Audio Cassette to Digital Archiving: high-quality, complete hardware and software solution


I am a musician and I have around 100 audio cassette recordings of compositions I've done since I was a kid sitting in a box untouched for about 8 years and I am anxious to transfer and archive them to a loss-less digital format for long term safe-keeping.

The kind of solution I envision is a nearly automatic, "complete" hardware and software solution. i.e. place tape in hardware, plug direct digital line (USB, whatever) into computer (Windows 7), hit "go" button and have software (either in the hardware devise or on a Windows PC) monitor the signal and automatically chop the feed into tracks (i.e. listening for pauses in the recordings). Auto flipping would be good too.

I'm willing to spend a pretty penny (~$500, <$1000) for such a solution. I've honestly been searching for around the last 5 years and haven't found anything that fits my criteria. Recently I found, but it looks like a toy.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be grateful. Thanks.

Stephen Swensen

Posted 2012-08-27T02:16:00.527


Perhaps, this is not what you're asking for, but... why can't you employ a student next door to grab all data with any standard PC and a quality tape player (that you already have)? – None – 2012-08-27T07:59:20.277



Ion do a range of these sorts of things - from audio to video etc. SOme do auto flipping to play both sides before stopping. The one you linked to also gets good reviews.

The thing you need to remember is that audio circuitry these days can give you higher quality than your cassettes, at a very low price.

So get one of them, run Audacity (which will automatically split into tracks etc) and it will cost you about £50. You don't need to spend hundreds.

Rory Alsop

Posted 2012-08-27T02:16:00.527

Reputation: 5 762

Good points, I'll try to keep an open mind and look further into the Ion solution (and not immediately discount other lower-cost solutions). And thanks for the tip about Audacity. – None – 2012-08-27T11:17:50.977

I've found the cheap ION tape solution is pretty lousy. My tapes all dragged horribly on the weak motors, even though they would play much better on other old tape recorders. Having tried the ION route, I ended up just putting a cable from the headphone jack of an old tape-machine into the mic jack of my laptop. Undoubtedly a worse sound-quality but at least the tracks are playing at the right speed. – interstar – 2015-06-25T19:41:24.927

You must have got a dodgy one. Mine successfully managed over 400 cassettes with only one that failed - and it had mechanical problems. – Rory Alsop – 2015-06-25T20:30:53.197

What length cassettes? Mine were all C90s. – interstar – 2015-06-25T21:16:08.630

1Mostly 90s and the odd 120 – Rory Alsop – 2015-06-25T21:33:55.033

Ah ... maybe I was unlucky then. Or perhaps it was a different model. – interstar – 2015-06-25T23:08:38.217