Do you have old cassette tapes but have no way to play them? Luckily for you, there are multiple ways to convert cassette tapes to modern MP3 or other format files that can be stored in your computer’s hard drive, an external hard drive, a flash drive, CD disks, stored in the cloud, or even sent to anyone via email.
There are at least two methods of copying cassette tapes to modern digital files. I will call the two methods the easy way and the much easier way.
The Easy Way
First, you need to find a cassette player. Actually, that is not all that difficult. You might find an old one in your closet or at a local yard sale.
While new cassette players are slowly disappearing, there are quite a few still being manufactured. I found a bunch of them available on Amazon at: https://amzn.to/2F4MqIP.
Next, purchase an audio-to-digital converter that connects to the earphone jack on a cassette player or other source of audio. The other connector on the audio-to-digital converter plugs into a USB connector on your Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer. Load the software (many audio recording programs are available and some of them are even available free of charge). Then press PLAY on the cassette player and sit back as the audio is stored in your computer as MP3 audio files or possibly some other audio format. You can later copy the newly-digitized files to any other storage media you wish.
Audio-to-digital converters are not common but you can find several at computer retail stores. Of course, Amazon has them also, ranging from $15 to $25 each. You can find them by starting at: https://amzn.to/2F48zH7.
The Much Easier Way
For only a few dollars more, you can purchase a portable cassette player with a built-in audio-to-digital converter. That solution requires fewer cables, less complexity, and probably fewer problems.
Simply place batteries in the new portable cassette player, connect the included USB cable to your computer, load the audio recording software in your computer (many audio recording programs are available and some of them are even available free of charge), click on PLAY in the cassette player and sit back as the audio is stored in your computer as MP3 audio files or possibly some other audio format. You can later copy the newly-digitized files to any other storage media you wish.
Portable cassette players with built-in audio-to-digital converters sell on Amazon (where else?) for $23 to $28. For a selection of such cassette players with built-in conversion to MP3 or other audio file formats, look at: https://amzn.to/2QlQ6H8.
If your computer’s operating system does not already include audio recording software, look at the very popular and FREE open source Audacity program at: https://www.audacityteam.org/. Audacity has many uses, including it will record audio being sent through the computer’s USB connector and save that audio as a digital MP3 file or in any of several other formats.
MP3 is the most commonly-used format for audio files. I would suggest you use that for your first few recordings. Once you gain a bit of experience with everything, you might want to experiment with other, higher-fidelity file formats.
What are you waiting for? Convert those tapes!