Audacity no longer records anything [SOLVED]

Dear Experts,

I’m using an older Dell 4700 running XP with motherboard SoundMax Digital audio.
And a Sony tape deck that you would use in a stereo system with a Y cord to the computer’s line in (blue).

I installed Audacity and Lame. At first it worked fine. It recorded a clip. As it recorded, I saw the peak meters showing the sound level. And, in the horizontal bars, the changing profile of the music, all in blue.

Then I looked at the sound quality settings, and made a few adjustments. But after that, it would not record.

It went through the motions of recording. However, the peak meters do not move. And there is nothing in the horizontal bars, no sound profile. When I save

I uninstalled Audacity, and cleaned the registry with CCleaner and reinstalled.

But I still get the same symptoms.

What is the secret to get Audacity to work correctly, again? Is there some adjustment or setting I need to check?

Thanks a lot!

According to the Device Toolbar, you’re trying to record from the internal CD player.

I have no idea how it got that way, or why it’s gray.


Which is what you have to fix. Choose the Line-in to record from, if that is what you are connecting the tape deck to.

“CD Player” inputs usually don’t even have the wires connected to record anything.

Device Toolbar is always greyed out when you are playing, recording or paused (just like most of the menu items). You can’t change device properties while audio transport is taking place.


Please be careful with XP. It is a security risk given Microsoft no longer supports XP with patches. See


Thanks everyone.

I was able to record side one and side two of the cassette tape.
Each side was written to a separate file. Both WAV and MP3.

I’d like to combine the two files into one big file.
Is this possible? If so, please send a link to the tutorial.

Thanks a lot!

You can use a compressed archive file such as ZIP. You tell zip which files or folders you want incorporated and it will make them all one big zip file suitable for shipping or uploading.

PKZip for Windows?? I’m not a Windows elf.

However, unless you made changes, the MP3 file is a poor quality copy of the WAV. Once you have a very high quality WAV, you can create any of the lesser quality types or sound files any time you want.


Did you mean you made one side a WAV and the other side an MP3? That’s different.

No guys, you’re missing it.

Cassettes came with music on two different sides.
CDs come with music on only “one side”.

I want to join the two WAV files end to end.
So, instead of two 20 minute WAV files, I have one long 40 minute WAV file.

Can it be done with Audacity?
If so, how?


Import both files into Audacity. They will appear one above the other.
Zoom out so that there is some space (you can do that using the “magnifier” tool with a “-” in it, or see here for other ways to zoom)
Then slide one track to the right using the Time Shift tool.

From the file menu, select “Export Audio” and export the project to a new file (more about exporting: Audacity Manual)

Thanks, it worked great!