I just bought one of the above tape players, only to experience some real trouble getting it to actually work. I’m using Mac OSX Catalina 10.15.6, and Audacity version 2.4.2. The tape plays when I listen to it with headphones, but my computer will only recognize it for short periods of time. I go into System Preferences–>Audio–>Input, and it’ll show up, then disappear. And when I did get Audacity to recognize it, and hit record, it kept giving a -9997 error message even though I changed the project rate. Now I see that although the player got good reviews on Amazon it seems a lot of Mac users have problems with it. I know this isn’t the first thread about it. So, has anyone worked out a solution? If not, are there any cassette to MP3 converters that will work on my computer?
There’s very few hi-fi cassette players made these days, and most of the ones that are still made are fairly high end (expensive). However, there’s still a lot available on the second hand market, and often very cheap (or even free). The downside of second hand cassette players is that some of the parts are perishable, notably drive belts and pinch wheels.
Pinch wheels can often be successfully rejuvenated by cleaning with isopropyl alcohol, though take care to avoid spilling on plastic parts.
Drive belts can often be replaced if you can find somewhere that repairs cassette decks (it can be quite a tricky job in some cases).
Buying a second hand refurbished cassette player locally (so that you have some guarantee) may be an option.
The Behringer UCA-202 interface is cheap and reliable, but it has no input level control. If the cassette deck has a particularly high output, it could overload the inputs of a UCA-202, so you would need some way to reduce the signal level (such as a simple resistor network, or via a mixer). If you have any experience with DIY electronics, then a simple resistor network is very easy to make, otherwise an interface with input level control would probably be a better option.
What do you mean by input level? I know that when I record from my Crosley turntable (yeah, I’m not an audiophile) I can raise and lower the volume going into audacity using the volume adjustor on the record player. But I can tell you are talking about something different. Do you think the output level of my ReShow player would be too high for the Behringer interface? Because the ReShow thing does work for just playing cassettes, so anything plugged in with a double male end headphone jack cord would still get a signal from it I think. But I can’t tell if the Behringer thing could even use those cords.
Sorry if this is confusing, I’m still tired after NYE : )
I also just got one of these and am attempting to use. MacOS Sierra and Audacity 2.4.2 The software doesn’t seem to be recognizing the hardware connected via USB. When I record, it only records using the built in microphone. I’ve tried quitting and restarting the software, and disconnecting then reconnecting the USB cable.
There is a drop down in the software for what I assume is to select input, but only “Built-in microphone” is available.
I appreciate any suggestions. I am very much a novice with Audacity and audio in general.
Yes, a ReShow Cassette to MP3 convertor. I’ve read here about overall issues with this hardware and Macs, but still trying to give it a go before giving up.
When I attach the convertor-supplied USB cable from the convertor to my MacBook Pro, Audacity does not seem to recognize this as an input source. This could be a fundamental issue with the hardware on my Mac OS, or it could be something simple that I’m just not understanding about Audacity (my first attempt to use this software).
I appreciate any suggestions of things to try before packing the ReShow up and sending for a refund.
When attaching a new device, it’s best to connect it while Audacity is NOT running.
If Audacity is already running, it is necessary to “Rescan Audio Devices” (in the “Transport” menu) to allow Audacity to see the device.
If Audacity still does not see the device, check in “Finder > Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup” to see if the Mac can see the device.
Like Steve says, connect the device before starting Audacity.
After connecting the device you can go to System Preferences > Sound > Input and see if the device is listed there. If it shows as “PnP USB Audio Device” (or similar) then it is one of the (many) problematic devices.
Have you followed these instructions.
Tip on Mac computer to save you some time.
Once you connect the cassette via USB, click apple symbol on computer left hand side, system preference, click sound and on drop down box set it to USB input. Load Audacity, and do the same setting up the settings from inline microphone to USB. Otherwise the Audacity will not recognize the cassette when you press play and record on Audacity even though you have it connected to computer via USB port.
First you’d need an audio-USB interface. We normally recommend the Behringer units (UCA-202, UCA-222, UFO-202) but there have been supply issues of late and these units are either not available in North America or stupid expensive (they should sell for under $40). Once you have your audio-USB interface then you just need a cord with a stereo mini-plug on one end and whatever you need to plug into the analog inputs of the audio-USB device (usually RCA plugs).
How should I evaluate non-Behringer units so I won’t be wasting my money? And in case I was not clear enough, or used the wrong terminology, when I say “audio output jack” I am referring to the headphone jack.
Beware of USB-audio interfaces that have one jack for microphone and headphones. These are meant to be used with smart-phone/iPod headphones. In fact, you don’t want any interface that says it is for a microphone. You want a stereo line-level input.