When ripping a CD into a lossless compressed format such as FLAC format, one can use software such as EAC (Exact Audio Copy) to create the FLAC file.
But how does it work when ripping LP/Cassette/Tape into that format. EAC doesnt work as there is no CD in the equation. Does one create a WAV file first (using ???) then convert to FLAC (using ??), or are there s/w choices out there ( eg: ???) that allow you to rip directly into a FLAC file ?
Since those sources are analog, you will need a sound card which can record a stereo signal...I'm not sure if onboard sound cards have this...
Your best route to go would be to buy a Creative X-Fi sound card. It has high quality Analog to Digital converters that will allow you to record your analog source with the best fidelity. The X-Fi also comes with recording software for this purpose.
I don't think you can record directly to FLAC...I believe you will have to create a WAV file and then convert to FLAC.
The utility for converting WAV to FLAC is (oddly enough) called FLAC. It is freeware available from flac.sourceforge.net. Another handy utility is FLAC Frontend. It provides a simple graphical interface.
Almost all sound cards and motherboards with sound chips have audio input for recording. The standard colour for the audio input jack is light blue. A 24 bit card will provide better quality. There are some good on board controllers on later model boards. It is not necessary to buy an expensive card. There are good 24 bit sound cards available for about $30 but you might want to check out your current sound card/chipset to see if they are as good.