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I am in the process of transferring my audio cassette collection to MP3. I am currently using two tape decks and two PCs with cables between the decks the the PC's (on board) sound-cards.

Because I have over 800 tapes to copy, I like to add a third tape deck but don't want to bring in a third PC.

If I add another sound-card to my PC, can I use two instances of Audacity to record from the two different inputs at the same time?

Another option would be to get a USB audio grabber which connects the tape deck to the PC via USB rather than the sound-card, would that help?

Is there a big difference between the sound quality of the sound-card vs. audio grabber solution?

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You should be able to record off of a specific input line, which means that you can (within reason) pile as many soundcards and recording software into the same computer as you want.

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After adding a second sound-card, they both show up in Windows 7. The OS just allows one Default Recording Device, which is understandable and not a problem because in Audacity you can choose from any of the available input devices regardless of the default input device.

The one problem I had was that Audacity only allows to record from one device at the time. Opening another instance of the software just controls the recording process of the first instance.

To work around this, I opened the second instance as a different user. Use the shift-context menu to 'run as different user' or a batch file with PSExec:

psexec.exe -u username -p password -d C:\Apps\Audacity\audacity.exe

Now you can record from two different devices at the same time.

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