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Old August 30th, 2013, 03:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tape cassette 50 years today

The tape exists today exactly 50 years, says Philips Netherlands . The magnetic tape in 1963 came from the factory in Hasselt, Belgium , where it was developed by a team of researchers led by engineer Lou Ottens (87).

The 80s were the heyday of the music tape. Sony developed the Walkman in 1979 and soon after came cassette players in the car.

In a broadcast of the Dutch television program The World Keeps Turning in January of this year inventor Lou Ottens (87 ) says that the compact cassette , as the tape was originally called, arose from the need to make smaller music carriers.
"It was supposed to be able to have it in your pocket, on battery and easy to operate. Well, that's all worked out."
"We had to trust in the concept, and in '63, before it came on the market, I was doing a round in America.
There were the big names of the trade. There I showed my first model. They said, "Yes, that's nice, but there is no market here."

Later, the engineer was also involved in the development of the compact disc which was introduced in 1983 .
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Old August 30th, 2013, 07:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Still have some cassettes laying around, but don't have my cassette deck hooked up anymore to play them lol.
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Old August 31st, 2013, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I haven't touched a cassette in years, seriously. I have a few CD's around here somewhere, but I hardly touch those either. My phone is now my main music player, as it's loaded with hundreds of mp3s and a few flacs on it.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 11:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We frequently use cassettes for audible teaching materials, especially in elementary schools. Probably because it's still the easiest and most cost effective way of doing it. Doesn't require the internet or a computer. Just a cheap cassette player.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 11:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaat72 View Post
"We had to trust in the concept, and in '63, before it came on the market, I was doing a round in America.
There were the big names of the trade. There I showed my first model. They said, "Yes, that's nice, but there is no market here."
Probably because at the time the big names in the States had started to get going with 8-track. And also at the time, I believe cassettes hadn't been developed enough for music use, e.g. stereo. I've looked through 60s and early 70s Radio Shack catalogues, most players they seemed to sell were 8-track, and not cassette.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedt View Post
Probably because at the time the big names in the States had started to get going with 8-track. And also at the time, I believe cassettes hadn't been developed enough for music use, e.g. stereo. I've looked through 60s and early 70s Radio Shack catalogues, most players they seemed to sell were 8-track, and not cassette.
That might be true for the States.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 02:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In the late 70's most of my music was on 8 tracks.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 02:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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8 Track was quickly replaced by music tape cassettes here in the Netherlands.
8 mono or 4 stereo songs vs 60/90/120 minutes.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 08:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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In the UK from what I remember and know at the time in the 1970s, 8-track was very popular, especially in cars. Think many cars in early 70s came with an 8-track player rather than cassette. Although my neighbour actually had a record player in his car, a front loader that played 45s.

As I understand when cassettes where first introduced, it was marketed as a dictation medium and was mono and quite lo-fi. Whereas 8-track was stereo from the start and primarily intended for music. Think that was the idea Bill Lear (Lear Jet) had for it. Things like stereo and Dolby noise reduction didn't really happen until the late 60s with cassettes. So I think 8-track had a bit of a head start as a consumer medium for music, but cassette eventually took it over. Other thing 8-track was really a play only medium, and relatively few 8-track recorders available, even home ones. And you can't rewind 8-tracks either, so if you wanted to hear your favourite song again, it had to go all the way round.

I had one of those mono battery operated shoebox type cassette recorders when I was a kid. For music it sounded horrible. But at the age of 10 I didn't mind that.
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Old September 1st, 2013, 10:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaat72 View Post
8 Track was quickly replaced by music tape cassettes here in the Netherlands.
8 mono or 4 stereo songs vs 60/90/120 minutes.
Sure 8-track had enough running time for an average album, something like 12 songs, 3 songs per two tracks stereo. Although I believe some album song orders had to be re-arranged to fit onto a cartridge, so it wouldn't change track in the middle of a song...CLUNK!! or have long periods of silence. Don't know how it would have worked with something like Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon. They didn't have continuous mix albums in 1958 I guess, and the typical song length was probably 3 minutes. I bet mastering classical music for 8-track was a challenge.

Don't think there was ever provision for a mono version, because that wouldn't have been compatible with stereo players, they'd be playing two mono songs simultaneously. The original name for the format was "Lear Jet Stereo 8" However there was a quadraphonic version with special quad cartridges and compatible players, using 4 tracks per "program", but only with half the capacity of course. But like most things "quad" in the early 70s it failed to catch on. There might have even been a quadraphonic cassette, but not sure how that would have worked, either 4 tracks and only use one side, or 8 extremely narrow tracks, which would have more than likely not sounded too good, with crosstalk and lower-fidelity etc. With cassettes stereo was added later, and it had to be compatible with existing mono players.
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