How to record cassettes to MP3

By | April 6, 2021


Insert the black and white RCA cable into the release on the back of the cassette deck. Connect the end of the mini-jack to the slot on the back of the computer, or the headphone jack if you are using a laptop.


Click on the symbol for your music recording program, such as GarageBand, FL Studio, Cubase (see Resources) or any other program with recording features. Set the program to record a new track; Each program will differ slightly in this process.


Insert a cassette tape into the cassette deck. Press ‘Play’ on the tape and make sure the ‘Line-In’ option is selected on your music recording program. Adjust the volume so that the recording level does not exceed the maximum specified on the program’s recording level meter.


Press ‘Stop’ and rewind the cassette to Start when the levels are set. Click the ‘Record’ tab on your music software. Press ‘Play’ on the cassette deck. Save the recorded music to your computer desktop.


Open your disc burning program – for example, iTunes, Windows Media Player or any other disc burning software – by clicking on its icon. Go to the ‘Settings’ or ‘Options’ menu in your disc burning program. Find the ‘Import Settings’ tab, which is usually found in the ‘General’ section of Settings and click on it. Select ‘MP3 Encoder’ from the list next to ‘Import with:’ and click ‘OK’.


Import the cassette file into your program by dragging it into programs. Go to ‘File’ and then ‘New Playlist’. Create and type a name for your playlist, then drag and drop the music file into it.

Tips and warnings

  • Insert gaps between your cassette’s songs – the tape will record as an uninterrupted block – by using the cutter in your music recording program. Save each individual song separately before importing into the music sharing application.
  • When recording your cassette, make sure that the recording level does not exceed the maximum. Your recording is of low quality if that happens.
  • Recording cassette tapes to your computer as MP3 files is an effective way to guarantee the longevity of your music. By using a computer and a couple of music programs, you can save your favorite cassette music, protecting it from the aging process that affects the physical cassette tape. The digital files can then be imported to your MP3 player, a blank CD-R or just enjoy the computer speakers.