Trying to copy MiniDisc to mp3

Complete noob.

This should be easy. I have a number of MD’s which I used in my university classes which I need to convert to mp3. So I had Audacity all set and I recorded 19 of 24. On Sunday I did a recording from an audio on the computer to an mp3 file and it worked just fine. However, since then I have been unable to switch back to whatever I did before. All i do is generate feedback or record some things with a microphone instead of a line in like I did with the previous recordings.

Simple CD/MD player with headphone output plug into a Buffalo USB to audio converter plug into the computer. As I say, it worked fine for a while. Tutorials don’t seem to help and I really need t convert these last few discs before I try other projects. I have spent more than 12 hours trying to work this all out. I know it shouldn’t be hard but it is, although I admit that windows 10 can make anything simple into a complicated mess. Previously I used 2.1.1 but I just downloaded the 2.2.2 today.

In the device toolbar, ensure that you have selected the “line in” device (not “Sound Mapper” and not your microphone). The “host” should probably be set to “MME”.

Thanks Steve. I am always on MME for this and I’ve selected RealTek audio but it’s still recording from the mike and not from the line.

Go to “Help menu > Diagnostics > Audio Device Info”, and when the info appears, save it somewhere convenient. Then attach the saved file to your reply (see here for how to attach files to a forum post:

Okay, here’s the file. Yes some of that is actually in Japanese although English is the main language.
audacity.txt (6.54 KB)

Can you read Japanese?

Audacity is set to use ステレオ ミキサ (Stereo Mix) for recording, which is a “virtual device” for recording whatever is playing through the (“Realtek High Definition”) sound card.

To record from “Line in”, you need to select the real input of the sound card, but there is no real input listed. This is probably because some other application has grabbed exclusive access to the recording input, or the real input is disabled. Try rebooting your computer, then start Audacity before running any other applications that use sound. (If you have Skype or other audio applications that auto-start on log-in, set them to not start automatically),

Another thought - Windows may disable input devices if nothing is plugged in. Check that the lead from the mini-disk to your computer is securely plugged in (both ends).

Yes I do read Japanese. I did get the impression that some other device was trying to grab sound but I haven’t been able to duplicate what I did the first time I recorded.

Does that mean that you still have no “line in” available?
If so, look in the Windows Sound Control Panel and check that it’s not hidden / disabled.

Now it says error opening sound device. This just gets worse and worse.

See this page in the Audacity Manual:


Buffalo USB to audio converter plug

I’d be gazing intently right there. Google is having a lot of trouble finding this device for purchase.

Assuming it’s a “soundcard replacement” such as the Startech units I have and love, they’re not stereo. They’re replacements for the mono Mic-In and Stereo Headphone that many laptops have.

For actual stereo connection, I found the Behringer UCA-202 works a treat, it’s unambiguously stereo both directions and generally mounts automatically with no drivers or other software.

I have two.


My guess is this device:

Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 14.03.01.png
So if the poster got this to work at all, it was a serendipitous mistake and that could explain why it’s such a trial to get it to happen again. Further, it’s a terrific bet that the transfers until now may have two blue waves, but I’m betting the show is in mono. Both tracks are the same, probably both Left.

Don’t throw those minidisks out yet.

Analog transfer of minidisks is a perfectly acceptable technique, but you do have to play by the analog rules.