Hello, Newbie here.

I am Running Audacity 2.1.2 on my MacBook Air running OS 10.11.6. I purchased a PYLE PT-659DU Dual Cassette Deck for the purpose of this project. The Deck is plugged in to the computer via USB ports, out of my headphones Jack is connected external amplified speakers. I have Downloaded Audacity Not sure DMZ or what, it doesn’t say in the About nor in the location, specifically to begin the task of transferring my large Cassette tape collection over to digital format for safe keeping. I don’t have time to go through each song and edit noise etc. I performed a test run with a short bit of tape. I pressed record on the computer audacity wind then play on the deck. I was able to hear the music through the computer as it played. When I went to listen to playback, all I got was, well nothing for a minute or two and then the classic feedback whine of an instrument too close to an amp or something,

I have been looking at the manual, I feel like an idiot trying to figure this stuff out. Also, I am not used to saving a “file” and not knowing where or what file folder it is being saved to. Like, If I had a file folder on my desktop called transferred Cassette Music. Then I could go to Audacity, open file and choose “Cassette Music” and then that would open and show me all the music I have so far.

Is this too much trouble to ask what I am doing wrong? Am I into something that I just can’t do?

I would be grateful for some help.



Audacity has conventional indications when you are making a recording. The sound meters bounce and the blue waves start building left to right.


That’s a perfect Audacity recording. Everything is about the right place and size. If it didn’t look something like that, then you weren’t actually making a recording.

Control-Click on the time bar and select Update Display…
That way the blue waves will keep up with you.

Audacity checks for new connections and devices when it starts. So connect everything you want to use and then start or restart Audacity. You can also Transport > Rescan.

Use the Device Toolbar to set what you want to record from and play to. The record setting (microphone symbol) should say something, something USB? There is no standard name for these connections. The other connection may be Built-in Microphone

Same with playback. The options should contain Built-in Output. That’s your speakers and headphone connection.


It sounds like you may have been recording your laptop built-in microphone from the built-in speakers. Feedback City.

And don’t wander away until you make a recording and play it back.

Audacity doesn’t save sound files. If you want to get a standard, stand-alone sound file you have to use Export. Build your library with WAV (Microsoft), not MP3.


WOW, well I figured most of that stuff out I think. I do have the external speakers plugged into the headphone jack so I can listen while recording. The deck is joined via the US Port. I just recorded a full cassette so I’ll see if I van export etc .WAV . :astonished:

Thank you for the help :open_mouth: . It seems pretty straight forward in the beginning but can quickly become confusing for joe computer operator like me :unamused: .

Again, thank you respectfully for taking the time to answer to a neophyte like myself. :smiley:


I do have the external speakers plugged into the headphone jack so I can listen while recording.

That’s how I do it. I get two benefits: A killer sound system and a super convenient way to set volume during a show or production.

There is a hitch people run into when they record internet sound. Many times, they lose control of their speaker volume.

“Every time I turn the speakers down it wrecks my YouTube recording.”

I don’t have that problem and I guess you don’t either.

There is a reason you’re Exporting the work as perfect quality WAV (Microsoft) files instead of MP3. MP3 has intentional sound damage to get those small sound files for your Personal Music Player. You can make an MP3 (or anything else) from your WAVes, but you can’t go the other way. Once you make an MP3, you’re stuck with the compression and sound damage. Even if you make a WAV from the MP3 (which you can do in Audacity), all you get then is a WAV with MP3 sound damage in it.


So I made the full recording and saved as .Wav the file went right into iTunes. BUT, when I tried to play it back I got no sound. Is this because I need to convert over to MP3 for itunes and if so how? I’ll give it try but thought I would ask. When I click on convert I am only shown the option of Create AAC Version.


Have you tried reimporting your exported file into Audacity? If it’s a flat line then go back to your Audacity project and try exporting again.

iTunes can play WAV files if you choose WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit PCM when you export. Converting to lossy formats like MP3 or AAC in iTunes will only degrade the quality.