How to Easily Mass-Rip Cassettes / Records to Digital with a Field Recorder

Some notes on how I efficiently rip cassette tapes using a Zoom field recorder. I'm using a Zoom H2N, but I'm guessing almost any modern field recording device would work.

I've ripped a lot of tapes over the past few years and finally landed on an efficient method of ripping, tracking, and labeling the tapes. It's super simple but perhaps it will help. The TLDR version is:

  • Turn on auto record / auto stop on your field recorder.
  • Plug an RCA -> aux cable into the field rec device and press record.
  • Put a post-it on the cassette shell / record sleeve. Take note of the side, and the filename on the field recorder.
  • Keep doing this until the SD card is full.
  • Empty the SD and rename according to your post-its.


  1. Grab your media, post-it notes, field recorder,and aux to RCA cable
  2. Go into your field recorder settings and turn on auto rec on and off. Experiment with the dB threshold settings. I set the stop threshold to something really close to the minimum, and the auto start recording threshold set to a bit more than that.
  3. At this point you might consider powering your field recorder via a large usb power bank or a brick, if that's an option. Mine is plugged into a brick and it's very nice to never think about batteries.
  4. Now you can just press play and let it start recording.
  5. Slap a post-it note on the cover / case and note a reference to the file name of the recording file, and which tape/side it corresponds with.

filename on zoom h2n
post it note with notes about filenames
  1. Repeat until your SD Card is full. With auto record you don't even need to press record. Just pop out the old and pop in the new and press play.
  2. Transfer the files to your computer.
  3. Grab your stack of sticky noted media and reference the filenames with the post its to figure out how to name the file. Here's what mine usually look like.

final filenames in Finder
  1. Reformat the SD card
  2. Start over and do this forever and ever until you run out of tapes or die
  3. Go to the thrift store and get MORE tapes to feed your addiction
  4. Check into rehab
  5. Relapse. Spend your life's savings on eBay cassettes.