How To: Hack an Old Cassette Tape into a Retro-Style MP3 Player

Hack an Old Cassette Tape into a Retro-Style MP3 Player

Cassette tapes, much like the boombox, Walkman, and record player, aren't used much anymore. With the ability to put music on our smartphones, most of us don't carry tapes or CDs around because it now seems inconvenient.

Looking for something to do with your old tapes? Instructables user lonesoulsurfer, in the name of irony, decided to turn one into an MP3 player, complete with headphone jack.

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The project doesn't require many parts, but you will have to have some tools and soldering skills. Here's what you'll need:

  • Cassette tape (obviously)
  • Small MP3 player
  • 4 momentary push buttons
  • A few pieces of thin, black plastic
  • Labels (optional)
  • Dremel
  • Soldering iron

After taking apart the MP3 player, lonesoulsurfer opened up the cassette tape and removed a few pieces to make room for the circuit board and battery from the player. He also replaced the buttons on the MP3 player with momentary switches so they would be more durable.

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He extended the wires to the battery so that they'd reach from one end of the tape to the other, then used a few pieces of thin plastic from an oil bottle to cover up the holes in the tape.

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Next, he put the MP3 player into the cassette tape and hot glued the battery in place before screwing the tape back together. Here's what the insides look like when it's finished.

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Here's where the labels come in. If you want, you can make your own designs to put on the outside of the tape so it's not just boring black. You can use a few of the images that lonesoulsurfer uploaded, or find your own online.

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Check out the full tutorial for more details on the build and how to print the labels.

Have some old tapes you don't want to destroy? Convert them to digital files so you can put them on your new MP3 player!

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