Converting music on analog cassette tape to digital format like mp3

How do you convert tape to digital files?

You just need a sound card with an analog input (pretty much any stand-alone sound card, probably many integrated ones as well). Don’t use the microphone input though, the quality probably won’t be as good. Plug your tape player output into the sound card. Then use any sort of recording program to record it as a wave file, and convert the wave to an mp3.

Just to add to above - you’ll probably need a lead with 3.5mm stereo jack plugs on both ends, any electronics-type shop should have one. And Audacity is a good piece of free software.

Thanks! I neglected to ask what sort of equipment and software is needed, but it seemed implicit in the OP.

If you have money to burn, there’s a drive built especially for this purpose. I’m told the quality can be a little better than piping it through the sound card.

Hard to imagine how that’s the case, given that all it does is plug into the sound card! At least, this is assuming the comparison is with a connection from a line-out on a decent tape deck, and not from the headphone socket of a walkman.

This question comes up every so often. Here are some previous threads:

Transferring songs from cassette to computer
copying from cassette tape to CD using computer
Converting Cassettes to MP3’s

Probably it’s something along those lines, or plugging in from where the CD-ROM would connect to it. I’m just passing along the anecdote from my GSI a while back who bought one and liked it.

Fair enough. And yes, I suppose if it’s hard-wired at one end and only involving a foot of cabling, then there’s potential for noise reduction.

I think there’s a thread about these devices somewhere in the past, and I remember being one of many people who said “it’d be great, if it did what you actually expect it to do”.

I own a Pioneer cassette player that incorporates a chip that very efficiently reduces tape noise. Its much more effect and naturally sounding than anything I’ve managed to achieve using software. I presume the PlusDeck has something similar.

aka Dolby noise reduction?

I paid $15 mainly to have the search functionality… Thanks for reminding me to use it…