USB option vanished from dropdown menu

I have been using Audacity to convert a big stack of cassette tapes to digital. It was working very well – I recorded many tapes!

Out of the blue, the USB option has vanished from the Devices > Recording dropdown menu.

I am using Mac 0.15.7, Audacity 3.0.2.

I tried changing the USB cord, changing the USB port, re-starting Audacity (many times), Transport>Rescan Audio Devices, putting new batteries in my cassette recorder. I even installed Audacity on a different computer, but am having the same problem there.

Once on my own computer and once on the other one, during the troubleshooting process, the USB option appeared briefly. I selected it, then got a different error message which in the past I was able to “solve” by re-starting Audacity (for some reason, when it WAS working, I’d get an error if I tried to record a second cassette during the same session. So after each session I would quit Audacity, re-open, and it would work fine). So I selected USB, got the error, quit and re-opened Audacity. When I re-opened, the USB option had vanished again.

The strangest thing about this is that just like the person here (, it was working beautifully but suddenly stopped for no apparent reason.

Any ideas?

dorian: Please do not double-post.

Does this look like your cassette player:
Super USB Cassette Capture.jpg
These units are notorious for early failures. Many people cannot get it work on MacOS at all. You can try rebooting the Mac. Are you outside of the return window, yet?

Hi Jademan,

I only posted one time. Are you seeing it twice?

The photo you sent is similar to the one I’ve borrowed. It worked beautifully to convert 8 cassettes, then Audacity no longer showed the USB option for an hour of troubleshooting. Then I tried multiple Mac converter cords (to convert USB-A to USB-C) and one of them worked for a few hours, and I converted one more cassette. Now the USB option has again vanished from the dropdown menu.

Oh, I see now that you didn’t like that I commented on the Windows thread from six years ago when someone was having the same issue. I didn’t realize that asking whether a Windows person in another thread had found a solution, and posting my detailed question where it belongs on the Mac forum, was considered double-posting. Sorry about that.

I got it working again. The “solution” to getting it to work seems to be to plug and un-plug the converter cord dozens of times if needed, switching ports, until suddenly it starts to work again! And repeat as needed. Finicky, but functioning!