[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: cassette -> mp3

From: ditch wrestler
> I've spent the last 4 and a bit months loading my cd's into itunes.  And 
> it's now time to tackle the two medium-sized boxes of cassettes in my 
> closet...
> I would like to keep this as stone-simple as possible as I ain't no 
> techno-weenie.  But I know there's more than just a few techno-weenies 
> here, so that's way I'm asking...
> Can I do this with just an rca to 1/8" male trs cable to run my cassette 
> deck into my soundcard, xp, and itunes?
> My machine is a hamster-driven P3 and I'm hoping to avoid anything that 
> costs money, b) will slow down my already slow computer, and c) not turn 
> this into a labour-intensive, "hovering over my computer for the entire 
> length of the cassette" event.
> Yeah, not asking for too much, am I? ;-)
> I know already once I upload the cassette, that I'm going to have to go 
> back and put markers into to seperate the songs so this isn't going to 
> like itunes where I can just toss in the cd and walk away.
> And if I just had a handful of cassettes, I'd find some local studio and 
> pay them to do it for me but I figure I've got at least 200 cassettes of 
> stuff that's either oop, bootlegs, really obscure, etc. that can't be 
> found on cd...

Know how you feel Ted!  I was forced to contend with the over-twenty years 
of cassettes, many of them 4-track, and of course THOSE haven't been made 
for nearly ten years.  I finally found a Yamaha MT4X that was less than 
fifteen years old, and have been using it to remaster those old tapes 
they disintegrate.

Here's the rub: mp3 sound quality really sucks in comparison with the good 
old non-digital cassette.  If all one wants to do is throw them all onto 
your iPod (or whatever of the endless myriad of mp3 players out there) 
straight encoding to mp3 is fine - encoding at 192 will give a brighter 
result than 128, but it's still not the fidelity of the cassette.

If you want to also archive the tapes into a form you can turn into any 
format you like in the future, I recommend that you encode to something 
a WAV format at the highest resolution your sound card/module can bear, 
edit the singular WAV file into the separate files for each track, then 
it to a audio CD.  This will not only give you a far more permanent and 
portable archive for your taped work, but also make encoding for iPod etc. 
much much simpler.

Think of it in terms of the tasks involved:

Tape -> MP3 (each cassette):
1. Record to MP3 file on the computer;
2. Edit the MP3 into separates for each track;
3. Edit the resultant MP3 files (renaming and changing properties to 
title etc);
4. Upload to MP3 player etc.;
5. Archive MP3s to compact disc.


Tape -> CD -> MP3 player:
1. Record to WAV file on computer;
2. Edit WAV file into separates for each track;
3. Rename separates accordingly ("01 - Jimi Hendrix - Fire" etc);
4. Burn album to Audio CD;
5. Use MP3 player software to suck the higher-res music off the CD.

Hope this helps.
Stephen Goodman
* Cartoons about DVDs and Stuff
* http://www.earthlight.net/HiddenTrack
* The Loop Of The Week since 1996!
* http://www.earthlight.net/Studios