willowoak: (Default)
( Aug. 30th, 2009 09:25 am)
A few years ago, I wanted to digitize some cassette tapes because they were OP and pretty much one of a kind in my neck of the woods. I figured out how to do it, and as with most things nerdy...the process is pretty simple and the most important tool is the software...unless of course, you're a code monkey who lives to tinker with the software itself.

Because the right software will pretty much do it for you, and you just LOOK really cool to all your friends. :) At the time, I found a program called Media Digitalizer. I bought it, and it worked well for what I wanted. In the fullness of time (i.e., last winter), I upgraded to a new PC, but when I tried to migrate the program, I found that they apparently no longer had my license key on record (even though I still had it) and that they've switched to an annual license (BASTARDS!). I said not just no, but HELL NO!

Of course, now there are some other cassettes that I want to migrate to digital format as well...some for me, and some for friends. So off I went in search of another bit of software. And since Google is my friend, I found an open source program which does the same thing. :) Audacity. Good stuff and I'll mention again, it's Open Source. If you have the time, you can easily pick up the skillz.

The process truly is simple. You need a tape deck (a boombox is OK), you need a male to male audio jack (standard issue...I got mine at Radio Shack), you need a software program (Audacity for preference...have I mentioned Open Source?), and you need an audio cassette tape. You plug one end of the jack into the line out/headphones port on the tape deck, you plug the other into the line in/microphone port of your computer (try to use line in if you can). You pop a cassette into the player. You open Audacity. You push play on the tape deck, you push record on Audacity. Play the tape until the side is complete. You can then edit the tracks by splitting them into separate files for each song and export them as WAV, MP3, or OGG files. You can edit them to add or remove white noise. There's a whole laundry list of stuff you can do once you've digitized the audio files. :)

I had a few technical glitches...like the power cord for my tape deck has been eaten by the house. At this point, who the HELL knows where it is. I found a replacement, but then managed to plug the jack into the wrong port -- despite knowing better. :) But the project is underway now.
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