In the course of my hobby I have interviews with people that last about 1 hour and up to now I have recorded the conversations on a cassette recorder. I am now finding that cassette recorders are going out of use and I need to record to MP3 and CD . The question is can I use a laptop computer to do this in a reliable and easy way? Then the person can take a copy of the conversation with them. What would I need in the way of software to accomplish this need and also what would be a good laptop to do it with? If I use an external usb sound card, can I just plug a microphone into it to record on to the hard drive?