From Cassette to MP3

Did you spend a small fortune on children’s books on cassette tapes back in the day? I know I am dating myself, but I guess if you are reading this, you are close to my age as well or maybe inherited old cassettes from an older teacher. 🙂

I had over $2,000 in books on tape collected from my many years of teaching that were just sitting in my basement. It made me sad to see them when I would come across them every now and then, the waste of this resource beckoned a response. I thought I would try to research a way to access these great stories for my students listening station in my classroom. After many hours of searching, I found the answer, a Cassette Tape Converter. Of course Amazon to the rescue! Those of you that know me, know that I am huge Amazon fan. I then waited on the ever notorious sound of the UPS truck entering my neighborhood. This sound usually meant I had been shopping again.

So, you will need:

1. Those old cassette tapes. 🙂

2. Your laptop or computer that you use to access you iTunes account.

3. Your Dropbox account with folders that you wish to transfer the audio files to.

4. Audacity downloaded on your computer.

5. A cassette converter

Here is one like the one I purchased:

Cassette to MP3 Converter at Amazon for under $20

Here are the Step by Step directions for converting cassette tapes to mp3’s. (Hopefully, Audacity has not changed this process since last summer.) You are basically downloading the audio from the tape through the converter, via Audacity. Then using iTunes to store the file and then transfer it to your Dropbox to allow access to students at school.

*I did this over the summer and let the tape record while I did things around the house.

1. Open Audacity and iTunes. Drag the outer frame of each window until you can see both.

2. Rewind & Load tape into Converter

3. Push play on converter 1st- usually long lag at beginning

4. Click red record at the top of the Audacity screen once the audio begins- watch for sound waves to begin.

5. After recording, may need trimmed- click somewhere in the gray band to drop a line, select/ highlight what you want to trim off.

6. After the area turns a darker gray, click the scissors to trim that section off.

7. File-export-save to Music folder on Computer HD- then the inside folder, I named-Audio Books-Type in book title. It will ask again to imbed into file.- click ok

8. Now we need to retrieve it from the computer/folder to upload to iTunes. So open computer file, find that book- click. It should download in the recently added playlist in iTunes.

9. Drag and drop to list.

10. I would wait until you have all files in iTunes before you save to Dropbox. Or practice with one before you try them all?

      You can see my file if you zoom in on the photo above.

11. If downloading more, you will need to click the “X” box, upper left, to close out previous recording.

You may need to practice this process a few times but once you get the hang of it, it is pretty sweet!

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