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Cassette tapes to MP3

Mark Clark 25 Sep 00 - 08:45 PM
IvanB 25 Sep 00 - 09:00 PM
Clinton Hammond2 25 Sep 00 - 10:28 PM
Mark Clark 26 Sep 00 - 12:14 PM
GUEST, mrs_zezam 28 Sep 00 - 11:40 AM
MK 28 Sep 00 - 11:48 AM
IvanB 28 Sep 00 - 12:22 PM
Lyrical Lady 28 Sep 00 - 12:36 PM
MK 28 Sep 00 - 01:01 PM
Clinton Hammond2 28 Sep 00 - 01:18 PM
Mark Clark 28 Sep 00 - 01:25 PM
Clinton Hammond2 28 Sep 00 - 04:10 PM
MK 28 Sep 00 - 04:21 PM
Mark Clark 28 Sep 00 - 04:25 PM
IvanB 28 Sep 00 - 05:10 PM
Max 28 Sep 00 - 05:51 PM
DMcG 09 Sep 01 - 03:44 PM
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Subject: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Sep 00 - 08:45 PM

Here is a site with a great explantion of creating MP3 files from cassette tapes or just about any other audio input. I'd seen lots of explanations for working from digital input files (CDs) but not much about standard audio input. You can just plug your walkman into your sound card and record a .wav file. Second step is to encode the large .wav file into a small MP3 file using software downloaded from the Net. Once you have the MP3 file, you can place it on your private Web space at your ISP and let the rest of us know where it is.

I figure a lot of us have cassette recordings we made in the field or at jam sessions, band rehearsals, demo tapes, etc. that would of interest to the community but have no commercial value. Why not share them here? Your heirs will just throw them out anyway. No intent to voilate copyright here, just sharing the things we already own.

The site also talks about other things you can do with sound on your PC but I've been interested in the cassette thing so that's how I found the site.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: IvanB
Date: 25 Sep 00 - 09:00 PM

Actually, Mark, there are several programs available that will record directly to MP3 format. I have MusicMatch, and, although I have the registered version, I know the free version will also work and with a high enough sampling rate to produce pretty good sound. There are several others available as well.


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 25 Sep 00 - 10:28 PM

Go to http://www.hello.com.tw/~fosi/ and look for a program called Jet Audio... It's a nice setup that plays MP3's, wav's, midi, movie files, and just about any other format you can imagine... It's interface looks just like yer home stereo so it's really easy to use...

Download it and you'll find that it can record MP3's right off you computer's mic, or audio input from CD's or a tape player...

Very simple... very intuiative...

Be warned however... the above site uses banner adds for adult sites to pay for itself... so if yer squeemish, you might want to have someone braver download it for you and email it...

{~`


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: Mark Clark
Date: 26 Sep 00 - 12:14 PM

Never mind......

I guess I was the only one who didn't know how to do this. Mudcat has lots of information on ABC, MIDI and even Real but I didn't find anything on MP3 and went through some effort to track down the info. I've been using MusicMatch, one of the most highly rated MP3 programs, and the latest free version (5) will now encode MP3 at the 128Mb CD quality. I think I'll pay to register the program and get the additional features.

I tried creating Real files using RealProducer but found that a particularly unsatisfying experience. Besides, RealNetworks has fixed all their clients so they report your listening activities to be included in their market research database. MP3s can be played in privacy using your operating system's built-in utilities. They can also be transferred to MP3 players for portable listening. Seems like a more flexible and generally useful format to me.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: GUEST, mrs_zezam
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 11:40 AM

I was so happy to see this topic... I've been wondering how to do this and had no idea where to begin. Thank you!
Mary


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: MK
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 11:48 AM

You can also buy a stereo Y-jack cable from Radio Shack or other electronic parts place, and take a feed directly out of the headphone jack on your receiver into the stereo inputs on your sound card. A hard disk recorder such as Goldwave will record the transfer to your hardrive and then you can go in and edit (trim) the gaps at the beginning and the end of the hard disk recording, to tighten it up. There are also programs like Easy CD Creator 4.x and others that will help eliminate hiss, pops and crackles from recordings from cassette and LPs.


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: IvanB
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 12:22 PM

If you use the earphone jack on your stereo for your feed to your computer, be aware that it's subject to the stereo's volume setting, making overload a possibility in the recording volume. If you have a line-out available, it's preferable to use that since then you control your recording level by the volume controls on your computer.

Also, the products Michael K. mentions for removing noise work on .wav files, so you'll need to record in that format, run the file through the noise fileter, then convert it to a compressed format (MP3, etc.) if desired. If your aim is to make CD's of your cassette (or other) music, .wav files are what you want anyway, unless you've got one of the very new CD players which will also read MP3 encoded discs.


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 12:36 PM

Thank you..thank you..THANKYOU! I've received some great tunes from Musicman and Night Owl and would like to reciprocate .... now I think I can! Cheers...LL


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: MK
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 01:01 PM

IvanB,
You are absolutely correct. The process I described requires a bit of trial and error-ing in terms of setting the gain (volume) level of the receiver's output into the sound card. I know that Goldwave (and I'm sure other programs) have VU type of meters that allow you to visually measure the signal input strength and make adjustments accordingly from the receiver. One might have to do several trial runs with a given sound to get the right balance level. Bear in mind too that hard drives tend to record things a little hotter than the VU meters show while the actual recording process is taking place. Therefor the signal should be adjusted so that it's nearly peaking towards the peak indicators without going into them. Too much peak and you have distortion. Not enough signal coming through and you have additional noise/hiss. You have to play around and fine tune this stuff....but it works very effectively.


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 01:18 PM

JetAudio works soooo much better than Goldwave or any other sound recording software I've tried, I just gotta mention it again... it's a fantastic program... I use it to make MP3's of cassette tapes, and to make cassette tapes of MP3's... no hiss... few pops... an intuitave interface...

Deffinatly worth the download!

{~`


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: Mark Clark
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 01:25 PM

As I was trying to figure out how to make MP3 files from cassette tapes I spent a lot of time searching the Web and the UUNET news groups but found that nearly all the activity surrounding MP3 is also tied up with CDs. Everyone talks about "ripping" CD tracks to MP3 and they talk about creating MP3 files on new writeable CDs. The information just didn't seem geared towards making MP3 files on your hard disk from cassette tapes (or LPs for that matter). Many of the programs that will create MP3 encoded files will only create the MP3 file on a new CD. I suspect the authors are trying to avoid problems caused by users' limited RAM and hard disk capacity.

Frustrated and confused, I checked at my local B&N to see what they had. There I found a book (Idiot's Guide To MP3, I think) that discussed the process of getting taped audio into MP3 format. The book came with a CD that included both software and music files. With the purchase of a six foot stereo patch cable (male mini-plug at each end) at Best Buy I successfully recorded both cassette tape and FM radio broadcasts in .WAV format. I didn't need a Y-jack cable because I can monitor the progress through the speakers or headphones of my computer.

Now, using the latest (version 5) MusicMatch free download I've successfully converted the .WAV files to MP3 files on my hard disk and they sound terrific. Now if I want to make recordings to send to friends, I can make an analog tape recording in the old fashioned way and quickly move it to MP3 using my little portable tape player and MusicMatch.

Michael K., After listening to your recorded tunes, I'd imagine this too primative for your production standards and my daughter the sound engineer will probably be scandalized as well but it lets me work comfortably using stuff I already know about and gives me great results with minimal frustration and without having to go the RealNetworks or Microsoft streaming media routes.

This method does require significant hard disk space and some RAM but that shouldn't be a problem for most people. My home computer is a 128MB, 600MHz, Pentium III based Windows 98 machine with DVD, writeable CD ROM and a 27GB hard drive. I think I paid less than USD $1,400 for it about eight months ago.

Maybe others will find this information useful...    or else not. <g>

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 04:10 PM

Ya see Mark...

JetAudio does it all in one step.. you don't have to record wavs and then convert them... you can record straight to MP#, RM or a host of other formats...

And it's free...

{~`


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: MK
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 04:21 PM

Mark, whatever gets the job done for you to your satisfaction, is cool. Since I don't have a digital out on my portastudio, I transfer everything to the hardrive using the method I mentioned above.

The program I used to convert wavs to Mp3s is called Media Wizard, and it will store the MP3s anywhere I tell it to. (It will also convert MP3s back into Wavs as well.) If you want to check it out, send me a PM with your email address and I'd be happy to oblige. If you're happy with what you're using now, I completely understand.

Clinton, I did take a look at Jetaudio but didn't download it. It looks remarkably similar to the software (Creative Control Centre) that came with my Sound Blaster Platinum card, but I appreciate the tip.


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: Mark Clark
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 04:25 PM

Thanks Clinton, I'll give it a go. I've been avoiding programs that go straight to MP3 because they always seem to want to go directly to CD and won't make files on your hard disk. I also read---maybe at the site linked in my first post---that it's better to record to .WAV first because there is no compute overhead to bog down the process and interfere with quality. Then, when the audio information has been captured in a .WAV file, the calculation-heavy MP3 encoding process can proceed at its leisure without interfering with the accuracy of the recording process. I don't have any way to evaluate the veracity of opinions like that but, as a lifelong computer guy, it rings true from a purely technical aspect.

I appreciate your not giving up on me just yet.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: IvanB
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 05:10 PM

Mark, MusicMatch will also record directly to MP3. Just click on 'Options/Recorder/Quality' and you'll see a whole renge of possible recording formats.


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: Max
Date: 28 Sep 00 - 05:51 PM

Pene Azul and I have done about 100 hours of this in the last month. It sure is a whole lot of fun on such a large scale. We've done around 250 songs so far, and have about another 500 to go. We always try to convert any Mudcatter tapes sent to us, the recordings we make at gatherings and such, and anything not already digital. Soon we'll be able to provide access to them for all of you. As of now, we only intend to share original mudcatter songs and traditional songs performed by mudcatters. We have to be very careful about copyright. We are still dealing with 4 publishers wanting to shut us down just because of the lyrics, and HFA contacted us about just mentioning MP3's on the home page.


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Subject: RE: Cassette tapes to MP3
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 03:44 PM

I don't know about JetAudio. I use a program called "AudioTools". A really nice feature of this program is that you can define 'silence' to be a length of time with the sound below a certain level of dB and the program will automatically split the input into tracks. Just set a cassette going, come back 45minutes later and everything is done (except for track names)!


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