Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Great Jettison: The Cassette Tapes

The tapes.  Darling..Dearest...Dead...

As any of my family or college roommates can attest, the tapes are a significant part of my life and the life of anyone I live with.  Tapes were great for a few things that are, for better or for worse, largely gone today.

A case of children's story and song tapes

Follow the jump for more magnetic CrO3 action!



One of those great functions was making a mix tape from the radio.  Record companies angry about us getting free music?  Puh-Leeze!  I've been taking music for free since I was five years old with my flat gray monaural tape recorder with the condenser mic.  One had to have a tape ready at all times, and strategically cued up to be just after the previous song on the mix.  Because one never knew when a given song was going to play on the radio, it made mix tape planning difficult.  Charmingly, I remember my mix tapes having lots of bumper talking, local radio spots, and accidental over-recording when I had to run to hit record for Self Esteem.


The mix tape could be executed a little bit better with the advent of CD/cassette player combos of the mid '90s.  Mine was a three piece number by Emerson.  This CD-to-Tape recording, combined with the high-speed Tape-to-Tape dubbing on my Casio boombox gave me mix tape power never found before. 



Another view of the case of children's story and song tapes


One more detail about tapes that I miss with the advent of all-digital music was the ability to listen to part of an album, turn it off, and be forced to begin exactly where the album left off.  Modern technology does let us do this, of course, but the key word there is forced.  To listen to a specific song, it required some time and effort rewinding and fast forwarding.  This made it much easier to just stick tape in the deck and let it roll.  I found many of the albums I had on tape had a lot more plays on the deep cuts than later albums I found on CD.

Music tapes displayed in a cardboard box lid

Wonderful as they are, tapes are perishable AND take up a lot of space.  With a lot of years on them and the prospect of them going into storage for a few more years, it just made sense that they needed to go away.  I have been able to find almost all of the music I owned on cassette posted to YouTube for free, and the ones I couldn't were recorded to mp3 and archived.

The only physical tapes that were kept were those blanks containing my old radio mixes, some of me talking and narrating stories as a very young kid, and those used to record me and my high school friends playing in our garage bands.  Those I'll keep forever.

Keep scrolling for the rest of the collection.  Quite a variety of boxed, unboxed, mixed, and captured from CD and record.
A view of a collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

A look at the collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of Music Tapes

A view of a full case of children's music and story tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

A view of a collection of music tapes

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