Continuity digitizing audio tapes

Having a lot of lecture material on tape I have decided to buy a device for digitizing tapes with a view to making CD’s. I’m assured that ‘Audacity’ is the best software to use. When making these tapes I simply turned the tape over when side one came to the end, this has of course left a blank before the start of the second side. Using ‘Audacity’ will I be able to stop at the end of the first side, forward to the beginning of side two and resume, making one complete recording. I have never done anything like this before so I would be very grateful for any help. Thank you.

If you happen to be sitting there at the end of side one, you can Record Pause, flip the tape over, start it and release Pause.

If you happen to miss it, you can Record Pause anyway, and just go in later in a simple edit process and remove the gap.

Continue recording and stop the tape and flip it and press play. Go in later and remove the gap.

You can append recording, where you stop everything dead, cut off the dead portion of the recording using the editing tools and Append Record exactly at the end of side one.

And finally, you can stop dead and press Record again which will give you a whole new track under the first one. Then you copy/paste the bottom track onto the end of the top track, effectively giving you one continuous show.

So yes, we should be able to handle this.


Most of the “devices” for digitizing tapes are cheap throw-away pieces of kit - if you have access to a decent tape deck than you will probably be better off using that.

If your PC has a line-input and not just a mic input (desktops often do - most laptops don’t) tha all you should need is a lead to connect the two devices. If not than you could consider one of the external soundcards that we know work well with Audacity - see this sticky thread:

I had my Nak deck professionally serviced before I did my tape transfers - but even a good “home service” should benefit the results: in particular clean the transport mechanism, the capstan and the pinch roller as tape dust builds up over the years (don’t use alcohol based solvents).