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How to Convert Audio Tape to CD at Home

Many people take pride in their music collection as it grows with age and speaks loudly of their musical tastes and experiences growing up. But whilst that large collection of audio tapes may tell of a lifetime of enjoyment, the physical tapes themselves will not last so long. The audio tape has a tendency to break down physically, as well as deteriorate in playback quality over time. Converting your audio tapes into CD is one of the many ways you can prolong the life of your music collection, and here’s how.

The CD is a great tool in converting audio tapes and cassettes into a digital medium that doesn’t deteriorate in quality no matter how many times you play the music. Once the music has been placed on the CD, you will be able to store it in your music collection as a physical item, as well as save to a computer for transfer to an MP3 player or smartphone.

The simplest way isn’t so simple!

To start converting your audio tapes into CDs you will need a number of items to ensure that the transfer process is of high quality, as well as simple to do. You can purchase special interfaces which allow an audio source input and record direct to a CD, but many of these specialist pieces of audio equipment may be hard to find, or expensive to purchase on a one-off basis.

For an audiotape to CD conversion at home you will need at least some of the following equipment:
- A computer with a +/- re-writable CD drive
- Blank re-writable +/- CDs that are compatible with your CD drive
- An audiotape player which has a 3.5mm or ¼” “line out” or “headphone out” or a pair of RCA outputs
- An audio cable such as a male to male 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a few adaptors to fit your particular audio in and out sockets
- Audio recording software on your computer
- A long time!

After you have purchased all that you need to start recording, it is time to hook up all of your equipment.

The idea is to play the music on your audio tape player, and then feed this into the audio in or microphone port on your computer. This will then be seen by your audio recording software on the computer where you will then be able to hit record and turn the music being played into a digital audio file. It has to be said that this process will take literally hours upon hours to record just a few albums!

Purchase great audio recording software

There are a huge number of expensive audio recording programmes for Windows, Mac and Linux, but one of the most popular free alternatives is Audacity. It is a tool used to edit audio files, music files as well as record music or any audio from your computer. The interface is relatively simple to understand but has a huge instruction library for anyone that needs a little help.

In your music recording software, you need to set the audio input as the music that you are recording, and it is best to mute all other audio to get rid of interference from your computer's microphone, for example. Press play on your audio tape player and record on your computer to record a long file in MP3 or whichever format you have chosen.

Edit your music file into smaller tracks

After you have recorded an album or a long piece of music, you will then have two options: either record this one single long track onto your CD or edit this length of music into smaller files and create tracks with them. Audacity allows you to make these edits.

Once you have all of your individual tracks, you can then start to record them to your CD. Insert your recordable CD - and it is preferential that you use a non-re-writable CD so that you cannot accidentally overwrite your hard work! Use one of the many different free programs that allow you to create an audio CD, or Windows media player for a free alternative, as well as similar built-in apps on Mac and Linux and drag the files to your new disc.

Set the burning speed of the disc to one that your CD supports and wait for the disc to start performing the recording. This shouldn’t take much time at all, and when it is done you will have an audio CD of your music ready to play in any audio CD player.

Get a professional service

For those that are not technically minded, or do not have the time to play all of their music collection in a single go to record their music, why not talk to a professional service which offers this audio tape to CD conversion.

Cineclair Productions only uses the highest quality playback and recording equipment to ensure that your music collection is converted in its best possible quality, preserving the quality you already enjoy for years into the future onto a compact disc.

Converting your music at home may be a bit of a leap to make for those who are not so technically minded, and for anyone who doesn’t have much time on their hands, choosing the professionals at Cineclair Productions is a no-brainer! You will have your beloved music collection ready on CD and preserved for the future in no time at all!

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