only has a headset jack, we recommend purchasing a USB sound card. These devices are easy to use and cost less than $10 on Amazon.com / £7 on Amazon.co.uk.

Install Audio Digitalizer

Install Audio Digitalizer
  1. Insert the Audio Digitalizer CD-ROM into your PC.
  2. You should be prompted to run the setup program. If not, start the installer manually - see below for instructions.
  3. Follow the instructions on your screen to complete installation.
Starting setup manually

Follow these instructions if the installer doesn’t open automatically.

  1. Make sure the Audio Digitalizer CD-ROM is in your PC’s disc drive
  2. Open File Explorer and browse to your PC’s disc drive
  3. Double-click Install Audio Digitalizer.exe
32-bit version
Audio Digitalizer is a 64-bit app designed for Windows 7 and above. For PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista or any 32-bit version of Windows, we have included an older 32-bit version of Audio Digitalizer. To install it, follow the instructions above for starting setup manually, but double-click on Install 32-bit Audio Digitalizer.exe.

Select the recording source

You’ll be prompted to set the recording source and volume options the first time you use Audio Digitalizer. These settings are saved so you’ll usually only need to set them once. To make changes later, go to Settings.

What is a recording source?

Your PC can have several audio recording devices such as a built-in microphone, a webcam with a microphone, the line-in socket, the mic socket on a USB sound card, a USB tape player or turntable, etc. Audio Digitalizer can record from any of these sources.

Select the recording source
  1. Click the recording source connected to the tape player. This will usually be called Microphone, Mic or Line-In.
  2. If the recording source is listed as disconnected, make sure the audio cable is connected to the right socket.
  3. Adjust the volume (see next step)
If you’re not sure which recording source to use, start playing the tape while checking the recording sources. The source with activity on the meter is probably the right one.

Adjust recording volume

Adjust recording volume
  1. Make sure the right recording source is selected
  2. Play the tape. You should see activity on the volume meter
  3. Use the dial on the tape player and the volume slider in the app to adjust the volume so it stays in the middle of the meter.

You should make most of the adjustments using the tape player dial. This is because the tape player has the widest range and if the audio coming into the computer is too low or high, it is impossible to adjust it in software.

The best way to get the right volume is to adjust it until Audio Digitalizer says it is OK, then make a short recording to check the result, then tweak the volume as necessary.

Copying a tape

Recording

Recording
  1. On the Start page, click New recording
  2. Choose a recording mode.
  3. Record the entire tape
  4. Click Next to continue
Recording mode
Description
Manual
This mode works like a tape recorder: click to start recording, click to stop.
Timed
Timed mode is recommended if you know the length of the tape. You have the option to pause at the half-way mark so you can flip the tape.
Automatic
This mode works like a tape recorder: click to start recording, click to stop. If the tape player is especially noisy (lots of static or hiss) or the tape is very quiet, you may need to adjust the silence threshold in Settings. to adjust the silence threshold in Settings.

Editing

Editing
  1. Play parts of the recording to make sure the volume and quality is acceptable
  2. Apply effects as desired
  3. Click Next to continue
Effect
Description
Hiss reduction
This effect reduces background noise. To use this effect, you need to select a part of the recording containing only noise (i.e., no music). Audio sounding similar to this sample is then removed from the recording.
Pop & click filtering
This effect is for use with vinyl recordings.
Volume
Use this if you can’t adjust the volume before recording. Adjusting the volume on the tape player instead of this effect will give better results.
Riaa Eq
This effect applies the riaa equalization and is applicable to vinyl recordings only. You should only use this if your turntable doesn’t apply this effect internally.
Equalizer
10-band equalizer
Change speed
Adjusts the playback speed of the recording, with or without keeping the pitch constant.
Mono to stereo
This equalizes both channels. Use this effect if the recording is only heard from one speaker.
Reset
This removes all effects and restores the original recording.

Tracks & metadata

What are tracks?

Cassette tapes don’t have tracks like a CD - they are one stream of audio. To make playback more convenient, you can split the recording into multiple segments which become individual MP3 files or audio CD tracks.

You’ll see the tracks shown as rectangles overlaid on the recording. You can move and resize the rectangle to change the track’s position and length. When the project is saved, each rectangle becomes an individual mp3 file or audio cd track.

What is metadata?

Mp3 files can have track details saved with the audio. These details include artist, album and track titles along with other details such as release year. A cover art image can also be included. These details are shown when the file is opened in a compatible music player or program.

Audio CDs support a smaller selection of information in a format known as cd-text. Most car players will show these tags when the disc is played.

Metadata
  1. Check that the tracks are selected correctly
  2. Add album metadata (optional)
  3. Add titles and other metadata to each track (optional)
  4. Click Next to continue
Keyboard shortcut
Description
Left / right arrow
Moves the track without changing its length
shift + left / right arrow
Changes the start position of the track
shift + up / down arrow
Changes the end position of the track
Some types of tapes, such as audio books, don’t have clearly defined gaps and Audio Digitalizer won’t be able to detect tracks (or chapters) accurately.
If you prefer, you can skip track detection and save the project as one file / one audio cd track.

Save to mp3 and cd

Save
  1. To save the project in Mp3 format, click Mp3.
  2. To save the project to disc, insert a blank CD-R disc and click Audio CD.
  3. After the project is saved in one format, you’ll have the oppertunity to save it in the other format if desired.