Forum Question: How Do I Convert Analog Audio To a Digital File On My MacBook Air?

I have 10-20 old mono cassette tapes with personal family stuff on them. I can easily play them on a couple of old cassette players. Both players have output ports using 3.5mm connectors. My MacBook Air obviously has a 3.5mm port that is used for BOTH input and output.

When I connect the two devices and go to System Preferences -> Sound -> input (to capture the signal from the cassette player)… nothing shows up.

I’m, obviously, doing something wrong. I thought this would be a fairly common question for people over 40. However, I’ve searched this website and others and haven’t come up with a solution.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Barry
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Barry MacDowell

Comments: One Response to “How Do I Convert Analog Audio To a Digital File On My MacBook Air?”

    8/2/18 @ 12:24 pm

    The auxiliary audio jack on your Mac isn’t the same type of thing as the one that comes out of mono cassette players. They are related, and the Mac one is made to work with one of those old cables in an audio-out capacity by default. But as an input port, it really only works with things like the older iPhone EarBuds and earphones. It won’t work with raw audio out from old audio devices.

    What you need is a “usb audio adapter.” Search Amazon for that and you’ll see a variety that show up, all pretty cheap. They plug in to your USB port and then you can plug in audio cables to the other end. Then you can select that as an import source and record directly into Audacity, GarageBand, QuickTime Player, etc.

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