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Ripping old cassettes to mp3

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vwcrusher 6 months ago

So I have been looking around for either hw or sw to do this. Downloaded Audacity, figured out how to record, then couldn't save to mp3 because of some dll. In checking out the process to obtain dll got to a site that frankly seemed sketchy virus-wise.

Is there any relatively inexpensive solution either hw or sw. I do not need top quality output as the cassettes are recordings off of 45 discs.


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vwcrusher submitter 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks for the reply. It is interesting, I did see that on Amazon, but many of the comments kind of cooled me to it, especially the part where the product includes Audacity......again, the missing .dll. You have experience with this device? It actually works?

Evil_Paroxysm 5 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

When I do vinyls I plug a RCA L/R to 3.5mm jack converter from my audio interface into the mic port of my PC. Do some quick samples with volume and use basic recording software from there. I forget the name of my software but its free and versatile.

vwcrusher submitter 1 point 6 months ago

You know it's interesting that you mentioned that as I just completed a search and found in the microsoft store "sound converter." Free and people say that it will convert any audio to mp3. Going to try that; thanks!

yawumpus 1 point 6 months ago

45 discs? I don't know how old you are, but that is telling.

Audacity should be able to do it on its own, look under "export audio" and give it a .mp3 filename (you might also have to select "mp3" on the drop down selector). Granted, this might not give you many options.

You might want to check out some "hearing test" sites on the web (youtube should include a few that simply scale a frequency up) and see how high you can hear. Then tell audacity to filter everything above that out (go to "effects" and choose "equalization"). I'm pushing 50 and can't hear more than 10kHz. That's half the (uncompressed) data completely worthless to me. The earliest (consumer) mp3 converters simply did (remove everything over 10kHz) this as step 1, so it isn't that bad to the audio and makes things easier on conversion. Then again, I'm not sure that cassette can record 10kHz, and if you told it specifically that it was a cassette it might have already compensated.

LAME was the old standby for mp3 compression. It should still work (and be free), but the interface and amount of work it is willing to do is likely dated compared to the free Microsoft product. But audacity will export mp3s, but doesn't appear to give much in the way of choices (such as what output size you want).

I have to wonder if it would be worth taking multiple analog recordings and trying to average them (note: this has to be done in frequency space, and almost certainly using double precision floating point math. Don't try it without at least a basic understanding of windowing theory). A quick googling found nothing, not even a discussion on how to do it.

vwcrusher submitter 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks for the reply....and for the record (no pun) I am older than you.

What I ended up doing was using voice recorder within W10 and then converting using 'Sound Converter' utility from the Microsoft store .... all free. Since the dynamic range of the source (cassettes) isn't that great, the product is quite acceptable. In fact hearing the needle on record sounds is kind of nostalgic. : )

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