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Transferring old family audio tape cassette recordings to CD

 
 
Reply Thu 27 Dec, 2012 04:01 pm
I haven't had time to do much research into this yet, but will do so based on the advice I get here.

We have 3 90-minute audio cassette tapes of my mother's aunt reciting the family genealogy and stories going back as far as 300 years. The recordings were made in 1989 and the tapes are very brittle and might last for one or two more playings before they crumble.

I'm wondering if there might be some kind of service I can have do this, or if there is a good do-it-yourself method and application to transfer these cassette tape recordings to CD.

Has anyone done this? Are there ways to revitalize the tape to guard against damage during the playback?

The one way I can think of to do this is to play the tapes next to my computer microphone and record the playback onto a computer file that is then transferred to a CD. I think there would be great degradation to the audio quality and background noises.

The other method might be to try and find a cable that would connect to an old portable cassette tape deck and has a USB connector to plug into my computer. That would eliminate background noises and audio quality degradation. Might be worth a trip to Radioshack to see what they can come up with. Hmmm...

Any other ideas, advice?
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Thu 27 Dec, 2012 04:15 pm
@Butrflynet,
The cables to connect cassette players to computers are pretty standard issue (and inexpensive).

My primary recommendation is to practice with a cassette that has less important material on it.

Here's another option (cassette player that turns the contents into MP3)

a bunch of them at Amazon

if you have some version of factorydirect you can probably get one for $10 - 15
Butrflynet
 
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Reply Thu 27 Dec, 2012 06:44 pm
@ehBeth,
Those tape-to-MP3 converters at Amazon look like a good possibility that I didn't know existed. Thanks for doing the leg work.

I have a bunch of even older music cassettes that I can practice on before taking a chance with the family tapes.

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