Nobody viewing this knows what this is…
Or this.

According to this article, yes.

I don’t think this is as much a bout of nostalgic wishful thinking as it may seem. I’d heard rumors of this as far back as 2013. It’s already pretty well known that records, once long forgotten media that nobody cared about in the 2000’s are now cool to own again. It’s now cooler to have a collection of them than it was in 1975. That seems to be the general cycle of analog media. It goes through a phase where it’s new and cutting edge, then it gets old and uncool, then it gets older, hence classic, therefore cool again. It’s confusing, to be sure, but it favors people who are willing to collect with the long term in mind. How many people do you think are now regretting having gotten rid of their stacks of cassettes or CD’s?

Dinosaurs like cassette tapes.

Now here’s a little quote from the article that has a bit of truth and bullcrap at the same time:

“I have always loved tapes, and still made mixtape for friends, but I wanted new music released on tape too,” Shepherd tells me. “I just love the analogue sound and the connection you get to the music from the physicality of the format. I really don’t think that will stop people buying analog because as long as humans have ears and hands, we will want to touch the things we listen to.”

The first part is the bullcrap. Nobody who claims to have “always loved tapes” are actually telling the truth. This is your very common hipster phenomenon of claiming to like something mainstream before it was mainstream, thereby making them non-mainstream, and somehow more cultured. Again, confusing. The second part is very true however, in that people with artistic flair will always have this unquenchable desire for their sources of music to be something that can be stepped on or warped in the sun. That doesn’t happen to mp3 files.

Another thing you might want to consider is that accessing content on a network just plain sucks a lot of the time. Your connection goes a little astray and you’ve got “buffering…65%” plastered about…with no music playing. Put on a record or a tape and the content comes in quick nearly 100% of the time. It’s only when tapes or records get warped that your music is interrupted.

If you find all this interesting, you’re probably the type of person that still likes to go to music and book stores (also said to be making comebacks) even though it’s not necessary to get content anymore. You’ve then no doubt noticed that many albums, even new ones, have been released in vinyl versions. So the question then is, will we see more of that in tape form now too?

Better hang on to any CD’s you have. They’re next.

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3 thoughts on “Are cassette tapes the new (err…old) records?

  1. I used tapes when I was a kid. In fact, I’ve got a recording of my and my brother mucking around and recording ourselves on one. Now I usually see them used as retro style accessories – like protectors for mobile phones (pictures of them anyway!)

    1. Did you know that analog audio is still higher quality than digital? Just like film still captures higher resolution than pixellation is capable of doing. A lot of people are unaware of that!

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