Can't record from cassette. HELP

I have everything set up properly and the cassette deck is seen in the Apple preference. I click on the cassette for audio in and still it hears the mic. The problem is that the only sound that is recorded is my voice obviouly coming in from the computers mic. . I have not been able to get Audacity 2.1.3 (whih came with the WIKOO tape deck to pick up the audio from the tape. Very very frustrating. Help would be appreciated so I don’t have to return the cassette player and find somewhere else to do this. Thanks in advance. using High Sierra 10.13.6

For a start I’d upgrade to the latest Audacity which is now 2.3.3 - you can get it from our Website:

I’m assuming this is a USB device - in which case make sure it’s plugged in before you start Audacity - you will the need to select the USB device as the input on the Audacity Device toolbar - and your Mac’s onboard speakers as the output.

See this set of Tutorials in the Audacity Manual:

especially this one:


Sadly, I done everything you suggested and followed every manual and tutorial and still am not able to get the Wikoo uSB device to be seen by the prgram. After too many hours of trying I am going to return the device and dump the program. Most sadly is that you do not have any telephone support that might have helped me make this work. I am a university college professor in computer science so I do not think it is because I could not follow directions. I have even changed the cable out for several others.
Well, off to pay a company to do the transference,

Well, i finally got the program to see the deck and moments after it begins to record the program crashes. Sorry I have wasted so myuch of my time.

Those cheap Chinese USB cassette players are bad for Audacity’s reputation. Lots of people have problems with them, and because they often include a copy of Audacity (usually an out of date version), people often blame the software (unless they try using other software and get the same problems).

Audacity is a free program, made, documented and supported by volunteers. Do you think it’s reasonable to expect a volunteer to give our their personal phone number so that they can be called all hours of the day and night by people wanting technical support? Even commercial programs rarely provide telephone support unless you pay a lot of money each year (typically around $5000 pa) for that level of support.

When I transcribed my tape cassettes I did not use a cheapy Walkman size device - instead I used my Nakamich-BX2 on which all my recordings had been made originally - and before I started the transcription task I had the deck professionally serviced by Bowers&Wilkins in Worthing (UK Nak agents).

The deck was connected to my PC’s USB port via an external USB soundcard (Edirol UA-1EX - other makes are available.)

I always used the latest version of Audacity.

The results I got from this setup were excellent - certainly hi-fi quality - and I listed on QUAD kit with QUAD ESF-57 electrostatic speakers.

If you do not already have a decent cassette deck - then there are several available on the market from reputable makes that have suitable USB outputs - for example Tascam, TEAC, Marantz etc. This would probably be cheaper than turning the job over to hired-help …


I updated to the latest version but still cannot figure out what is wrong. I am attempting to paste in a screen shot to show what it looks like. I am not sure if it went or not.
Audacity Issue.png

As Steve said, those cheap cassette-to-USB devices are bad - not just for Audacity’s reputation, but pretty much unusable on Mac.

Try this.

Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Sound > Input
Plug in the cassette via USB and see if it shows up in the Input list (USB PnP Audio Device)
If it does, start playing a cassette.

My guess is that you will see the same behaviour you see in Audacity. That is, the devices disconnects after a few seconds. This demonstrates that is not a problem with Audacity, but with the device.

– Bill

A very large number of people are reporting problems On Mac with these Super USB Cassette Capture devices. I think they are made to operate off of USB power, which I am thinking could be a large power drain. Has anyone ever tried putting in batteries to assist the power situation?

It is my understanding that those devices require 1 or 2 AA batteries and will not run without them.
– Bill

Quick Start Guide

  1. Install Software.
    First, install the professional audio recording software (Audacity) included with your converter.

On PC: Insert the software CD into your computer. If installation does not start automatically,
browse the CD contents and double‐click the file marked “Setup.”

On MAC: Insert the software CD into your computer. Double click on the appropriate “MacSetup” DMG
file for your Macintosh. Then, click and drag the “Audacity” icon to your Applications folder to complete
the installation.

  1. Prepare Your Cassette2USB Converter.
    Use the included USB cable to plug your converter into your computer. Your computer will install the
    device automatically. Be sure to give the computer a minute or two to install it the first time. Then, load
    a cassette tape into your device.

  2. Start Converting Your Tapes.
    Run the “Audacity” software on your computer by double‐clicking on its icon.

NOTE: Make sure you plug in your converter before starting the software!
Once the software has loaded, click Edit  Preferences. (Audacity  Preferences on the Mac.) Under
“Recording Device,” look for an option called something like “USB Audio Device” and choose it. Finally,
set the “Channels” to “2 (Stereo)” and click OK.

You’re ready to record!

Press “Play” on your converter and click “Record” in the software. You may have to adjust the
“Microphone” volume within the software for best results. When you’re ready to stop recording, click
the “Stop” button in the software. Then, click File  Export As WAV or File  Export As MP3. If
prompted for a DLL file, see FAQ #3.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

4. Where do the batteries for the player go?
There is a removable slot behind the door on the converter for 2 AA batteries. You’ll need batteries if
you want to use the Cassette2USB Converter as a portable tape player.

Does the quick start guide, or the specifications, say what the current draw on the USB port is?
– Bill

So the answer is: No, the manual does not specify the current draw on the USB port. It does say that the device will run without batteries when connected to the USB port. It does not say if the current draw on the USB port will be reduced when batteries are installed.

Does the USB connection drop only when pressing play? Does putting batteries in the device help?

Reports indicate that the device continues to run after the USB connection is dropped. That seems to indicate that the computer’s USB controller software is not detecting an over-current situation and shutting off power to the device.

In any case, if the device is designed to draw (or is drawing) more than the standard maximum 500 mA, that’s a problem that can’t be fixed.

– Bill

So far anyway. :frowning: