Connect Cassette Deck to a Computer?

Anyone know how to connect a Cassette deck to a computer? I need to burn a CD of some songs I only have on cassette tape. However, I have no idea of how to connect the tape deck, what cords are needed. The cassette deck is a Denon with RCA outputs only. My computer is a powerful Dell with Windows XP Professional, it has lots of paralell ports and USB ports. I'm assuming this is possible. Help appreciated, no idea where to start.
Check to see if your sound card on your Dell has an "audio input" jack - most still do.

Most Dells have 3, 1/8" jacks in the back:

One for mic in
One for audio out (GREEN)
One for audio in

Some soundcards have as many as 5-6 jacks for surround sound ... Here is a color code from Dell, I think it's industry standard:


YELLOW: Center & Sub (LFE) channel outputs (Note: LFE stands for Low Frequency Effects)

PINK: Microphone input

BLUE: Line input

GREEN: Front Left & Right channel outputs

BLACK: Rear Left & Right channel outputs


The blue one is the one you want - If you want to go cheap I would go to Radio shack and purchase a good quality 1/8" stereo to RCA adapter or spring for the "Monster ipod cable" at Best Buy and if you want to go NUTS call Cobalt Cable or Frank at Signal cable and have them make you one. Your next battle will be software ... I use NERO or D.A.R.T. but you probably have something that came with the Dell. You need something that will do RECORDING. Windows has a recorder built in but it pretty much bites. Nero suite is pretty cheap and comes with a good recording interface for simple stuff like analog tape to digital conversion. Hit play on the tape deck to feed the signal in - Select the recording properties of your sound card and bring up the input volume to about 3/4 and fire up Nero recorder. The instructions on-line for Nero will show you how to get the software to link to the input signal coming from the cassette... it's pretty easy and you will get a bar meter showing an input signal - adjust the input volume and hit record. Do a few test runs to see what it sounds like but I think you will be happy.

Here is the link to the Nero users manual:

Good luck ..

You need an A to D converter such as the Data Video DAC 100, It will do what you need.

It is inexpensive and capable of transferring video to your computer too, should you ever need that function.
Thanks Albertporter and Horseface for your patient and detailed responses, really appreciated. I've established contact with the right cord, which was lying around and came with something. Now I'm trying to figure out what will do the recording on Windows XP Professional. May buy Nero is I don't find something shortly. So far I'm only findin a recorder that records 60 second clips and doesn't pick up the sound anyway, useless.
Albert gave you good info.I simply run my Reel to Reel recorder from my RCA outs to my input of my soundcard.I do use a jack adapter from Radio Shack to run my patch cord thru.I have 2 different recording programs I utilize.I can use the recording studio that came with my Creative Labs Sound Card, and make sure the input is selected for the device used,or I use the Sound Forge 5.0 Studio Recording Program which I beleive list at $500.00,but can be downloaded for much less.This program will give you great copies of any master you may have.