digitizing cassettes

I have a question about an appropriate format to convert cassettes to. I have a collection of live recordings of casual jam sessions recorded on various “boom box” type devices (using built-in microphone)that range from 5-30 years old. Quality and condition of the tapes vary. Do you think that there would be a noticable difference in quality if they are converted to MP3 as opposed to lossless (i.e. Wave) format?
Thanks a lot for your help…

As new formats and devices are developed, you can convert perfect WAV to all of them. MP3 is a delivery format dead end. The real question is what are you going to store the work on? I know people storing on recordable CD. That would be the CD format with a similar dye layer to color photographs. Don’t leave one outside or on the back window of the car.


Long term storage isn’t easy and it’s why I recommend keeping the originals around.

We’re happy you stored your work on “the cloud” but your access company, Cloud Media, declared bankruptcy.


Given that these recordings were made on various boom boxes I doubt you’ll notice any quality degradation when storing as MP3. Yes, there will be a small loss in quality each time you edit and re-save those MP3 files. Personally I’d use 256 kbps VBR (variable bit rate) and leave it at that.
– Bill