Ready, Cassette, Go!

Over the past thirty years I’ve owned thousands of albums, either as records, cassettes, or CDs; about 95% of those, I currently have in MP3 format. Most of the early records I owned were later repurchased as cassettes, most of which were again repurchased on CD. I’ve spent the past year or so converting my 1,200+ CDs over to MP3 format. It’s a fairly painless process involving very little talent thanks to lots of one-click software solutions, but it’s still somewhat time consuming.

Unfortunately, not everything I own made its way to CD. What I have left at this point is a large box of cassette tapes. About half of them are tapes I made as a kid by recording songs off the radio. The other half are cassettes I purchased from local bands that never released their music onto CD.

A couple of days ago I drug one of my old cassette decks out of the closet and connected it up to my PC’s soundcard with a pair of RCA cables. I’m now in the process of dubbing each of these cassette tapes into the computer, converting into MP3s one by one. After I’m finished I plan on using some software (probably DartPro or eJay Music Cleaning Studio) to clean up the hiss, pops and cracks from the old recordings before permanently filing them away. For the old tapes that I actually made by recording songs off the radio, I’m scanning in a picture of each cassette with my flatbed scanner; for the band cassettes, I’m scanning in the album artwork as well. Once I have all these in the computer, I can’t think of a reason to keep all these old tapes around any longer.

But, I probably will.

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2 comments to Ready, Cassette, Go!

  • Ha! Co-incidentally, that’s *exactly* one of my upcoming projects for the year as well, involving some 300 cassettes. The reason is pretty much the same – being the elimination of a great but obsolete format and the liberation of a bit of shelf space.

    But it’s gonna get worse before it gets better: part of the project is to assemble a site with images of all those tapes, in their myriad designs and colours and what have you. I’ve already had a few other folks contribute their old tape collections.

    Don’t suppose you’d be willing to contribute your own scans?

  • In fact, Rob, if you haven’t already ditched those tapes by “local bands that never released their music onto CD”, everyone (and probably the bands, too) will surely appreciate it if you could add those items to discogs.com before they are truly lost forever.

    Every little band that made the effort of outputting a recording or three deserves at least a few kilobytes in a digital hereafter — http://www.discogs.com/release/1348414