Cassette Tapes to CD-R's

I have about 25 cassette tapes of old “Prairie Home Companion” radio broadcasts from NPR, circa 1995. Each show lasts 2 hours. One cassette tape holds a complete show, one hour (1st half) on the A side and one hour (2nd half) on the B side. My goal is to put all of these broadcasts onto a CD that will play on a regular CD player, such as the one in my car.

I bought a cassette converter for about thirty bucks on Amazon. It came with the Audacity software, which I installed on my Windows 7 computer. After a little thrashing around, I was able to put the first half of a broadcast onto the hard drive of my computer. Next, I set about Step 2 - copying the file on my hard drive onto a CD. Here is where I hit a snag. It has to do with storage capacity.

The “first half” file on my hard disk is about 700MB. The disk capacity of the CD-R that I have is slightly over 800MB. It doesn’t take a math major to see that this isn’t going to work, not unless I want to end up with 50 or so CD’s making up my collection of these old broadcasts. I considered DVD’s, which have a much higher capacity, but which one cannot use for playing music on a regular CD player.

With me so far? Does everything I say sound accurate? If not, please correct me, because if I can find a workable way to put all this stuff on CD’R’s, without having to use so many of them, that is really what I would prefer.

If my assessment of the problem is correct, let’s move on. I am considering other options. One option would be to put all of the cassette tapes onto my hard drive and then import them into iTunes, from which (I would hope), I would be able to play them on an iPod. Is this doable? The format of the file on my hard drive is .wav. I read where iTunes cannot play .wav files, but they can be converted relatively easily. Is something like this feasible?

Are there any other options? If so, what would y’all suggest?

Also - it looks like I am going to have to copy the broadcasts on the cassettes onto my hard drive in real time. Not good. Is there any way it can be done quicker?

Thanks in advance. This is my first post on your forum.

That’s right : an audio CD can only store 80 minutes. (Uncompressed CD-quality audio uses approximately 10MB per minute) .
If you convert from WAV to mp3 it’s possible to compress the audio file-size by a factor of 10 without glaring loss of audio quality. So it would be possible to fit 50 hours of audio on one DVD in mp3 files, ( but only some car-audio can play mp3 flies on a DVD, or USB memory stick, or ipod ).

Not unless you can increase the speed of the tape player.
Check to see if the recordings are a available online, before spending 50 hours on the project.

Thanks for your comments! There are outfits that will put cassette tapes onto CD’s for you, but it is outrageously expensive and I’m not sure they can do any better than I can - it just saves my time. I have explored listening online, which is fine, but what I am really trying to do here is put all of my old shows onto some type of media to present as a house gift to a couple we will be visiting next spring. They are rabid Prairie Home fans and, now that Garrison is gone, I thought it would be the perfect house gift.

What about importing into iTunes, making up some playlists and giving them all the files on a flash drive? That way, at least they could listen with an iPod and a speaker.

A 4GB flash drive could store 50 hours if you converted the WAV files to MP3 , which you can do with Audacity.
If you keep everything WAV-format you’d need a >32GB of storage for 50 hours of CD-quality* audio

[* 44100Hz sample rate , 16 bit-depth, stereo]

Aha! This may be the solution for me. Thanks so much.