How to Use a Tape Recorder. Tape recorders may seem like a thing from the past and obsolete with all of today's technology, but don't toss that old recorder away just yet. There are plenty of things a tape recorder can do and having one around proves to be very handy at times.
Use old reel-to-reel recorders to edit or splice recordings. It's also useful to delay, play recordings backwards, change speed or other modifications to the tape. Although it's possible to do these things on a computer, old reel-to-reel tape machines are still very easy to work with.
Hook the reel-to-reel tape machine up to a computer, use the machine to playback any existing tapes and transfer them to the computer's hard drive. Use a cable with two male connections on each end. Plug one into the headphone port of the tape player, the other into the "Line In" on the computer's sound card. Enable the sound card feature on the computer and play the tapes.
Take inventory of items by voice by speaking into a handheld tape recorder and later transcribe the list on a computer's word document. Rather than cart around a pad of paper and pen, speak everything you want inventoried into the recorder along with any notations. It goes much faster and there's no need to worry about poor handwriting or grammar.
Store a handheld recorder in a purse or car to record those thoughts, lists or other things that you would normally jot down on a scrap of paper but can't when driving a car. Often while doing routine things such as driving, minds easily wander and it's easy to brainstorm ideas or think of things that somehow seem more difficult to think of later. Use the tape recorder to quickly log random thoughts.
Keep old battery powered tape recorders on hand for children to use. Kids are fascinated with hearing their own voices on a machine. Insert a blank tape and let them play for hours recording whatever they want and playing it back. It's a great way to give them something novel to do.