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Remember These? The cassette turns 50

By: Scott Wells

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 9.30.04 AMMix tape anyone? No really…

(CNN) — The cassette should have died. Instead, it’s turning 50 in an atmosphere of celebration. 

That doesn’t surprise Dale Wiggins, U.S. head of research for Philips, the electronics and technology company that invented the cassette back in 1963. He reminds people that the cassette was created on the heels of reel-to-reel taping, a bulky technology that required a lot of manual effort.

“All of a sudden you get this small form that you just plug into a player and it automatically achieves everything that used to be so hard and so cumbersome,” he says. “It really was a precursor to a lot of the innovations that we have today.”

I do remember singing the praises and later rueing the failures in a batch of TDK cassettes that bound up at a certain age, orphaning a whole lot of music and time. We still get requests to digitize old cassettes onto CDs at Duke Media Services. Better do it before it’s too late.

Categories: Audio

One comment

  1. It was always fun to make mix tapes and play around with song orders to see what would fit on each side while making sure each song mixed with the next.

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