View Full Version : RETRO PROBLEM: Mac to Cassette

Lapsang Leaf
01-16-2016, 07:32 AM
Hi all,

I don't imagine many people have this problem, but I am searching for help in burning cassette tapes from my mac. That's right - not in ripping cassette tapes to my mac, but burning them from it.

I just bought a very cheap and old car which only has a cassette player, which I'm not sure I can be bothered to change, and I want to be able to rip audio files from my iTunes onto a cassette tape. I have no idea how to solve retro problems like this, and I can only find online tips about analogue-to-digital conversions and not the other way around.

For instance I don't know whether there is a USB cassette tape burner out there? :Confused: What hardware would you recommend? I've got Toast Titanium and Wondershare, for software. No idea where to begin, really.


Rod Sprague
01-16-2016, 08:35 AM
Buy a cassette input adapter. It looks like a cassette with a wire coming out the back edge. The wire has a standard 3.5mm audio plug which will plug into your iPhone or any MP3 player. Then you just use the player like it has a cassette in it. I picked one up years ago at a audio accessory place for a very low price. You might find one on eBay.

Sent from my iPhone using Mac Forums

Lapsang Leaf
01-16-2016, 08:47 AM
Thanks. But then, presumably, I will need a car with a aux cable for that to work. The car I have bought does not have an aux cable so either I replace the radio altogether, and therefore won't have a need for a cassette input adapter, or I use actual cassette tapes. So I don't think that's a solution. I think I need to know how to rip from my mac to a cassette tape.

Rod Sprague
01-16-2016, 09:02 AM
No you misunderstand. The adapter is a dummy cassette. It just has a cable coming out the back. You insurer it in your cassette player just like a cassette and plug the connected cable into an MP3 player. Then turn on the car cassette player and press play in the usual way. It is just an interface between the cassette player heads and the digital storage device.

Sent from my iPhone using Mac Forums

Lapsang Leaf
01-16-2016, 09:11 AM
Oh! Weirdly cool! Thank you for explaining, I'll look into that. Saves the hassle of recording cassettes over and over when the play time is so short.

01-16-2016, 10:57 AM
Thanks for that solution Rod. I bypassed that entirely and was working on ways to record to cassette like the OP was suggesting.

01-16-2016, 02:19 PM
Many old stereos (surely still available on eBay?) have a record function on the cassette player so all you need do is burn a CD and then record the cassette. I used to do this for my truck, which only has a cassette player.

I've long since moved to an adapter though. When all we had was CD players it wasn't worth the trouble, but now that we have iPhones the adapters are terrific devices.

01-16-2016, 03:17 PM
Oh! Weirdly cool! Thank you for explaining, I'll look into that. Saves the hassle of recording cassettes over and over when the play time is so short.

This is a piece of technology many of us used "back in the day"…when we had cars that only had a cassette player…and we wanted to play music CD's.:) "Weirdly cool" for folks not aware of this older technology…and "ho-hum" for us that used them 20+ years ago!;) lol

- Nick

01-16-2016, 08:03 PM
My antique Mustang has both a Cassette and CD player. I still have lots of cassettes laying around that I recorded with a Nakamichi deck years ago. Still sound great.

01-16-2016, 09:33 PM
My old van has both a CD and cassette like Charlie's Mustang. I use a cassette adapter to connect my iPhone or other people's iPods/iPhones/Android phones to the sound system. There's a Bluetooth cassette adapter but it's like $100 and well ... that's ridiculous. My next vehicle **must** have CarPlay or no sale.

Rod Sprague
01-18-2016, 01:16 AM
Wow! there's a Bluetooth version. That's a bit of an anachronism surely. Talk about blending the old with the new. If you can afford the device you could afford a CD player. I'm kinda sorry I gave my old one away to my son but he is an audiophile who had little money at the time. Back then he and most of his friends had old beat up second hand cars with cassette/radios as standard equipment and the portability of the adapter meant anyone could borrow it or he could just take it in any car they were using on that day. Apart from the inevitable noise of the cassette motor spinning it was a fantastic device. Still I doubt if they would have heard that over the volume of the stuff they were listening to back then.
I just bought a Radio/CD player for a car I rent here, the old one being completely dead but he speakers (Sony) were fine. Only cost $90 for a Pioneer 50 watt unit. (Electronics are cheap here). It did not have full iPhone compatibility (doesn't charge the iPhone) but does have USB input. So I thought that's great I can just leave it connected and out of sight. So then obviously I needed to format a thumb drive as FAT 32 and transfer some music to it from iTunes. Simple huh? Well this is something I have not had to do for years, not since I used to burn CD's for friends and make party compilations. After about an hour of mucking about I still did not have a satisfactory method of copying to USB. I had arrived at the, "there must be an easier way" point. It was then that I discovered MediaHuman Audio Converter.
I was reading an article on the topic where a member had responded to an OP with my issue and after a detailed description of how to achieve my goal (about 5 steps) he states, "or you could just use MediaHuman Audio Converter."
So I go to the site expecting a paid for app with maybe a free trial offer only to discover it's free. It sounded too simple and good to be true so I gave it a try fully expecting a catch but no. You just go to album view in iTunes and drag the album to the MediaHuman Audio Converter window, it converts it to MP3 and loads it onto/into your set location. It also preserves the iTunes file structure (option) making it easy for me to sort through content on the player window.
Long and short is if anyone needs a SIMPLE way of moving selected music from iTunes to another folder for whatever reason this is a really great little app.
I'm sure it has other uses but for the moment it is fulfilling my needs better than I could have hoped literally a set and forget process.

01-18-2016, 01:31 AM
The MediaHuman Audio Converter will, periodically, take you to the web page where you can express some appreciation. However, Rod's correct -- it's a great tool.

Rod Sprague
01-18-2016, 07:19 AM
I would be happy to make a donation as well.