cassette tape deck to PC


New member
Aug 10, 2019
Hi, I want to convert some tracks on metal cassette tape(dolby C encoded) from my deck to the pc in a lossless format. I have bought the cable to do this, ie two rca jacks into one 3.5mm jack, and I've been told I need to plug the 3.5mm into a blue or light green socket at back of the tower. Which format would be best and when I press play on cassette deck what can I expect to see on the monitor? I'm thinking of flac as a format which I assume you can download free.


Well you have the right lead.

the 3.5 mm jack plugs into the "mic" or "line in" socket on the sound card. and into the"tape out" on the cassette player or amp.

If you start a cassette playing and activate the sound card controls you should be able to hear the sound via the PC speakers. On most sound cards just connecting a source will bring up a dialouge box on screen asking a question about what the source is. If it does not then click the sound controls in the system tray. It's say something like "audio manager" if you hover over it. This will give you access to the basic sound card controls. Once you have this working you can download your flac software and start ripping.

Bear in mind your soundcard will control the quality of the recording to some extent. Having said that I gently ripping my Vinyl collection to HDD and using the bog std card in my PC and the results sound fine to me.


Well-known member
Aug 13, 2010
I connect my compact cassette deck directly to the line input on a Soundblaster Live! card on an old Pentium PC. This has a lower noise level than the sound card on the motherboard on either my Core 2 dual or iCore PCs. The same card and motherboard in another PC is too noisy to use at all. This noise is a low level hum that can be heard when nothing is playing or on quiet sections. An external USB sound card avoids these problems.

I use Audacity (free) and Nero to save as wave and MP3 (320 or 192 for lower quality tape) and also then convert to AAC 128 for use on an MP3 player but not all MP3 devices will play AAC iTune files or other formats. If you have the space save as a WAVE file. MP3 at 192kilobit/second will compress to a sixth or tenth. I convert the wave file to 128 kBit/s for use with an MP3 player.

Audacity allows tracks to be cut and saved separately, but as my cassettes are either live or without tracks I have not needed to do this often. You can always do this later if you go back to the original wave file. Don't edit MP3 or iTunes, particularly if heavily compressed at below 192kBit/s.

I use MP3Tag (free) to convert the wave file names to tags. iTunes truncates file names, but the original wave file name is in the title tag. I save this to filename first and then convert track, artist, title of the file name ( Track - artist - title ) to the correct tag. I give the sub-directory the name of the album.


Well-known member
Oct 16, 2008
Third time's a charm eh? This thread is THREE YEARS OLD! What are you selling? Don't think I didn't notice the same weemee in that link you posted either...


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