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Memory Depot

Digitize Your Memories

Audio Cassettes

Audio Cassette Transfer

Cassette to Mp3 Converter

Fairfax County Public Libraries are now able to offer you the ability to transfer your audio cassettes to digital format at our Memory Depot! The converter is a stand-alone device and does not need to be used with a computer. Keep in mind that the maximum capacity the converter will recognize is a 32 GB USB Flash Drive. The sound quality will depend on the quality of the original audio cassette. There is no built-in speaker but you may listen to the cassette while it records with your personal headphones. There is also only one speed - the converter will record at the original speed of the cassette. Please come to the Service Desk to check in and pick up the equipment.

Identifies locations on Feir

 

Recording in Manual Mode

The following list describes the steps to successfully convert your audio cassettes to digital format. Each step refers to a location on the converter device. There are corresponding numbers for those steps in the image above so that you can identify their locations.

  1. Connect the power supply with the supplied power adapter.
  2. Open the converter device by sliding the bar in the direction indicated in the image. Place your audio cassette in the converter device. Close the panel after inserting your audio cassette.
    Note: You might need to slide the Open bar back to the original position so that the panel stays closed.
  3. Headphones can be connected on the side where it says AUX.
  4. You will be able to adjust the Volume with the dial on the side of the converter.
  5. Connect the USB flash drive directly to the converter. The USB port is next to AUX and is marked OTG.
  6. You should see the green indicator light go on after connecting your flash drive. It is located next to the little black buttons on the back of the converter.
  7. Press and hold the •II Record button for 2-3 seconds.
  8. The solid green indicator light should start to flash.
  9. Wait about 10 seconds and then press PLAY. You might miss the first few seconds of your audio recording if you don't wait long enough for the converter to actively start transferring. The green light will continue to flash as it records. 
    Note: if the green light is not flashing, it means that it is not recording. Remove the USB flash drive and insert it again.
  10. ​When you are finished converting your cassette, press the •II Record button again to stop recording. Your audio cassette has now been transferred to Mp3 format.
  11.  Use the Eject/Open slider on the side of the converter to open the panel to remove your audio cassette.

Saving Songs as Individual Files

A. To save songs as individual files in Manual Mode, press and hold the black button with •II to Record (identified as location A in the image above). The green indicator will turn off for about 2 seconds and then flash again. It will now save the next song in another file. Continue this step as many times as necessary between songs.

B. You will need to use your headphones (B in image above) to be able to listen to the audio cassette as it is transferring.

C. Press the ►► button quickly between songs. (C in image above)

D. The flashing green indicator light (D in the image above) will be off for about 2 seconds and then start flashing again as it saves the next file.
NOTE: Customers have told us that the general time between songs is not long enough for the software to recognize that pause to save the songs as separate files. You might consider saving the entire cassette as one file and then editing and recording them as separate files using an audio editing software at home. 

Recording in Auto Mode

Automatically Save Songs as Individual Files in Auto Mode

If you have an audio cassette where you want each song to be saved as individual files, you can do so automatically in Auto Mode. For the locations of these items on the converter device, please refer to the corresponding numbers that identify them in the Manual Mode list of steps 1-11 above (not the steps 1-8 below!).

  1. Connect the power supply with the supplied power adapter.
  2. Earphones can be connected on the side where it says AUX. You will be able to adjust the volume with the dial on the side of the converter.
  3. Connect the USB flash drive directly to the converter. The USB port is next to AUX and is marked OTG. You should see the solid green indicator light after connecting your flash drive.
  4. Before inserting your audio cassette, press and hold the ►► button for 3-5 seconds until you see the indicator light change from green to blue.
  5. Open the converter device by sliding the bar in the direction indicated. Place your cassette in the converter device. Close the panel after inserting your audio cassette.
    Note: You might need to slide the Open bar back to its original position so that the panel stays closed.
  6. ​Hit the •II Record button, wait 10 seconds and then press the PLAY button. The converter will now automatically save each song as an individual file.
    Note: There will be one more file saved that you have songs. The last file is an empty file marking the space after the last song at the end of the audio cassette.
  7. When you are finished converting your cassette, press the •IIRecord button again to stop recording. The indicator light will return to green.
  8. Use the Eject/Open slider on the side of the converter to open the panel to remove your audio cassette.

NOTE: Customers have told us that the general time between songs is not long enough for the software to recognize that pause to save the songs as separate files. You might consider saving the entire cassette as one file and then editing and recording them as separate files using an audio editing software at home. 

Revert to Manual Mode

  1. To switch from Auto Mode back to Manual Mode, first make sure you have stopped recording.
  2. Press and hold the ►► button for 3-5 seconds until the indicator light switches from blue back to green.
    Note: If you power off the converter device, it will automatically start in Manual Mode when the converter is plugged in again.

TIPS

  • Please do not unplug the power supply or unplug your USB flash drive while you are recording or you may lose the files of your transferred songs.

  • The converter will automatically switch to the other side of the cassette when the first side finishes playing. You can, however "flip" the cassette over without removing it from the converter by hitting the DIR button ('a' on the image above).

  • If there is a lot of blank space on one side of the cassette, you can use the Forward button to advance to the end of the cassette. When you hit PLAY now, the converter will now switch to the other side of the cassette.

  • Make sure to hit the Record button before hitting PLAY (and remember to wait 10 seconds before hitting PLAY!) or you may lose the first few seconds of your recording.

  • The converting speed cannot be adjusted; it will record at the same speed of the playing audio cassette.

Using your computer at home, your saved Mp3 files can now be edited or transferred to other devices.

You can edit your Mp3 files at home using the free software called Audacity. Audacity is not available on Fairfax County Public Library computers. The software can be downloaded to your computer here.

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