Audio and Video transfers to CD and DVD | CD Makers, Sydney, Australia
Reel to Reel audio tape - one of the many audio formats that CD Makers can transfer.

Reel-to-Reel tape to CD transfer

Many families have old reel-to-reel tapes in a box in the back of a cupboard somewhere in the house, but very few people have reel-to-reel tape players.

Now is the time to have CD Makers transfer your precious recordings to CD.

Weddings, funerals, recordings of family members - CD Makers can preserve them all by digitizing your recordings and transferring them to audio CDs.

Transfer Options

  • Reel-to-Reel tape to audio files on a USB drive.
    • Many hours of audio can be compiled onto a single USB drive.
    • Audio files on USB play on a variety of devices, including computers, modern televisions and home entertainment systems. Many modern cars also play audio directly from USB drives.
    • Audio files can easily be copied from a USB drive using a computer.
  • Reel-to-Reel tape to premium-grade recordable CD.
    • Cost effective.
    • Convienient - plays on computers and stand-alone audio CD and DVD players.
  • Reel-to-Reel tape to archive-grade gold recordable CD.
    • For precious recordings. Accelerated aging tests indicate that if these discs are handled and stored correctly, they will last for a hundred or more years.
  • Reel-to-Reel tape to files which you can download.
    • With increasingly fast internet speeds, the option is available for you to download your audio files from a link we will provide to you.

Digitisation Options

  • Sample Rate - If the intention is to record to audio CDs, then the recommended sample rate is 44.1 or 88.2 kilohertz. However, audio can be digitised at any sample rate up to 96 kHz.
  • Sample Resolution - Audio is digitised with a sampling resolution 24 bit.
  • Audio Channels - Mono or Stereo.
  • Digitisation Formats
    • Audio is captured to WAV.
      • WAV files have compatibility with a very wide range of computer software.
      • WAV has been the standard audio format for computers for decades.
      • WAV files can be edited and saved over and over without any loss of quality.
    • The WAV files can be converted to MP3.
      • MP3 files play at near CD quality but use a fraction of the amount of storage.
      • MP3 files have a very large compatibility base, playing on nearly all computers, many modern televisions, home entertainment systems, car stereos and portable audio players.
    • The WAV files can also be converted to M4a.
      • M4a files have a similar advantage of small storage size, but with better quality than MP3 files.
      • Playback compatibility is increasing week by week, with M4a being touted as the successor to MP3.

Reel to Reel Tape Specifications

Reel to reel tapes come in various shapes and sizes,
but even similar looking tapes can be recorded in
various formats and at different speeds.
CD Makers can transfer the following types of reel-to-reel tapes:

  • Tape width:
    • Quarter Inch
      (6.25 cm)
  • Track format:
    • mono
      • full track
      • half track
      • quarter track
    • stereo
      • half track
      • quarter track
    • 4 channel
  • Tape Speeds:
    • 1⅞ i.p.s
      (4.76 cm/s)
    • 3¾ i.p.s.
      (9.5 cm/s)
    • 7½ i.p.s.
      (19.05 cm/s)
    • 15 i.p.s.
      (38.1 cm/s)
    • 30 i.p.s.
      (76.2 cm/s)
  • Noise Reduction:
    • None

Maximum Duration

Following is a guide to the capacity of reel-to-reel tapes recorded on one side.
Double the capacity if the tape is recorded on both sides.

3 inch diameter reel

200 feet of tape

  • 1⅞ i.p.s (4.76 cm/s): 21 minutes
  • 3¾ i.p.s. (9.5 cm/s): 10 minutes
  • 7½ i.p.s. (19.05 cm/s): 5 minutes
  • 15 i.p.s. (38.1 cm/s): 2 minutes
  • 30 i.p.s. (76.2 cm/s): 1⅓ minutes

400 feet of tape

  • 1⅞ i.p.s (4.76 cm/s): 42 minutes
  • 3¾ i.p.s. (9.5 cm/s): 21 minutes
  • 7½ i.p.s. (19.05 cm/s): 10 minutes
  • 15 i.p.s. (38.1 cm/s): 5 minutes
  • 30 i.p.s. (76.2 cm/s): 2½ minutes

5 inch diameter reel

600 feet of tape

  • 1⅞ i.p.s (4.76 cm/s): 1 hour and 4 minutes
  • 3¾ i.p.s. (9.5 cm/s): 32 minutes
  • 7½ i.p.s. (19.05 cm/s): 16 minutes
  • 15 i.p.s. (38.1 cm/s): 8 minutes
  • 30 i.p.s. (76.2 cm/s): 4 minutes

900 feet of tape

  • 1⅞ i.p.s (4.76 cm/s): 1 hour and 36 minutes
  • 3¾ i.p.s. (9.5 cm/s): 48 minutes
  • 7½ i.p.s. (19.05 cm/s): 24 minutes
  • 15 i.p.s. (38.1 cm/s): 12 minutes
  • 30 i.p.s. (76.2 cm/s): 6 minutes

7 inch diameter reel

1,200 feet of tape

  • 1⅞ i.p.s (4.76 cm/s): 2 hours and 8 minutes
  • 3¾ i.p.s. (9.5 cm/s): 1 hour and 4 minutes
  • 7½ i.p.s. (19.05 cm/s): 32 minutes
  • 15 i.p.s. (38.1 cm/s): 16 minutes
  • 30 i.p.s. (76.2 cm/s): 8 minutes

1,800 feet of tape

  • 1⅞ i.p.s (4.76 cm/s): 3 hours and 12 minutes
  • 3¾ i.p.s. (9.5 cm/s): 1 hour and 36 minutes
  • 7½ i.p.s. (19.05 cm/s): 48 minutes
  • 15 i.p.s. (38.1 cm/s): 24 minutes
  • 30 i.p.s. (76.2 cm/s): 12 minutes

10 inch diameter reel

2,400 feet of tape

  • 1⅞ i.p.s (4.76 cm/s): 4 hours and 16 minutes
  • 3¾ i.p.s. (9.5 cm/s): 2 hours and 8 minutes
  • 7½ i.p.s. (19.05 cm/s): 1 hour and 4 minutes
  • 15 i.p.s. (38.1 cm/s): 32 minutes
  • 30 i.p.s. (76.2 cm/s): 16 minutes

3,600 feet of tape

  • 1⅞ i.p.s (4.76 cm/s): 6 hours and 24 minutes
  • 3¾ i.p.s. (9.5 cm/s): 3 hours and 12 minutes
  • 7½ i.p.s. (19.05 cm/s): 1 hour and 36 minutes
  • 15 i.p.s. (38.1 cm/s): 48 minutes
  • 30 i.p.s. (76.2 cm/s): 24 minutes

The maximum duration of a standard audio CD is 80 minutes (74 minutes for gold archive CDs).

However, for precious recordings, we recommend recording only to about 60 minutes. This is because the recording starts in the middle and ends at the outer edge where some older CD players struggle to read the data correctly.

Reel to Reel tapes come in a variety of sizes and lengths. Even two similar sized reels can have different lengths of tape because the thickness of the tape can vary.


Other pages relevant to reel-to-reel transfer:                                                

Compiling and Editing

Copyright Information



Squealing Tapes

The most likely cause of squealing open-reel tapes is that over a long period of time, the binder that holds the magnetic particles to the backing of the tape absorbs moisture from the atmosphere.

If your tape is squealing, you should stop playing it immediately. Continuing to play a squealing tape can cause permanent damage to the tape, and in some cases may also damage the tape player.

The solution to the problem is to bake the tape at very low temperatures (below 60 degrees Celsius)

CD Makers offers a tape baking service to restore your squealing tapes. We've successfully baked hundreds of tapes.

The charge for this service is $55 per bake for quarter-inch tape, including GST. This includes up to two audio tapes. Additional tapes can be baked at the same time for an additional charge of $10 each.

Up to 12 three inch diameter reels can be baked at a time, or 9 five inch reels, or 6 seven inch reels, or 3 ten inch reels.

One and two-inch tapes take longer to bake, and so the charge for baking these tapes is $75 per bake.



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