If you’re my age or older, odds are you have a collection of old cassette tapes gathering dust somewhere in your house. And you probably haven’t listened to them for a long time because as smart as today’s smartphones and tablets are, they still can’t play cassette tapes.
They can, however, play a digital MP3 file. But that leaves you with the challenge of how to convert your old cassette tapes into this modern day digital format.
Arrela Portable USB Cassette to MP3 Converter
Converting cassette tapes to MP3 files is exactly the purpose of the Arrela Portable USB Cassette to MP3 Converter. The cassette player is a USB-recognizable device meaning you can hook it up to your computer and use it as an input device for recording.
That’s the easy part. The more challenging part is doing the actual conversion. In order to do the conversion, you’ll need to get familiar with a free piece of audio recording software called Audacity. A version of the software comes on a mini CD bundled with the cassette player or you can download the most recent version over the Internet for free.
Audacity is a fantastic piece of software but it does have a high learning curve. And you’ll need to learn the basics of Audacity if you want to successfully convert your cassette tapes to MP3 files.
How it works
The conversion process goes something like this. You connect the Arrela Portable USB Cassette to MP3 Converter to your computer via USB cable and install the Audacity software (or run the software if you already have it installed). Next, you choose the cassette player as your input recording device.
When the software is ready to go, you load a cassette tape into the player and click the record button in Audacity and then press the play button on the cassette player. As your cassette plays, Audacity will digitally record it.
Mind you, you have to play the cassette tape, at normal speed, the entire way through before you can stop recording. There is an auto-reverse feature on the cassette player which at least saves you the time flipping the cassette over to the other side when one side is finished.
Split it up
When you’re done recording your cassette, you will have one recording in Audacity that represents every song on your cassette tape. If you want, you can leave it like this and create one MP3 file which contains every song on the cassette tape. But I’m guessing most people will want to split each song up into its own MP3 file.
This is where it helps to know how to use Audacity because you’ll need to scan through the recording you made to find where one song ends and the next one begins. Then you’ll need to split the sound recording at that point and save the clip as a separate MP3 file. Rinse and repeat for each song on your cassette tape.
Here’s a 15-second sample of Your Cheating Heart by Hank Williams that I created using the Arrela Portable USB Cassette to MP3 Converter.
Hank Williams: “Your Cheating Heart” sample recorded using the Arrela Portable USB Cassette to MP3 Converter
Leave it to a techie
If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, just know this. The Arrela Portable USB Cassette to MP3 Converter does its job perfectly. It allows you to use your computer to record the audio from your cassette tapes. If the rest of the process sounds daunting, contact your neighborhood techie and let him/her do the rest.
Or you can always hire me by contacting me at [email protected] and I’d be happy to help you.
Note: The Arrela Portable USB Cassette to MP3 Converter mentioned above was provided to me at no cost or a discounted cost in exchange for my unbiased review. Click here to purchase on Amazon.com.