Being new to this, I want to make sure that I am getting it right. I want to record from tape deck headphone output to a USP port in my laptop which does not have an “input” other than microphone. I have searched for a few cords and some say they do not transfer data, only picture. Here is one that might be good: http://amzn.to/1F459c8. Are there other suggestions?
Probably the most popular device for this task around here is the Behringer UCA202 (~$30). Assuming your tape deck has a volume control for the headphone output you are using it should be fine. (The UCA202 does not have any gain controls on its inputs, so if your signal is much different than consumer “line level” there are issues).
You’ll also need an adapter cable to go from whatever sort of jack your tape deck has to the RCA inputs on the Behringer eg: http://www.amazon.com/3-5mm-Mini-Plug-Computer-Stereo/dp/B000LMFS7M if it’s got the typical 3.5mm diameter mini-phone jack.