Cassette tapes are making a comeback?
Nov 23, 2008 at 9:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21

Uncle Erik

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Found this article on Yahoo! today:

Quote:

Rewind: Cassette Tapes Are Back
by Claudine Zap

November 20, 2008 03:41:14 PM

Before MP3 players, DVR, and Blu-Ray. Before live streaming and downloads, there were cassette tapes, an analog magnetic tape system for recording, listening, and mixing together your favorite tracks to share and play in your Walkman or boombox.

Think of it as a tiny reel-to-reel. The iPod of the '80s was last spotted at your neighbor's garage sale, the back of your friend's closet, and the "for sale" table at indie band concerts. Wait, what? That's right, cassette tapes are so out, they're in.

According to Splice Today, for underground bands, cassettes are the new, cool vinyl: "They perfectly suit thrifty DIY labels and musicians trying to maintain a lo-fi aesthetic, as well as the more artistically inclined."

While audio went digital, the lowly cassette was down but not out. In fact, we checked to see the buzz on tapes and found a bump in searches in the last week for "music cassette tapes" (+110%), "blank cassette tapes" (+210%), "books on cassette tapes" (+900%), and the sad but definitely true "cassette tapes problems damage" (+400%).

Say what you will about digital recording, you haven't really proved your love for a good tune until you've spent hours re-spooling a cassette that was eaten by your tape player.

If you already have every version of the iPod that's made, maybe it's time to go back in audio time. Given that it's a very DIY holiday this year, a mixed tape could be the perfect retro gift. You can even decorate the jewel box cover yourself.

We look forward to the re-discovery of the 8 Track.


(From here: Yahoo! Buzz)

I have a Harmon Kardon cassette player on the shelf and realized that I've never plugged it into the rig. Maybe I'll see if I have any old cassettes in storage and give it a shot. I don't see them replacing the black and silver discs, but maybe I'll give the format another listen.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 9:49 AM Post #2 of 21

fordgtlover

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I think I'll leave cassettes for a new generation to endure
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 10:03 AM Post #3 of 21

nickyboyo

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Awesome memory flash back's to the 80's and 90's. Tapes were the best ( and only medium ) for recording radio show's- BBC Radio 1 used to rock- Jeff Young's Big Beat was insane, some of the jingle's Jeff used lasted over 5 minutes and often had better licks and riffs than some of the records he used to play (hip hop and r&b). We went bonkers if somebody managed to get a hold of a new mix tape from America. Of course, this is back in the day when hip-hop was good. If you had a good tape no one else had you were the king salami, everybody wanted to get a copy of it.

Shonky recordings played through big cheap speakers on dodgy stereo's , not for the audiophiles, but 11 out of 10 on the fun scale- happy days indeed.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 10:04 AM Post #4 of 21

nickyboyo

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Bring back the mighty TDK D90, then i can blow the dust off my old Sony deck i have buried away somewhere. All i need then is to get some good music played on the radio, Aus radio blows on the whole.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 10:12 AM Post #5 of 21

krmathis

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I don't think we ever will see a compact cassette comeback.
Cause compared to vinyl, there have not been any development on the player side the last 15 years or so. There are also quite a lot of limitations in the format.

But what do I know..
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Nov 23, 2008 at 10:28 AM Post #6 of 21

panda

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while i doubt that they will ever make an actual comeback, it's a trip into nostalgia as i grew up with cassettes, plus selling mix tapes were my primary source of income before i was of legal age to work.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 11:11 AM Post #7 of 21
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I am reminded of the Nakamichi cassette player which, rather than use a two-way head, auto-reversed the cassette with a clever mechanism that pushed it out and flipped it around.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 11:28 AM Post #8 of 21

Nocturnal310

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I have lot of cassettes lying around..was thinking of converting them to digital but i ll try them on Sanyo Stereo lying at home
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 2:56 PM Post #11 of 21

Nocturnal310

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I have a mini-cassette player also.. its a Sony decoder my dad used on ships for voice notes...he gave it to me when he stopped sailing on ships.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 2:56 PM Post #12 of 21
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Nov 23, 2008 at 4:58 PM Post #13 of 21

zotjen

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I remember the first tape recorder we had which my dad brought home in the early 70's. It was big and clunky and used an external mike. Instead of buttons, it had this big switch-like thing on it that you had to push (e.g. left for rewind, right for forward, up for play). I think the only button was for record.

When I was about 11 or so I got my own tape recorder (with buttons). I would record albums by holding up the tape recorder to a speaker (we didn't have a cassette deck in our stereo).

When I was 14 I got a boom box (1980) and was thrilled at how convenient it was to record off the radio. A few years later I got my first Walkman.

While I used my first and subsequent Walkmans for tapes I had made myself from recordings I had purchased on vinyl and eventually CD, I was never a fan of pre-recorded cassette tapes.

Sound quality aside, I always felt cassettes were inconvenient compared to vinyl (and of course CD). All that rewinding and fast forwarding, especially when trying to find a song, not to mention the occasional cassette that got eaten.

Reading the article that was posted, I'm surprised that underground bands wouldn't opt for small digital recorders over the inconvenience of cassettes.
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 6:54 PM Post #15 of 21

meme

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Cassettes have been part of the underground music scene since before cd existed, as a reaction against the then dominant format, vinyl. Owing to its size it was easy to distribute and also easy to replicate. The format for some people has never gone away, in recent years there has been quite a lot of record companies releasing music exclusively on tape, the cassette tape is the ultimate underground artifact!

I regrettably threw my collection away many years ago, but did start collecting again a couple of years ago.

tapes.jpg


Here is a (not very good) picture of my small collection of contemporary music released on cassette.
 

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