Mono / Stereo

I have very old cassettes containing computer programmes as an audiostream.

I want to digitize those cassettes, but have a problem

These cassettes are recorded in mono and I use a stereo-deck to read them.
If I choose in Audacity “Mono” only one channel is used, so only 50% of the audio is used, which is no good when there are datadrops on that channel.

I would like to digitize both channels, but have the result of both combined as a mono track.

Is that possible (without additional manipulations, i.e. direct recording as such) ?

Thanks

I’m not sure what you mean by “without additional manipulations”, but you could record in stereo, and then “Tracks menu > Mix > Mix Stereo Down to Mono”.
Or if you want the final result as an MP3 file, you can just record as stereo and export as a mono MP3 (select the “Force export to mono” option when you export).

Or you might get better results by using the good channel and throwing-away the bad channel.

…Do you still have a way of reading/decoding the data to know if it’s good?