Monday, June 7, 2010

Preservation



Like my best friend, I have a soft spot for things old and sentimental. When I heard months (years?) ago that she had found a way to rip old cassette tapes to mp3s I was intrigued, but didn't have time to do anything about it.



Lately my kids have been listening to old tapes of mine from when I was a child in the benign 80's. Such memories! But the condition of the tapes, already abysmal, have been worsening when our old tape deck chews them up on a regular basis.



The idea of preserving them digitally, still resting in the back of my brain, took on more urgency and I pursued it this week, now that I am feeling more comfortable on my new computer.



A freeware program called Audacity and a male-male 1/8" phono cable allowed me to take a stereo recording of the old tapes one at a time and save them as an mp3. (With the help of a plug-in for Audacity called Lame.)



It's been a fun project. I hang out in the kitchen, where the stereo lives, and rip old tapes one by one, clean up the audio, remove noise and save them as mp3 files on my computer. With this, I'll have a copy that won't degrade with time and Curly Miss has already mastered iTunes on her computer for easy playback. I love technology!

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