Connecting a tape deck

I wanted to convert tapes through a tape deck by using audacity latest version downloaded to my Dell laptop. However I am not able to locate the 'line in" in the tool bar to click and start importing the songs on to the laptip before exporting the same.

Can anybody guide me?


Make sure you have Audacity 2.1.2 from We have to ask because you did not give your actual Audacity version number (see the pink panel at the top of the page).

Most laptops do not have a proper line-in. If you have a compatible microphone input that recognises line level stereo you “may” be able to use it. If that does not work you can buy a USB interface to connect the tape deck to. See

If you really do have a line-in that is separate from the microphone in, you may have to enable it in
Windows Sound then restart Audacity.


Gale, Thanks a lot.
As for version, I had recently downloaded the latest verison 2.x.
My point was that last time when I converted some tapes through my desktop, on the toolbar before the steore.mono option I used to get line in option on the tool bar. But when I am now using the Dell Vostro laptop it is not appearing. I am not sure whether it is a hardware issue with the laptop or any issue with laptop



If Help > About Audacity… says “2.x” then your version is bogus. Please check. If necessary please download Audacity 2.1.2 from

This is all explained in my previous post. I suggest you look at the links in that post for detailed help.

Do you have two separate audio inputs for sound coming in, or only one input for sound coming in and one output for sound coming out?

If you have two separate inputs, go to Windows Sound and follow the instructions to enable the line-in.

If you have one input and one output, try using the mic input at a very low level.

If you only have one audio port that is both input and output, it probably is not suitable for recording cassettes. You can buy a USB interface with a line-in in that case, connect it to the USB port of the computer, then choose the USB interface as the recording device.

If you need to, look at your computer manual to find out what your audio ports do.


Desktop machines typically have “real” soundcards with all three connections. Mic-In, Stereo Line-in and Stereo Line out (or headphone).

Most Windows laptops are missing Stereo Line-In and some try to cram everything into one socket. Those are usually terrible at everything. Windows laptops aren’t generic, do-everything machines any more. They’re business machines and the audio connection is designed for a headset so you can Skype to the home office.

Not recording stereo tapes.

This is the Behringer UCA-202 stereo interface. I have two. I recommend them. That’s my stereo sound mixer on the right.