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Cassette Tapes


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I think it was TIME magazine which declared them dead recently. Most thrift stores and book sales I go to now don't carry them anymore. Even finding blanks in stores has become sort of a hassle.

I don't know what it is about cassette tapes that I am so drawn to. Maybe it's just my own nostalgia, but I still feel drawn to seek them out. I especially like finding someone's old mix tapes to get a taste of what someone else may like. Getting a mix tape (or a CD for that matter) lets us peer into an individual's interests or even mood within the 90 minutes or so a tape has to offer. Working with that time limit is a challenge sometimes, but I feel like it makes me get creative with how I format my tapes.

I record to cassette using a Sony audio deck hooked into my computer. Using youtube, purchased music, and CDs I have made 30 or so mix tapes mainly to listen to in the car. I like to make a new mix tape for trips or when I can gather together enough new music to fill a new tape or two.

How about you? Does anyone else still dig through the thrift store tapes looking for some old favorites? Have you made a mix tape recently or in the past that you remember well? Do you still have any of your old tapes laying around that you have not listened to in years?

If you feel so inclined, try to make a playlist on youtube or somewhere else that lasts 90 minutes. Or two that last 45. I am interested in what people would come up with.

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It's kind of sad that magnetic tape as a recording medium is slowly disappearing. There aren't many companies around the work that make the stuff anymore. For a number of reasons, it has a certain sound to it that you just don't get from computers. Each and every tape deck always had their own little quirk to them that was different.

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Nah, if you go to hipster record stores around LA and other large cities there are tons of new cassette releases. The generation who grew up with them are having a nostalgia trip for them. In the same way I believe CDs will return at some point. Some bigger bands are also still releasing cassettes. Of Montreal recently released a cassette boxed set of all of their studio albums on tape:

box-with-tapes.jpg

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Back home somewhere I have probably something in the range of 20 tapes of music I would record off of the radio, feels like a lifetime ago now. It would be incredibly interesting to sit down one day and go through them all , those tapes were essentially a lot of my music library back then, as its not like I had money to throw around on too many real albums in elementary/high school.

Definitely have a soft spot for some of the older cassette albums that I had, some of them got so aged that they started to sound just a little bit different when compared to a cd quality version, and that is a hard uniqueness to duplicate. Probably been 10 years since I've even touched a cassette now, but reading this makes me realize that just how much fun it might be to go back and see what I can find in my old collection.

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