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Does anyone know how to record from a cassette player directly into the computer (headphone output on the cassette player to the microphone socket on the computer) and be able to hear the output at the same time; and so therefore know when to stop recording? I'm using the gnome sound recorder at the moment but wonder if there's anything better. Thanks in advance.

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Thanks for the tip. – user278730 May 6 '14 at 19:54

Audacity will do wonderfully here. It is in the Ubuntu repos. Adjust the input level before recording; after recording, do a "normalize" and export to mp3 or whatever you need.

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@JacobVlijm mentioned turning on the "passthrough" function so you can hear what is being recorded. – Jos May 6 '14 at 22:11
Jos, in the end after looking up audacity I saw it mentioned something called alsamixer on its help page. I had a look at that and realised I could use it to 'hear' the tape output and at the same time independently record it using any choice of recorder(in this case the gnome-sound-recorder). What you do is turn on the sound of the line output by pressing 'm' on the alsamixer screen (and you get that by typing alsamixer in a terminal). But thanks again because although I didn't use audacity it helped me find a solution. – user278730 May 9 '14 at 11:24

Although Audacity works for this, it's a bit on the overkill side with all the features and controls. If you're using Ubuntu, try audio-recorder It will record anything that comes out of your speakers. You can select Custom Audio Device and then, under Device settings, select Built-in Audio Analog Stereo (Microphone).

When I get stuck on any audio source, I circumvent the problem. I record the audio using my (standalone) Zoom H1 stereo digital recorder (plugged into the headphone jack or audio out of the source device). It will save the audio on its own micro SD card as wav or mp3 files (with lots of quality options). Then, I just copy the files to wherever I need them. It's an extra step and another device to buy, but it works wonderfully and is useful for a lot of other things.

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Thanks for the tip, Joe but in the end I used alsamixer via a terminal to turn on the sound coming through the 'line' channel and so could record and play the cassette (and hear it) at the same time. – user278730 May 9 '14 at 11:26

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