Vinyl records and tapes to MP3 or CD using your PC
This tip will explain how you can preserve your precious collection of cassettes, minidiscs or vinyl records quite simply and inexpensively with just a PC audio lead and some great free audio software. Ready? Lets start recording!
Here's what you'll need:
- Your stereo, tape player or other audio component with 'Line Out' connectors
- An inexpensive PC audio cable (Twin Phono to 3.5mm Stereo Jack) like this one.
- The freeware audio recording & editing program 'Audacity' installed on your PC
Here are the steps required:
- Connect the end of your cable with the RCA phono plugs into the “Line Out” or “Rec Out ” connector on your tape deck, minidisc player, or stereo system.
- Plug the other end into your computer’s 3.5mm (1/8") “Line In” connector. This is normally a blue coloured socket positioned next to the green “Speaker Out” and pink “Microphone” socket on the back of the computer. (See images below for clarification)
- Open “Sounds & Audio Devices” in Control Panel on your PC and click the Advanced button. This should bring up a bank of volume sliders. Make sure the Line In slider is about 1/2 to 3/4 way up and that the Mute checkbox is unchecked. You can now close the volume controls.
- Open up the Audacity program and set it to record in stereo. To record in stereo, open the Audacity preferences. In the “Audio I/O” section, change the number of recording channels from 1 (mono) to 2 (stereo).
- Choose “Line In” as the input source on the Audacity toolbar, and press the Record button. While Audacity is recording, start playing your tape, record or disc. When you have captured the entire recording, press the Stop button.
You've now captured the recording on your computer - easy, isn't it? You may want to split your recording down into individual songs and clean up the noise from your recording and save it to MP3 or CD.
For more information on how to do all this and more, check out the help section in the program (or website) for documentation or read the FAQ's and tutorials on the Audacity web site.
Audacity is well documented and is being updated and improved all the time. We highly recommend it for the price!