nostalgia at 1 min = 1 min


You can tell I’ve got a talk I’m supposed to be working on because I’ve decided it’s a terrific time to figure out how to record my old audio cassettes on to my computer. Actually the how is less of an issue than the why which is what my Dad asked me when I said I was doing this today. “Why?”

But just in case, here’s the how: get a tape deck, and a RCA jack to 1/8″ audio cable. Plug it in to the line in jack on the computer. Run Audacity with the monitor settings set to “on” and you can listen. Press record and you can record. Export and you can play your MP3 recording through iTunes. I discovered that I actually did have decent taste in music, not like I thought I might find otherwise. My first recording experiment was a tape I made for my friend Sophie (one of the Moms of Amazing Leo) sometime in the 1985-1987 range. You can download the recorded version here, crappy hiss and all. Or, what the heck, you can just watch almost all the videos on the YouTube.

As much as this was a super-fun experiment (and a good first tape choice) I can see myself getting so caught up in recording my musical history that I fail to have a present or, more catastrophically, a future. Tricky stuff, choosing what to document where every minute you spend recording something (textually, auditorially, whatever) is a minute you don’t spend doing something else. I’m aware of my minutes lately, but this was a fun project. Thanks to Forrest for the loaner tape deck. Here’s what was on side 1.

What do you think?


  1. My goodness. I haven’t thought of the Pop-o-Pies for over a decade.

  2. Fun! I was playing it when Sophie walked by to listen. Sophie remembers the tape well, she says.

  3. About 4 years ago, I was visiting my parents with a friend. She was staying in my sister’s old room (my sister is 4 years older than me). My friend found some old mix tapes my sister had made, and we spent the rest of the trip listening to them as we drove around town. It was awesome! There was one song we couldn’t figure out, so I called my sister and she knew immediately — it was White Lion!

    Mix tapes are cool. People still make mix cd’s, don’t they?

  4. I still have many of my mix tapes, and since I still have a tape player in my car, I still listen to them, which I guess means I am still living with my high school self on a regular basis. Hmm.

  5. Nice! I’ve been in the process of trying to collect Martha & the Muffins on CD….

  6. My goodness. I haven’t thought of the Pop-o-Pies for over a decade.