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Thread: Saving music from 1920 on 78rpm 33-1/3 and cassette tapes. 20-30 yrs. old

  1. #1


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    Saving music from 1920 on 78rpm 33-1/3 and cassette tapes. 20-30 yrs. old
    I have an Apple Mac-book pro which has only one 1/8' output jack Headphones/Mic. I have a number of various configurations of RCA jacks even with 1/8" Pin. I have a turntable and cassette player. What I am needing help with is the Method I need to use, in order to capture the sound into digital. I expect to have to clean the sound somewhat, but would like to preserve some of this old Music for the use of others as well as myself. All help and suggestions will be gratefully received. Thanks Cebustu.

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    There are a number of products on the market for converting music on cassette tape & vinyl to a digit format. Try an internet search…and you should come up with a number of options.

    - Nick
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  3. #3


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    First Thank you to all who responded. I have a couple of expanded buts of info. 1. can plugging a 1/8" jack into my Mac damage the unit when receiving input from another unit? Also it will only be mono. Some 331/3 albums are stereo. 2. Buying antique albums and non existent media from iTunes is not an option because they are not available.
    I need a foolproof (me) system that will not harm my equipment. Is there perhaps a dvd player recorder that has RCA jacks both in and out? I have been unable to fin one. Thanks again to all of you. Cebustu.

  4. #4

    pm-r's Avatar
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    Don't forget to search the 'net in case someone has already created whatever it is you want into a digital form, and often better quality than the average user can do. Might just be worth their price and save a lot of hassles.

  5. #5
    chas_m
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    Let me say first that just because something is very old doesn't mean it ISN'T on iTunes -- I've found a significant number of recordings from 1920s on there. If the particular thing you're looking for doesn't exist, well of course that's a different story -- but it is worth a try.

    33 ⅓ RPM records can be converted to CD pretty easily, and the most foolproof method is to buy a unit that does this, such as this:

    http://www.oaktreevintage.com/crosle..._turntable.htm

    Not sure if it can handle 78rpm's, you'll have to inquire about that. The benefit of the Crosley is no computer is required.

    As for cassettes, I've used an iMic attached to a regular cassette deck to do that sort of conversion:

    https://griffintechnology.com/us/products/audio/imic

    (it's its own preamp, and also works great with conventional turntables for the same purpose)

  6. #6


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    Hi Chas_M. Your response was most helpful. I have ordered the Griffin connector, it appears that it will do the job and at a reasonable cost. Most of my records are in old 78 boxed sets of classical music. many fro symphony orchestras which are no longer around. I guess they could have replaced the original musicians when they retired. But they have been out of existence for a long long time. Thanks Cebustu. Nobody mentioned weather connecting directly a 1/8" x 1/8" jack could damage a machine, I would like to know the answer to that one, as a lot of people recommend doing just that.

  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cebustu View Post
    1. can plugging a 1/8" jack into my Mac damage the unit when receiving input from another unit?
    No damage. Worst case scenario is you will get no output.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cebustu View Post
    Also it will only be mono.
    Not true…it will be stereo.

    Did you do an internet search for devices that can convert cassette & vinyl music to digital?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8

    Dogbreath's Avatar
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    The 3.5mm plug which goes into your Mac can be tip /ring/sleeve which is mandatory for stereo recording but will definitely work with mono as a tip/sleeve input. Sometimes you may not have to insert it all the way but I feel it is best to buy a dedicated cable for either need.

  9. #9
    chas_m
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    I hate to correct Nick, as he's terribly smart and helpful, but in this case he's wrong on both counts.

    As a former Apple tech, I saw MANY MANY examples of people plugging amplified sound output into their mic/universal 3.5mm analog sound port on their MacBooks et al and PROMPTLY blowing the sound chipset, which turns into an expensive logic board repair. Un-amped input is probably safe, I couldn't say for sure, but this is *precisely* why I recommend a digital-analog converter (DAC) and the USB ports rather than using the analog sound board, which is set for "mic in" rather than "line in." The iMic adjusts for either with a little switch on the device.

    Also, your monophonic records will *not* magically become stereo when you convert them, but depending on what software you use, you may well end up with "split mono" or two-channel sound -- mono on both the left and right. This is, of course, not stereo.

    (faux-audiophile pedantic nitpicking, I know)

  10. #10

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    I hate to correct Nick… ...but in this case he's wrong on both counts.
    Ooh no…say it isn't so!!!

    I must have missed the point regarding a powered amplifier. If this is the case…yes I guess some damage could occur. I was thinking of a source unit being one of those turntables that are used to convert vinyl to digital. As far as the stereo/mono part. What I was saying was. if the audio source is mono…then it will stay mono. If the audio source is stereo…then it will remain stereo.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  11. #11


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    Hi Guy's, Thank you for your responses. I am aware of the mono being only mono etc. What I was worried about is not hooping my Machine. You have answered that for me thanks and I feel my concern was justified. I had looked on the net for some answers but found it even more confusing. I liked the turntable (retro style) as Chas_M suggested but cost is a consideration for a retired old timer like me. Also it is belt drive and will run 78s, a nice touch. I also read your Newbie note Chas_M. a very useful info note. Thanks again to all helpful responders, Sincere thanks. Cebustu

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