Grandma needs help with simple recording

I am using Mac snow leopard and I want to do a straightforward copying of old audio tapes. When I read the instructions, I am overwhelmed by the details and words I don’t know. I do not need to do any editing. Can someone please walk me though how to make a copy of the tapes so I can play them on my ipod?

see this tutorial set from the manual:

This one will be particularly useful:

And most of the steps in this one apply to tape transfer too:


You caught us a little at sea. Most people have one particular complaint or shortcoming and we can pick them off (to borrow a hunting analogy) efficiently and quickly. We’re known for that, plus having elves in many different time zones helps, too.

That wasn’t your question.

I’ll try to follow this with specific recommendations. How are you playing the tapes? Exactly. Model numbers, pictures, web pages, anything.

It’s not that hard, but yes, if you’re starting from zippo, it can be a little forbidding.


What I am trying to copy is audio tapes from a 12 volume set I bought years ago of an audiobook. I have 2 of these audiobook sets, and other single audio tapes. It would cost over $100 to buy one of these sets on CD and the other is not yet available on CD, and some of the individual tapes are of invaluable and irreplaceable classroom lectures that might be of historical value…if I can transfer them to MP3 (isn’t MP3 what the file method is called for the things one listens to on an ipod?)

I looked at the manual and the quick start, and then the links given in your responses, found most of the things I was supposed to find and do on the audacity screen, and otherwise followed the instructions as closely as possible (some things appear to be slightly different on my Mac than in your instructions, but I think I found what was wanted). I have now spent over a couple of hours trying to get it to work. The tape moves forward in the player, but all I get is a moving flat line on the computer. I don’t hear anything when I connect the ear buds, and I don’t see any up/down lines as if it is recording anything, and I can’t hear anything when I try to get the screen to “play” after I “record.” I connected the usb cable to the computer before starting.

I am quite sure this is very simple if one knows how, like swimming. But obviously I am not getting it.

You “connected the USB cable before starting”. I take you have some sort of cassette player with a USB connection?

The first step is to make sure that the Mac is hearing the USB-connected cassette deck.
See if the instructions on this page help:

– Bill

isn’t the “Cassette2usb Converter” a cassette player?

Yes, it is.

Did you look at the web page?

– Bill

You should read through that web page. It’s a clear, straightforward, illustrated presentation of all the stuff we’re going to tell you anyway. If there are any parts of that page you don’t understand or don’t work right, post back.