Incorrect Cables?

I recently downloaded Audacity into my Windows XP laptop after CNet recommended using the software to backup cell phone messages.

What’s working: Audicity records just fine when I play my cell phone message through the phone’s speaker the laptop speaker, however, that’s not the quality I’m looking for.

What’s not working: When I use the audio cables that Best Buy recommended (attached) Audacity does not recognize any sound. Cable is going from the Android phone headset jack to the Windows ThinkPad headphone jack. If I unplug the cable mid-message, Audacity hears and records the sound, if I plug the cable back in Audacity hears nothing.

Do I need different cables? Is there a unique Audacity setting required?

Thank you in advance for your feedback.


Check the record settings in the Windows Sound Control Panel. Is there a “Line In” option?
What settings are available as recording inputs in the Device Toolbar?

You can go from the headset on the android device IN to the Microphone port on your laptop. At the moment the system is looking up it’s own bum. Headphones are outputs. So what you currently have is OUT of Android device trying to go into the OUT of the laptop.

So once you plug into the mic input on the laptop, open Audacity and make sure Microphone is selected as your input. Make sure the volume is low to begin with and slowly drag it up until about 60%.


The Windows Control Panel Sound has the internal microphone for recording, which sounds correct (no pun intended). No “Line In” option.
This same internal mic is listed in Audacity as the input device.

I see the point about output to output. But to speak like a girl, there is no other ‘audio input hole’ anywhere else on the computer. What a quandary.


“internal microphone” is the microphone built into the computer.
“Headphone” is where sound comes out through headphones.
You need an input - if your computer does not have one then you will need to get a USB audio device that does have inputs (such as a Behringer UCA 202)

I follow, I think. USB audio device connects into the computer in a USB ‘outlet’. Audio cable I have is good and will connect cell phone to USB audio device?

Thank you very much for your assistance!


That’s odd as 90% of laptops have a mic input socket and a headphone socket. This is to allow for headsets that aren’t USB. Can you post the model of your laptop?


DamienB, the model is a T520 ThinkPad (Lenovo). It’s got lots of places for inputs, but only one that is for an audio cable that I can see.


According to the T520 manual, it has a “3.5mm 4-pole Combo audio jack”, and then goes on to say:

The combo audio jack does not support a conventional microphone