Well, I don’t know how to use Audacity, so it will not work for what I need it to do. How does it transfer files? How do I monitor it to know it is transferring files?
There are no digital files on the cassette deck and it doesn’t “transfer files”. It sends a digital audio stream which needs to be “captured” (recorded) with an application like Audacity. Then, Audacity can create a digital audio file.
It is really too much work for what I need to do, I suppose. It seems to be designed for folks who want to play recording engineer.
Well… Yes… It’s a digital audio editor that can to lots of things, including recording. If you are new to this stuff, you need to learn some concepts, terminology and how to use the particular software.
There are some recording-only programs (not all are free) but most people want to do some editing, such as splitting a music cassette recording into separate files for each song, or adjusting the volume, etc. Total Recorder is supposed to be easy to use but it’s not free.
There are things Audacity can’t do… For example, it can’t copy CDs or make MP3s out of CDs, and it can’t burn CDs.
You can find services on the Internet that will digitize your cassettes (or vinyl records). Typically, you ship or mail your cassettes to them and they’ll send you back a CD. Or, you might be able to find such a service locally. Or, if it’s a commercial music recording you can usually buy the MP3s from Amazon.
It is very frustrating because all I get is the wave files. No sound or any of the windows the help files refer to.
You are 90% there. If you are seeing the Waveform you are recording and you can simply File → Export → Export to MP3.
If you select your regular speakers/headphones as your [u][/u] you can play back before exporting (saving). You may have selected your USB device for both recording and playback and these things usually only work one way.
Turn on [u]Software Playthrough[/u] to hear what you are recording (when you are recording).