Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


iPod song of the week – your cassettes

Filed under : iPod Song of the Week
On May 20, 2007
At 1:40 pm
Comments : 17

It’s a JBall tutorial! So what happens when you own your favorite songs on cassette or LP but not CD? Maybe they’re not even available on iTunes or Napster or your favorite download service! Are you doomed, DOOMED? No, of course not, you can import your cassettes and transform them, as if by magic, into an mp3 that can be played on your iPod or computer or brown Microsoft player.

While I am typing this, as it happens, I’m listening to the groovy sounds of the iPod Song of the Week as it flows melodiously onto my hard drive. Gosh, it’s nice. But how am I accomplishing this? I’m using a paid program for Macs called WireTap Pro ($19, totally worth it) but if you’re on a PC you can use Audacity which is free. Mac users (including me) can use Audacity to edit the silences out (or, you know, the first note of the next song if you’re not quick to the stop button) which is what I did. Here’s our song o’the week, for the first time revealed graphically.

(click to enlarge)

So all you need is what I have here:

  • ancient walkman or tape player
  • cord pictured here (if you are using a stereo system you’ll need a Y-cord, aka RCA to headphone cable)
  • cassette

You just need to attach the cord to the line-in jack on your computer, press play on the tape, record on your software, and voilà. It’s my understanding that some additional thing is required to deal with the sound on LP’s but I could be wrong. That will be my next project! Or, someone can answer that in the comments. If you like a different software better, feel free to suggest that too.

(PS, if you’re someone I speak to via Skype, I can now record our phone calls too! But I won’t, I swear on my Aztec Camera cassette.)

Oh right, the song. It’s, uh, good. No, I kid, Aztec Camera was mostly one Scottish guy, Roddy Frame, and he wrote what I love best: catchy, well-crafted pop music. There’s a song I like even better than this one but that tape seems to have disappeared. I suppose it’s amazing I still have this one, really.

Aztec Camera – Oblivious
Not available on iTunes or Napster. Weren’t you reading? That was the point. But you can stream it on the iSotW page. Notice the perfect start and stop editing!