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Getting music into your PC


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 5, 2001

Q. I would like to transfer audio on cassette tapes to my computer. What equipment or program do I need?

A. Connect your cassette player's output jacks to the line-in on your PC's sound card. The Windows Sound Recorder program, or the one that came with your sound card, can record the input to your hard drive. There are some other settings and options you'll want to check, such as recording resolution, which should be set to at least 44.1 KHz 16-bit stereo. This is set through the Control Panel, Multimedia, Audio Recording options. The programs that come as part of Windows or your sound card should be good enough to get you recording. is an excellent Web site with a lot of information on recording to your PC.

From CD to sound file

Q. Is there a way to create a .wav sound file on a hard disk from an audio CD?

A. Check out the Sonic Spot for CDex ( This is a freeware tool that does all combinations of audio conversions and is pretty easy to use. The .wav format is not optimized to conserve space, so be prepared for some large files.

Word's global template box

Q. When I close Word 2000, it always asks if I would like to save changes to the global template. How do you prevent it from asking this question?

A. This prompt can appear because the Internet Postage add-in is installed or the option to prompt to save changes to the normal template is turned on. To turn off the save prompt in Word:

1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

2. Click the Save tab.

3. Clear the Prompt to Save Normal Template checkbox.

Note that any changes to the global template file automatically will be saved. To remove the Internet Postage Add-in:

1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

2. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.

3. On the Install/Uninstall tab, click Internet Postage, and then click Add/Remove. Note: In Microsoft Windows 2000, click Change/Remove.

4. Follow the messages to remove.

Opening image files

Q. I tried your solution concerning the loss of quick view for ".jpg" and other picture files, but it didn't work. I neglected to mention that it does work with bitmap image, or ".bmp," files. I am running Windows 98SE.

A. This can happen when a third-party program changes the file associations for the file you are trying preview. Microsoft's recommendation is a registry edit. Before you edit the registry, you should make sure you have a registry backup and are familiar with how to restore it if things go wrong. The correct registry value for viewing .jpg files is:

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.jpg\ShellEx\ {BB2E617C-0920-11d1-9A0B-00C04FC2D6C1}]

The default value for this registry key should be: {7376D660-C583-11d0-A3A5-00C04FD706EC}.

Sorting pasted data

Q. I've pasted data into a large database created in Excel. How do I get this new pasted-in data to sort with the rest of the data? No matter what I try, it won't sort. Do I have to start from scratch and duplicate my work?

A. Within Excel, highlight all the columns that you want to stay together as part of the sort. From the menu bar, choose Data, Sort. In the Sort dialog windows, choose the individual column that you want to sort on. There are some other options in this dialog that may make sense in your case. When done, click OK.

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