I hated it when tapes got stretched so that it played at inconsistent speed from heat. Weeere comingtoyou liiiiiive ffffrom NewcastleStadium.
Just wait 5 years
Back in high school I listened to the unabridged audiobook version of Robinson Crusoe on cassette when it ended up on the summer reading list. I could always tell it was time to replace the batteries in my crappy little Radioshack portable tape player when the narrator sounded like he was broadcasting live from the gateway to Hell.
That was my favorite, too! I loved the results (overall) paired with my Technic cassette deck which had an automatic tape calibration feature.
I had an MA-R that came as a freebie in a box of SA cassettes. It was excellent (but the SAs were no slouch). I might still have it somewhere, for that matter… but my dad’s Aiwa F990’s drive belts turned to goo long ago. What a shame, really, since that was an awesome cassette deck for its day, and I could probably make some side money digitizing cassette recordings with that deck and my Focusrite audio interface.
Also, my 2010-vintage car’s stereo has an input jack (with a Bluetooth kit plugged in), so my main use case for cassettes is also long gone. I don’t really miss cassettes all that much.
When I was a kid, my dad had some of these. I remember being shocked at how heavy they were.
The big bonus for cassettes was that they’re practically indestructible by kinetic means. You had to really work hard to break one through dropping or crushing. And scratching them was no big deal either. As long as nobody pulled the tape out they were good, but even then, you could get a pencil and wind them back in.
Sure they never sounded particularly good, but they had a durability on their side, and that made them perfect for giving to kids.
If you’re at all interested in vintage, obsolete, and weird AV equipment, I recommend watching all of the videos on Techmoan’s channel. He’s got some really great stuff.
I like to think I’m pretty well versed in vintage AV equipment, and I’m constantly learning about crazy stuff I’ve never heard of before from his channel.
I came here to make almost this exact statement!
I’m only replying in the hopes that someone who didn’t pay you any mind reconsiders and CHECKS OUT THE REST OF TECHMOAN’S CHANNEL!
Reminds me of the Teac CRC, which I still had at least one of up until last year when I ditched most of my remaining cassettes.
Oh, come on! It’s not that bad of a format, let alone trash. At the high end (good noise reduction, quality deck, metal tape) compact cassette sounds pretty much like a CD does. Of course, a CD also sounds pretty much like a CD does and it is way, way cheaper to get CD-quality out of a CD than out of high-end tape hardware.
Good eye. You are right, those look like the same “reels” as the open cassette put in a regular style case. Guess they were looking to justify or make back cost on a manufacturing line.
Techmoan covered this very thing.
Also, I remember when we first got a CD player, and easily skipping from one track to another felt like magic
Indeed. Techmoan’s amazing when it comes to this sort of thing. You might also enjoy Technology Connections. Perfect companion channel to Techmoan. His series on the birth od recorded music is particularly wonderful.
I’ll have to check that channel out. I often see that channel in the recommendations list when viewing Techmoan’s stuff. Sounds right up my alley.
Given that compact cassettes were originally developed for dictation machines in the
space age late 1950ies/early 1960ies they turned out quite nicely as an audio medium.
The first machines available were only mono dictation machines. But you could operate them on the mains and on batteries, and they were portable. Being business machines, they were relatively costly at first, but very popular very fast. Philips was totally overwhelmed by the sudden demand. Once manufactures realised that there was a huge untapped market of young people wanting to be able to listen to music at home and on the move other than on crappy AM transistor radios, things got moving, culminating in the Walkman some 20 years later.
I had one of those
as a hand-me-down as a kid in the 1970ies.
You couldn’t just hear music or record stuff to mess around with, it would also double as a tricorder when playing Star Trek.
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