Updated: Oct 4
In order to understand the logistics of transferring audio to a CD, you need to understand how your cassette and record player handle data compared to how your computer handles data. In an effort to keep this post as tidy as possible, I'm going to skip that step and refer you to the post prior to this "How To Transfer a Videotape to DVD".
Buying A Converter
Now that you understand why you can't just plug your cassette or LP Record player into your computer, let's take a look at what is needed to do the transfer. With modern technology, some new cassette and record players come with a USB cord. Hail modern technology! Having one of these, eliminates the need for a converter box. If you don't have a new player, an analog to digital convert is needed to convert the analog signal to a digital signal that your computer can read. If your converter does not come with software, conversion software will also be needed. I highly recommend conversion software that includes a timer so you can set the recording and walk away. If not, the next step in the process may take longer.
Cleaning And Splitting Your Audio
Now that you have converted the audio to a digital file, you're done right? Wrong! That's only half the work. Now the real fun begins. After transferring your audio, you'll need to clean that audio to make it sound the best it can. By cleaning, I mean removing most, if not all, of the hiss as well as pops/clicks that are inherent to a cassette and record. I highly recommend Audacity, which is a free, but powerful tool that you can use to clean the audio. It takes some practice, but it can definitely make your audio sound awesome!
After cleaning your audio, you'll want to break down your audio into tracks. Some conversion software has the option to do this automatically, but my experience shows that this automatic setting is not always the most precise. I recommend manually cutting each track.
Now that you have your audio cleaned and broken into tracks, you have the option of either burning everything to a CD or uploading them to your favorite MP3 player.