Some music fans hide shameful little secrets in their basements, garages, and crawlspaces: pleather carrying cases and shoe boxes filled with audio cassettes the sad jetsam of the digital media revolution. I used to run across my own water-damaged box about once a month while I searched for places to stash the latest haul of diapers from the warehouse store. Whenever I tossed it around, my music tapes rattled in protest, and I felt a little pang of regret that I had let my high school memories slowly degrade on magnetic tape. Before my cassettes joined my black Chucks and suburban teen angst in 80’s slacker heaven, I decided to grant them immortality by converting them into digital media files.
You might have your own fading memories trapped on cassette tapes, but now there is something you can do about it. There are a variety of tools you can use to convert analog recordings to digital sound files external sound cards, encoding software, even USB tape decks. Before you begin, however, you should know that any conversion process you use will take some time and will ultimately sound, well, like an old cassette tape. It doesn’t really make sense to convert a commercially released album that you can easily buy on CD or download as an MP3, but if your old recordings have personal value to you, it might well be worth the effort to convert them. More »