Converting Audio Cassettes

I’m using an iMac with Yosemite 10.10.4. I downloaded Audacity 2.1.1 new (not an upgrade) and it all seems to operate fine. No launch issues or anything.
I have connected an ION Tape Express player to my iMac to run audiobook cassettes for digital conversion. Audacity seems to be collecting all the sound well enough for the purpose.

The first book I started is on 6 cassettes and I made the mistake of pressing stop instead of pause at the end of the first cassette so that is on a separate track from cassettes 2-6 (though all in the same .aud project). I exported the project to AIFF and it shows the full book (approximately 6 hours). But when I try to create an MP3 from the AIFF in iTunes it only creates an MP3 of the first track (cassette 1) or about 1 hour.

Everything I have read in the tutorial indicates (to me) that all tracks in a project get compressed into one when exported. Judging by the AIFF file that worked. But why does the AIFF then become two separate tracks when creating an MP3 of the AIFF file?

What am I doing wrong and is there any way to fix this? I have used LAME to export the project to MP3 as mentioned in the tutorial but thought it might not play back on the multiple device formats (iPod, iPad, Android) we own so I’ve created the AIFF file.

In subsequent conversions, I’ve successfully created a single track of multiple cassettes, exported as AIFF into iTunes then created working MP3s. Of course there are no breaks to search. If I can’t figure out how to take the two track project and make it one I don’t think I’ll be able to figure out how to create a searchable chapter break audiobook.

Would it best to just say lesson learned and start over or is there a way to fix the project?

I’m very grateful to be able to convert some wonderful audiobooks from cassette to MP3 in order to enjoy them once again.

Thanks in advance.

I can’t say why iTunes behaved the way it did when converting the AIF file.

But your project should be easy to fix. I assume you have two stereo tracks in the project, on above the other. One track contains the first cassette (1 hour) and the other contains cassettes 2 through 6 (5 hours).

Choose View > Fit In Window so you can see the entire recording
Click on the track control panel of the longer track (this selects the entire track)
Select the Time Shift Tool
Move audio from the longer track into the shorter track, with the longer portion after the shorter portion.
If necessary, still using the Time Shift Tool, slide the longer portion until it “butts up against” the shorter portion.

You should now have six hours on one track, and the other track empty. Click the “X” on the empty track to delete it.

You should now be able to export one AIF of the entire recording.

Perhaps others have advice on creating chapters, but something you might want to consider is exporting a separate file for each chapter. You’d do this using File > Export Multiple. This tutorial might help.

– Bill