Cassette to CD transfer.

I have a bunch (about 25) of books on cassette that I’d like to transfer to CD to play in my car. I don’t have a CD burner on my iMac. Is there an inexpensive device able to do this? I’m not picky about high quality sound, since it’s not music.

Are you SURE you don’t have a CD burner? The last iMac to ship without the ability to burn CDs was in the G3 era - nearly 10 years ago.

Well, if I open iDVD, a window pops up and says, paraphrasing, “your mac does have a super drive. While you can work with iDVD, you won’t be able to burn a DVD.” I am not a computer genius, by a long shot.
My iMac is a G5.

Since you live in Berkeley, you may also contact the Media Studies department or the School of Journalism. They may have a student willing to do it for a few dollars.

The process itself isn’t that hard. It’s just a matter of feeding the audio from the tape into a computer or a CD recording device, which is what the device that Icerigger linked to does. If you do it through a computer, you can clean up the audio to get rid of the hiss. (I don’t know about you, but cassette hiss drives me nuts.)

If you can’t find anyone locally to do it, I’ll be happy to do it for you. I’ve got access to the right equipment. IM me and we’ll talk specifics.


Then you should be able to burn a CD. DVD requires a different kind of burner; you can generally burn CDs with a DVD burner, but the converse isn’t always true.


I shall look into this further. :slight_smile:

Sorry to have to point out that what the OP proposes is, of course, a violation of copyright.

Well I’ll be danged. It seems you guts are right! I gotta go get me some biank CDs.

Is it? I think copying is okay if it’s only for my own use. No?

I believe the only way to legally be able to copy purchased cassettes to audio CD is to use the blank CDs marketed as “music” CDs. Like blank audiocassettes, the MPAA gets a cut of those, making it kosher.

As long as you’re only making one copy for yourself, you appear to be in the clear. The Audio Home Recording Act expressly permits non-commercial recording for personal use. You’re simply copying recordings you already own into a more portable and convenient media. It’s the same logic that allows you to rip CDs into your home computer and copy them onto an mp3 player.

As long as you don’t make a jillion copies and sell them on eBay, there’s nothing that can be done to you.


Thank you very much for that link. I have been having this discussion over and over with my mom: she claims, with no cites but many “professional” assurances, that copying CDs even for private home use is unequivocally illegal. I have tried to research it but had come up with nothing definitive until now.

IIRC, you don’t have to “sell” a copy to be in potential violation of copyright law.

You don’t have to sell them for money, but it’s assumed that one copy is most likely for personal use.

The relevant citation is from the Senate report on the AHRA.

Even though the RIAA is the unholy love child of Satan and L. Ron Hubbard, I can’t see them getting worked up over a single copy you make of tapes you already own so you can play them in your car. If they do, just make a lot of noise and they’ll go away.