Can't do even simple things like recording and playback

I am very frustrated with this software and can do nothing with it. Sometimes something works and a new problem comes up or it doesn’t work next time. What I am trying to do is convert cassetes into MP3’s. This is what I do:

  1. Click on file and then new
  2. Click on track, new, stereo or audio
  3. Start playing the cassette (cassette player is connected to my computer via USB)
  4. Click on the record button. Sometimes the lines go crazy, indicating it is recording, and sometimes they are flat
  5. Click on export and indicate that I want MP3’s files. I am asked to give the recording a name and save it.

However, when I try to play it back, I hear nothing. It seems that once I was able to hear the playback, though I can’t remember doing anything different, but all other times I hear no sound.

All I want is to record my cassettes and convert them to MP3 files. That’s all. I don’t want to edit, merge, do effects or anything fancy. Just a simple task. Why can’t I do it? I am really frustrated. What am I doing wrong? Is there perhaps a simpler software program?

Thanks for your help.

You may need to re-select your [u]Recording and Playback devices[/u] every time you start Audacity.

You’ll “loose” the USB recording device when you disconnect it. Then when you plug it in, Windows might try to use it as your default playback device (which won’t work) so you’ll have to re-select your regular speakers/soundcard.