• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

RIP cassettes, 1965-2007

The cassette tape, which helped make music collections more portable and, thus, more fun, is the latest casualty of the digital revolution. I love this explainer for the kids who have no sense of history:

For younger readers, the compact cassette consisted of two miniature spools between which a magnetic tape was passed and wound. This mechanism was housed in a protective plastic shell.

The tapes also helped us augment our musical collections, um, for free. Many of those young whippersnappers probably think the copyright issues the musicians and recording companies are so sensitive about started with the digital age. Confession: I also have a box of eight-track tapes in the attic. Man, those were cumbersome to haul around.

Posted in: Web/Tech


tim zank
Wed, 05/09/2007 - 8:54am

Not only were the 8-tracks cumbersome, how many times did you have to use a book of matches as a "shim" to get them to track evenly while playing in your car??

God I'm old......

Bob G.
Wed, 05/09/2007 - 9:40am

Never had those problems, but I always got cheesed off when the track changed during a great guitar riff or in the middle of a verse...

"Mean Mr. Mustard, sleeps in the park, shaves....(click, click, whirl...click, whirl, click) In the dark trying to save paper..."

MAN that was annoying!



Wed, 05/09/2007 - 4:08pm

I have an aunt who still has her 8-track player, which is built into one of those tank-heavy "wood" things from the 70's that include a record player and a radio. She commented that it's awfully hard to find 8-tracks anymore, but when you do they're really cheap.

Bruce Atchison
Wed, 05/09/2007 - 5:18pm

I mourn the loss of cassettes. They were the medium of choice for independent musicians for many years. Cassettes took up much less space than open reels, though their quality was somewhat lacking. Because players and tapes became so inexpensive, it was easy to clip on a Walkman and groove to music anywhere. I'm tired of people bringing new gadgets to the market. Tapes still work for me and I'll hang onto mine as long as I can. By the way, I still have 5.25" floppy disks and I use MS DOS. Long live trailing-edge technology!

Leo Morris
Wed, 05/09/2007 - 5:52pm

As an amateur songwriter, I loved the cassette's function of portable recording studio. Throw your guitar in the trunk and your cassette recorder on the front seat, and you were good to go. And, as long as we're on the subject of Old Farts watching the world go by, let's drink a toast to LPs. We lost a great art form when artists were no longer able to create album covers of the sort that decorated my bare white walls at the apartment I lived in with two other guys between the Army and finishing college.

Bob G.
Thu, 05/10/2007 - 5:27am


You'll be happy to know I STILL have a turntable and a TON of classic rock, soundtracks,classical, comedy, as well as Sinatra and others...ALL on LPs!
(love the cover art AND liner notes/lyrics you can actuallty READ w/o a magnifying glass)!

And that BETA VCR still works well...gotta love "the old school"!