I tried something new today: converting old audio tapes to MP3s. It turned out to be pretty easy. I don't claim to be an expert yet, I'll recount how I did it anyway.
I used the old "play it and record the output" method for converting tapes. In other words, I hooked the headphone jack of my stereo up to the input jack of my sound card using a spare speaker cable. I then played the tape and used KRec to record the stereo's output and KMix to control the input jack. I then used KRec's export feature to save the recording to a wave file. (Note: When exporting from KRec, make sure that you're at the start of the file, i.e. make sure to rewind first.)
After I had the wave file, the next step was playing with it in Audacity. I don't really know anything about audio engineering, but I managed to chop out extra empty space at the end of the recording, copy and paste two sides of an album together, and things like that. After that, I just exported the result to a wave file again and encoded it with LAME. I used an average bitrate of 64bps to keep the files small. Since most of the tapes I'm converting are comedy albums, sound quality isn't a big concern. I'd much rather be able to get 45 minutes of audio into 17MB than get that extra little bit of quality that I'm not going to notice anyway.
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