How to Convert Cassette Tapes to CD for Mac

By Greyson Ferguson

If you are like most individuals, you probably have a large collection of audio cassette tapes sitting around your home. These tapes are probably collecting dust somewhere, deteriorating. You probably haven't replaced all the tapes with CDs, in which case you might want to convert the tapes over onto CD. Luckily you can do this without too much trouble on your Mac computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac
  • Internet access
  • Audacity
  • RCA to 3.5 mm heaphone jack
  • RCA cables
  • Tape player
  • Blank CD

Step 1

Download "Audacity." This is a free audio editing program made for Mac computers. A link to the download page is available in "Resources."

Step 2

Connect the RCA to 3.5 mm headphones jack into the microphone port on the Mac. This adapter has a single end that looks exactly like the end on a pair of headphones. The other end of the adapter has a red and white port used to connect RCA cables.

Step 3

Plug the red and white RCA cables into the Audio Out ports on the back of a tape deck. This is typically where the speakers are connected. Connect the other end of the RCA cables to the RCA ports on the 3.5 mm headphones adapter.

Step 4

Launch the Audacity program. There is an icon on your desktop for it.

Step 5

Click the "Default Input Source" setting. This brings up a list of the devices connected to the Mac. It is currently set to the default microphone connected internally to your Mac. Change this to "Line In."

Step 6

Click the "System Preferences" icon on your dock (it looks like clock gears) and select "Sound." Things brings up a small options window. Select the "Input" tab and click on "Line In." Close out the System Preferences and return to Audacity.

Step 7

Put the tape into the tape player and press the "Play" button. At the same time click the "Record" button on Audacity. This begins the recording process. Click "Stop" at the end of the first song. Select "File" followed by "Export as MP3." This brings up a save window. Title the file and select a location to save to.

Step 8

Repeat the recording process for all tracks on your cassette tape.

Step 9

Launch iTunes and click "File," then "New Playlist." Title the playlist, then click and drag the files you created from the tape into the program. Insert a blank CD into the Mac and click "Burn." The songs are now placed onto the music CD.