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  1. #1
    Music from audio cassettes to iMac
    I want to transfer music from my audio cassettes to my OS X iMac. I saw a video on youtube where someone plugged his tape deck into a macbook and it seemed fairly simple. Is there something similar that can be done with iMac that a non-techie old guy can follow?

  2. #2
    chas_m
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    Yes, but don't do what the video suggested and plug an analog tape deck into the headphone/mic jack -- that's a GREAT way to blow out the audio chip, which would be an expensive repair. Instead, get an analog-to-USB converter like the iMic, which precludes the need for a pre-amp (which is what can cause the damage to the analog audio circuit in the headphone/mic jacks).

    In my case, I needed an RCA to ⅛-inch stereo adapter to plug into the iMic, which then plugged into my USB port. I use Audio Hijack to capture, but you can use any sound-capturing program you want, including the free Audacity (as an example).

    That's basically it, unless you want to edit the resulting audio file. Then you drag the audio file into iTunes.

  3. #3
    Thanks chas
    Good information. I had previously bought a USB cassette capture from my local Best Buy which connects directly to the USB port, but when I connect it and play the tape I don't know where to find the music. Where is it stored?
    bri.

  4. #4
    Music from audio cassettes to iMac
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    It is not stored anywhere unless you are capturing the audio as it is playing. You'll need an app - a couple suggested above:

    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    ... I use Audio Hijack to capture, but you can use any sound-capturing program you want, including the free Audacity (as an example).

    That's basically it, unless you want to edit the resulting audio file. Then you drag the audio file into iTunes.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  5. #5
    Thank you, sir.
    Now I have audacity. Once I figure out how to use it, I'm sure it will work just fine

  6. #6
    This is an old thread, but this is what I'm trying to do.

    I have connected the line out from an older stereo cassette deck to the audio input on the back of my iMac. If I look at the sound settings in preferences, I can "see" the audio on the input panel (it stops when I pause the tape). But I am getting no audio out of the speakers.

    Audio from browsers, Audirvana etc. is fine thru the speakers. I can't swear that the audio input jack on this iMac is good, but the fact that I can see the signal on the screen suggests to me that it is.

    I thought I would post here in case someone has an idea.

  7. #7
    Music from audio cassettes to iMac
    pm-r's Avatar
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    I have connected the line out from an older stereo cassette deck to the audio input on the back of my iMac.

    It depends on what the output level is from the older stereo cassette deck and in most such cases, you would need at least a small preamp to get the signal level up enough to work with your Mac's input port.

    The other methods is to use something like a Griffin iMic that acts as a preamp and also can use the USB connection. They work well or did, but haven't needed to use mine for quite a while now.

    It and simpler devices should still be available but not sure where. Amazon, ebay????

    EDIT:
    Hey, right from the mothership still it seems:
    https://griffintechnology.com/us/imic




    - Patrick
    ======

  8. #8
    Thanks Patrick. I'm going to assume then that the output from the deck is not at a high enough level. I'll try the imic or something similar.

    - Ken

  9. #9
    Music from audio cassettes to iMac
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoostraw View Post
    Thanks Patrick. I'm going to assume then that the output from the deck is not at a high enough level. I'll try the imic or something similar.

    - Ken

    I'm guessing the same thing. And do you have the specs or maybe they're available on the 'net????

    The outputs were, as I recall, either "Line level" or "Aux-level" on the out ports:
    http://www.shure.com/americas/suppor...t-do-they-mean

    The preamp (including the iMac) is needed to boost the signal so that a Mac can use it.

    If you still have one close buy, Radio Shack stores used to carry a small pre-amp for just such a purpose, but probably cost about $50.00 these days.

    But I'd go for the iMac as it can do far more for less price.

    And did you read this bit at their site:
    iMic shines as the essential tool for converting your vinyl LP and tape collection into MP3s and CDs. Digitizing records and tapes through iMic directly from your turntable or tape deck is super easy. Use your own favorite recording software, or use our software for free. For Mac users, we provide Final Vinyl as a free download. Final Vinyl is designed specifically for converting your vinyl collection to digital. It comes with advanced features such as waveform-based cue editing, and 10-band EQ, and even includes a special RIAA filter that properly equalizes LPs without having to connect your turntable to a pre-amp. For PC users, we suggest the popular open-source, full-featured recording application, Audacity. (Mac and Linux/Unix versions are also available.)
    https://griffintechnology.com/us/imic


    PS: It also used to come with a Y phonojacks splitter/adapter connector.

    PPS: I have no connection with the company but I'm just a happy user and even have their old original model.

  10. #10
    Music from audio cassettes to iMac
    chscag's Avatar
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    If you still have one close buy, Radio Shack stores used to carry a small pre-amp for just such a purpose, but probably cost about $50.00 these days.
    You're behind the times Patrick, Radio Shack filed for Chapter 11 (bankruptcy in the US) back in March of 2017. They have officially closed all their stores here in the Dallas - Fort Worth Area and that's notable since their Headquarters was in Fort Worth. (Tandy Corporation)

  11. #11
    Music from audio cassettes to iMac
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    You're behind the times Patrick, Radio Shack filed for Chapter 11 (bankruptcy in the US) back in March of 2017. They have officially closed all their stores here in the Dallas - Fort Worth Area and that's notable since their Headquarters was in Fort Worth. (Tandy Corporation)

    I did say — "If you still have one close buy,…"

    But I really don't and can't keep up with all the current events or your American retailer stores or chains goings on… and it's hard enough trying to keep track of any stuff that happens down there for that matter… and especially politics…




    - Patrick
    ======

  12. #12
    Music from audio cassettes to iMac
    chscag's Avatar
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    Well now you know... and let's not get into politics.

  13. #13
    Music from audio cassettes to iMac
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Well now you know... and let's not get into politics.
    They have officially closed all their stores here in the Dallas - Fort Worth Area and that's notable since their Headquarters was in Fort Worth. (Tandy Corporation)

    Well that's too bad but they seemed to have only closed down 200 stores but still have 1,300 still operating it seems.

    Unfortunately the Canadian branch stores either folded years ago or changed to operate under "The Source" name which are nowhere near what the old Radio Shack sold and left a large void for the electronics hobbyist/builder.

    Have any other stores filled the gap of the closed stores or is it another case of only on-line shopping??

    I couldn't even find a decent and reasonably priced pair or replacement leads w/ probes for my multi-meter when I went looking a month or so ago.
    The old Radio Shack stores here used a decent selection to choose from. Oh well…





    - Patrick
    ======

  14. #14
    Music from audio cassettes to iMac
    chscag's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's too bad they closed all the stores around here. I haven't found another local store that duplicates Radio Shack. We do have "Fry's" and the "Microcenter" stores here in our Dallas area but both are a pain to drive to with the traffic. You can look them up on line and see what they have. The "Fry's" store is as large as two super Walmarts put together and sells just about everything from small components to large home appliances. They're also an authorized Apple reseller.

  15. #15
    Apparently the level of the tape deck line out is not my issue.

    I connected the tape deck to a receiver - and then the headphone jack of the receiver to the line in on the iMac (I kept the volume way down).

    Same thing - I can "see" the audio signal displayed on the Preferences > Sound > Input screen (level varies with the receiver volume control) - but there is no sound at the speakers..

    <edit> I have an older iMac so I plugged into that as well. Same exact thing. So I think I am missing something obvious here.
    Last edited by scoostraw; 02-17-2018 at 07:54 PM.

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