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Cassettes - better than you don't remember


The Professor

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I loved cassette tapes for music back in the 80's.  Making your own mix tapes and the ability to FF and rewind were outstanding features.  My only issue was with buying commercial albums on cassette seemed like a ripoff.  The sound quality wasn't that good in mass recording, and the cover artwork was too small.  I always bought the vinyl version of albums and recorded it to a high quality tape myself. 

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The reviewer has some really cool equipment -- old and new.  And Dolby S seems fascinating to me.  It reminds me of add-ons for video game systems like Sega CD or 32X -- it *is* better...but good luck finding equipment and recordings that meet the standard.  Example:  I could buy a Dolby S recorder, but my car couldn't play it back properly.   And yes, I have a 2004 Toyota that has a factory cassette deck in it.  I'm thinking of making a mix-tape for my kids (they drive that car). 

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My problem with cassettes was they weren't reliable.  They would get "eaten" by your tape player, or just plain get worn out and snap, or worn out and sound horrible.  

 

But the convenience cannot be denied!   You could buy a cheapie pack of Cassettes and record all your favorites for road trips, share with others, try to impress a girl, etc.

I had a few albums, but my dad got me an 8 track player early on, so I had a LOT of 8-tracks.   Some songs I can still hear the channel break in them.

"For you - Rowsdower from the 70 - have been appointed Omnivisioner of the Game Grid."  ~ Atari Adventure Square

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Ah, my version of MP3s.

yeah, cassette use was an art.

 

True, you could get good pricing on cheap packs, but you paid for it in the not-too-long run, as they would indeed get eaten up, record muddy, or record at inconsistent speeds (given the tape would not be wound up tightly at first).

 

You had to FF to the end then RW back to get a nice tight tape.

 

You had to record with clean heads to make sure tapes didn't get eaten up or record wrong (I'd use my tape cleaner cassette as much as the tapes themselves).

 

Had to keep a fresh pack of batteries for extended Walkman bike runs (which I rarely remembered doing - or had the money for).

 

The BASF and Maxell were the best around here.

 

Although this was a fine tech, like VHS, it was best to move past tapes since they had limited lifespan.

Have some of old tapes (both kind) which are basically useless for playback recording to new media.

Too bad we can't scan these like celluloid.

ah well

 

and 8-tracks...

On family trips, we had like a dozen in the car.

Got to know these reeeaaal well.

Today, these albums offer insta-nostalgia trips.

 

 

Nowadays, I can only play the surviving 8-tracks on my...

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I loved cassette tapes for music back in the 80's.  Making your own mix tapes and the ability to FF and rewind were outstanding features.  My only issue was with buying commercial albums on cassette seemed like a ripoff.  The sound quality wasn't that good in mass recording, and the cover artwork was too small.  I always bought the vinyl version of albums and recorded it to a high quality tape myself.

 

Man I wish I had thought of doing that way back when. That makes so much sense!

Welcome to the short bus.

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Believe it or not, guys, cassettes are still being manufactured in America.

 

http://nationalaudiocompany.com/Audio-Cassette-Tapes-C1.aspx

 

I still have and use cassettes!  I prefer analog over digital when it comes to music.  I still believe that vinyl has a better sound than digital music.  I have also noticed that CD's seem to be putting up a fight against digital downloads.  I expect them to disappear before too long.  And...I still play 8-tracks, too!

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