November 2011

What to do with Old Tapes and CDs

Feel like the only Deadhead on the block who doesn't carry their entire music collection around on some tiny hundred-dollar device in their pocket? Technological advances have rendered cassette tapes near-obsolete, with compact discs not far behind. And yet, if you're like me and many other hardcore Grateful Dead fans, it's just too painful to part ways completely with all those old Maxell tapes of live Dead shows. Perhaps it's sentimentality for the memories associated with the tape-trading days of long ago. Or maybe it's just the idea of wasting so much awesome music that I can't bear. Sometimes I suspect I rather enjoy the tinny, hollow, far-away sound that is the trademark of the once glorified cassette. Whatever the motivations behind the madness, I insist on holding on to all my old cassettes and compact discs, “for the archives,” if nothing else!

Still, if your music collection is taking over a large percentage of your home, it's a good idea to clear up some space, and converting your music into an easier to store digital formula can do it. There are software programs available that allow for fairly easy transfer of music from a cassette tape onto a computer. With a simple cable connecting the output jacks on your tape player to the input jack or USB port on your computer, the data from the tape is moved onto the computer where the file can then be converted into an mp3 or other convenient format.