digitizing mono cassettes with stereo equipment?

Hi folks, I’m trying to digitize mono cassettes with stereo equipment. Is this so foolish that I must simply find a mono tape deck? If not, how would you recommend I proceed:
A) use an adapter cable to combine the deck’s stereo out into one signal before going to the computer,
B) set Audacity to record mono even though there’s a stereo signal coming into my iMac, or
C) record stereo, and then pick the better channel (on some of these tapes one channel will be way louder than the other; I don’t understand why)?
These are rather carelessly made, low-quality spoken-word tapes (though now considered important). I don’t actually know that they were recorded on a mono machine… all I know is that I can’t imagine they’d actually have set up two mics to record them.

Thanks for any help! And I’m new here, so feel free to point me somewhere else if this isn’t an appropriate forum. --Allen

C - go for the better track.
You could also try combining (mixing) the tracks to see if this gives a better result. To do this, just split the stereo track and set both to mono (from the drop down menu by clicking on the track name. Play them one at a time - solo one, then the other then play both tracks together - (you may need to lower the track volumes to avoid distortion when playing both together).

And a quick note. I would totally make the final product a stereo track, no matter what’s on it. I have a simple audio CD authoring and burning program that marches right off the end of a cliff when presented with a mono audio track.

There are monsters waiting out there for the owners of a mono track.


Thanks, that’s very helpful! --Allen