Simple Language help/cassette to computer

Audacity 2.0.2
Windows XP

I am an old lady (really) who needs help. I used to sing in the early 70’s and I have some old cassettes that I want to put on discs. I have tried like crazy all day to get the hang of all the language of audacity and recording etc. And simply put I am over my head.

I have a boombox, cassettes and a Dell Desktop computer. I have attached a cord into the headphone socket of the boombox to the back of my computer, using the same cords other end, and put it in the microphone socket (pink) of my computer.

I press play on the cassette recorder and press record on Audacity and all I get is a flat line. I hear nothing. I record nothing.

I found a youtube of this guy saying how easy it was to do what I am trying to do and I so very frustrated.

Is there anyone out there who can help this old lady? :question: Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease?

When you get recording going that will probably give you mono instead of stereo, and very loud distorted recordings. Do you have a blue (line-in) socket which will be stereo and won’t be too loud?

Assuming for now you were connecting to the pink socket, you would choose “Microphone” as input device in Device Toolbar:

So that would be “Mic” or “External Mic” (don’t choose Internal Mic if you have that choice). If you can connect to a blue socket, choose “Line in”.

For output device in Device Toolbar, choose your speakers or headphones device.

When you get an input signal, you will need to click on Transport > Software Playthrough (at the top of the Audacity window) to turn playthrough on (so a check mark is beside it). This will enable you to hear the cassettes through the computer speakers when you record them.

You will want also to adjust the output and input sliders on Mixer Toolbar:

The left-hand slider turns the playback of the computer speakers up and down. Use the slider to right of it to make the recording louder or softer.

Have you read this Tutorial:,_LPs_or_minidiscs_to_CD ?


Gale…Thank you for your quick responce.

Your first question…do I have a blue socket? Yes

For the devices: output devices only gives me two options; sigma tel audio and microsoft sound mapper (output)
input devices only gives me these options; microsoft sound mapper (input)…sigma tel audio: line in
sigma tel audio: rear mic
sigma tel audio: microphone

That is as far as I am able to get so far.

Any chance you could continue your aid. I sure appreciate it :confused:

OK, choose “Sigmatel audio”. That will be the green audio output on your computer.

OK you want to connect the lead from the headphones out of the boom box to the blue port on the computer. Then choose “Sigmatel line-in” in Device Toolbar.

The rest is as I said before (use the sliders on Mixer Toolbar to adjust the playback and recording volume, and turn on Transport > Software Playthrough).

You will also need to turn up the volume knob on the boom box when you play the cassette. Otherwise, Audacity won’t record loudly enough.

The following is just extra detail once you get recording working. If the boom box has a “line out” or “audio out” you can connect to that instead of to the headphones. It might be better quality but then the only way you can adjust the recording volume is with the Audacity input slider or the input slider for line-in in Windows.