- VHS to MP3 Guide -
HOW TO CONVERT FROM VHS TO MP3
The purpose of this guide is to explain how to convert sound from VHS tapes into MP3 files on computer, so that those who have missing live performances of Christina on VHS tapes can learn to make MP3s and contribute to the community, since a lot of people do not know how to do so. Most resort to using a microphone and recording the sound that is played by placing the mic near the speaker, which is a very bad method that results in a loss of 50-75% of the original sound quality. The following is a detailed explanation on how to convert from VHS to MP3 preserving the original quality.
In order to convert from VHS to MP3, there are a few essential things that you must have in order to be able to do so. First of all, you must have a VCR and a computer. I assume that everyone has a VCR and as for a computer... you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't have a computer. Ok, enough joking around. Time for the serious stuff. What you need other than a VCR and a computer is a sound card on your computer with a "line in" capablility where you connect the VCR to. And the thing that most people are missing is the correct type of cable to connect the VCR to the line in of the soundcard. What you need is a cable where one end is a 1/8inch stereo plug and the other end is 2 RCA plugs. The stereo plug is the same type of plug as your average computer speaker plug or headphone plug and the 2 RCA plugs are the type of plugs that fit into the sound input on your VCR (the yellow and white jacks). This cable can be bought at any electronics store such as Radio Shack. Here is a picture of this type of cable:
Here are two links to places where you can view and/or buy such a cable:
The required software for the computer is pretty simple. First of all, you need a program to record sound. The Sound Recorder that comes with Windows limits you to a maximum of around a minute or so, so a third party program is required. Any program that can record 44kHz 16bit stereo WAV files and can accept the "line in" of the soundcard as a sound source will do. A program such as AudioEdit Deluxe will work fine. Click here to download a shareware version of it that lets you use it for 15 days:
AudioEdit Deluxe 1.1
Visit Mystik Media's Homepage
An alternative to AudioEdit Deluxe is Total Recorder, but you have to purchase it online for $12. Download the Shareware version of it HERE.
Other than the sound recording program, you also need a program that converts WAV files to MP3. A freeware program that does this is Dionysus' Mp3 Encoder. Click here to download a freeware version of it:
Dionysus' Mp3 Encoder v0.5
Visit Dionysus' Homepage
An alternative to Dionysus' Mp3 Encoder is Easy CD-DA Extractor, but you have to purchase it online for $30. Download the Shareware version of it HERE.
NOTE: The alternative program choices are the best ones to use. If you want only the best quality and maximum functions/power, then I suggest you go and pay the registration fee for those two programs.
Setting it up is pretty easy. What you do is connect the RCA ends of the cable to the "sound output jacks" of your VCR and connect the stereo end of the cable to the "line in" jack of your soundcard (should be near or right beside the "speaker out" on your sound card.) Below is a diagram of how you should connect the two together (please excuse my lack of artistic abilities):
When you have everything set up, load the WAV recording program and start recording once you press play. Make sure you have the tape in the proper spot where you want to start recording. Once the portion of the video you desire has been recorded, press stop on the sound recording program before you press stop on the VCR to prevent excess material from being recorded. At this point, if you have a sound editing program, you could do a fade in, a fade out, cut out parts that you don't want, and normalize the sound... but these are optional and are not necessary. Anyways, what you do next is just load up the program that converts WAV files to MP3 and then do the conversion. I would recommend to convert the WAV to a 44kHz 16bit stereo MP3 at 192kbps since it is the standard.
If you really want a sound editing program, click HERE to download a freeware program called SoundPad.
If you have any questions about this guide, please e-mail us so we can revise and improve on it.