Adventures In Audio

The cassette comeback - it's fun all the way!

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Gamecodeur - L'école de jeux vidéo en Ligne:  Cassettes, Vinyle, is all about find again the "long time", and not the quality. That's the main point. Like in video games, the retro gaming is not for the technical prowess.

David Paul:  These days I'm increasingly grateful for anything that entertains me that doesn't involve screens and passwords and accounts. Plus I grew up in the heyday of cassette and never gave them up. As for the sound quality I've always been very satisfied with it using even half-decent equipment, which until recent years was everywhere. You absolutely don't need a Nakamichi Dragon. A basic Sony Walkman with a good tape used to sound pretty darn good. Car cassette players sounded good. Admittedly nowadays it's not so easy to get clean sound from a cassette and it's a shame. Hopefully this resurgence will spark someone to make good players again.

aljosa mlinaric:  lets be honest, cessetes are technically way better than vinyl records tho

UB Trippin:  Changed your tune Mr Cassette Hater?

Audio Masterclass replies to UB Trippin: My personal tune remains the same but I admire people who can derive fun from the cassette medium. DM

clemsonbloke:  Cassette decks and tapes were not dreadful, it was just those Pre-Recorded ones from places like Columbia House, etc. One could buy a good chromium dioxide tape and record LP's or CD's and mix great sounding tapes and they were also good for the car if you wanted mixes. They were also good for recording things off FM. Pre-Recorded tapes good much better somewhere around 1985 when they started using chrome tape on the record labels. Also digalog and HX were good as well. One didn't need a Nak for a good recording or playing. Some of the best recording decks were some of the ones last made. Sony had this superb AUTO CAL system and it would set the internals to the best bias and tape type. One could use a Tape I tape even get great results. Those automatic calibrated decks were great and also Dolby S (if you've never heard one) was magnificent using Chrome or Metal. There was no noise with those. I implore you to get a good deck that has auto calibration and Dolby S and see how well that sounds. Best.

Audio Masterclass replies to clemsonbloke: I have said in several of my videos that Nakamichi and decks of a similar standard sound amazingly good considering the limitations of the format. But we're talking about probably less than 0.5% of users, maybe 0.005%. But that isn't what the cassette comeback is about. You can't even buy a deck with Dolby B these days. People just want the fun. DM

@Derek:  Cassettes are garbage.

Audio Masterclass replies to @Derek: Yes, but one man's trash is another man's treasure. DM

Michael Turner:  IMO this so-called cassette comeback is a bit of a hipster thing. I used cassettes all the time in the 70s and 80s, but as soon as I got hold of CDs and a CD player, I never looked back.

David Perkins:  Fifty-five is *elderly? (5:44)

Audio Masterclass replies to David Perkins: Apparently so - From the original article - "The machine I’m currently using was supplied by my partner and has extra big buttons designed for sight-impaired folk, or elderly folk such as myself.” Carole, 55, Huddersfield"

EricB256:  Used to be a mixtaper back in the day, then turned to CD-R when cassette players disappeared. Then the lifespan of cars began to outlast the lifespan of music formats: when you don't have your own car but just bring the music along, and suddenly, every car only seems to play a different format, preparing music for listening whilst driving stopped being fun. So I quit. And switched to public transport where I don't want to listen to music anyway. I'm not reintroducing the cassette because in the 00s, I've had several mixtapes crumple up inside of the deck whilst recording them because the mastering on the source CD was straining it too much when recording something onto side B of the cassette as well. All this time spent for nothing, having to try again with no guarantee it'll work the 2nd time around? Not fun. Brickwalled masterings of the mid-00s ruined the cassette mixtaping experience.

michael tablet:  I preferred cassette over having the 8 track change programs in the middle of a song.

Carmine De Santo:  I’d love a Nakamichi 🐉….just

Jack Evans:  I remember getting a cassette recorder as a kid (about 1970) and I had a blast with it. I would record off the radio, I'd record myself making music (which my mom encouraged as long as I "kept it down"). Within a few years, I would be writing scripts and recording myself doing "interviews" where the respondent would be clips from songs (a la Dickie Goodman). I'd record off of vinyl by holding the microphone in my hand near my little turntable's built in speakers. The sound quality was about as bad as it could be, but man oh man was it a lot of fun. I love the intricacies and options of recording today, but I doubt it will ever have the same joy as that.

tuffmouth:  Like the fax machine, cassette players never really went out of commission - or fashion - in Japan. Hence, neither did cassettes. So they didn't have to wait for a hipster revolution to reboot the tiny magnetic tape medium.

Fred Kroonen:  cassette is fun but i find reel to reel tape recorders more fun than cassette tapes, i still have both devices
With reel to reel recorders I could also edit tapes, and that gave me the possibility to edit all kinds of sound fragments together.

ridetonight RC:  Cassettes ARE fun! I still enjoy creating Mix Tapes

Damir Hlobik:  Recording on cassettes was a "ritual", especially because you were doing something "your own". Even today, when I find something interesting on YT, I record a tape on my Nakamichi.
You can't change the "old school"

Tim Harbert:  Physical music stores are fun. I wish my car had a cassette player again. The sleve art is fun too. Thoughts on XDR? What happened to XDR?

Valentin Gheorghe:  There is no such thing as a compact cassette revival as long as audio equipment manufacturers do not release new cassette decks able to take advantage of the full tape characteristics (support for all tape formulations, including metal, both during playback and recording phases, manual tape calibration and advanced noise reduction algorithms, the latter being the hardest to implement, because Dolby laboratories won't licences the Dolby NR system anymore).
As long as new audio equipment for tape playback and recording is not released, we are just dealing with the usual market fluctuations, with second hand audio equipment changing hands.

Stef Ullrich:  I liked transparent cassettes. I would watch the music move from one reel to the other, which was strangely satisfying.

Marco M.:  I look at my 33 year old cassette deck from Onkyo next to me... still fully functional. But speaking about the discipline of listening to a whole side: This machine has a skip function - fast forward to the next area of silence, which in most cases is the start of the next song. 😄

Leo Kuiper:  For me audio cassettes were not fun at all, glad those days are over. In the old days it was the only option to have music in your car besides radio. But I never liked them for sound quality. Lacking in high frequencies, terrible noise to signal ratio and tape winding up in the internals of your deck, and yes, I tried to keep things clean inside. Broken up songs at the end of the tape or long pauses requiring fast forwarding, etc… Even I don’t use it anymore, vinyl was fun to me. Not exactly problem free, but in good circumstances it could sound great.

Mike Wu:  Cassettes were a lot of fun back in the day, especially on the go, from a Walkman. The background noise was loud enough to send me to sleep whenever I was bored, it was so relaxing. Walkmans had no low battery indicator, so if a song was slowing down the tempo or a female artist started to sound like a drunken man - time to get new batteries. To save on batteries, BIC pens were invented as a manual rewind machines, both in blue or black ink versions ;-) just the right size! ... oh the memories ...

Luke McMillan:  Cassette was a gateway , but I hated it even then - as I couldn't afford a record player , & deeply hated buying albums on cassette . Turntables were actual fun - SCRATCHING ❤✅️ But again ..... minidisc was way more fun than cassette & sounded 10 times better .......

Back 2 the 80's:  Pure, pristine music streaming from Spotify? I don't think so.

BATMAN DESTROYS:  Yes it has come back! £80 for some pre recorded music tapes! Get ready for DAT and MD

Michael Whyte:  I use Minidiscs for similar reasons. Mainly because it is fun. It is fun to make mix MDs and record things. Labeling is fun as well. Sound quality is decent but only one of many reasons of why I listen to music on certain formats. If sound quality was all that mattered, then everyone would just use Hi-Res digital files for listening…

Chris 2late:  ...the time we shared together, while we recording new music from Vinyl, Radio or CD and the songs we listen in the stereo cassette player while we drive to short trips or lying on the beach/sea or on the partys/camping and what kind of experiences, we have lived together with them... also the good oldschool roadtrip maps, or the mixtapes we build for our first love... but with CD Burning, you were able to select, if you want to pay for Data CDs or Audio CDs ;)

Victor Johnson:  Cassette tapes are better than vinyl records in my opinion.

analogkid455:  I still listen to tapes. I don't have many prerecorded ones. What I use to do is buy records and record them to tape. I still buy records but transfer them to digital now into Cubase at 24 bit through an Audiant evo 8.
I still have my B&O turntable and my Nakamichi MR-1 tape deck from the 80s. Still working great.

PreWar:  It’s a cassette adjacent I tell….a 5 year old, flung into daycare then bussed on a field trip to Lake Helena in 1975. Smaller than the other kids, picked on for the pecking order and forced to take naps that were foreign to me. The bus driver who had the Glen Campbell ‘Like a Rhinestone Cowboy’ 8 track single that flipped and played, flipped and played making me nostalgic for something that never was, so anger took its place and to this day….48 years later, I still can’t stand that song. Oh how music can inspire, make you feel and sometimes those feelings are just pure, distilled anger. First time I was ever conscious of being flat out annoyed, verging on only what I can now only identify as being pissed off! Why am I here…and who is responsible for flinging me amongst strangers in a bus to nowhere? Needless to say, I never went back. I must have raised hell about it for the very first time in this 5 year olds life. It must have been a reasonable temper tantrum.
I was a pretty chill little boy as I couldn’t hear until I was 3 and as soon as I could, I keyed into the music….just not ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’. It has never left me and the first time I heard music that didn’t come from a record, the radio or a TV.

Digby Odel:  Actually as an early adopter to the CD in 1984 I thought the CD was not only fun but I was fascinated with it's cool factor.

My first cd player was. Philips CD-101 top loader. The first disc I bought was Andrew Powell and the Philharmonia Orchestra plays the best of Alan Parsons project.... Blew me away. Not one vinyl LP I had came close to the explosive fidelity of that CD.

I have come back big time to my CD's after falling back into vinyl from.2003-2020. I got tired of all the LP stuff and work I had to do to get best sound.... My CD's became cool again

As for cassettes I was big on them in the 80's and 90's. Buying a good quality deck, eventually a 3 head deck with Dolby C and matching good tapes made cassettes hifi and great fun especially for car audio. Until I got my first car cd player.

Audio cassettes can be 100% hifi if you match your tapes to your deck or have a deck that lets you fine tune your tapes.

Mix tapes were carefully planned projects for me.

Mike Fletcher:  Always fun with the biro to rewind stuck tapes and the way the sound completely changed when the cassette heads got dirty with the added bonus of speed variations as the tapes got tighter and tighter. Somewhere I’ve still got the little tape splicer gizmo for when the tape leader snapped off the tape. The good old days maybe not but I still can not bring myself to chuck my tapes away many of which are replicated in cd form 😂

Giancarlo Benzina:  I will buy me a Reel tape machine, with internal tube amplification. I will record all my hirez and delete it from any digital/hard disk. Well not all, as there's not enough tape to be found for my cash. Then I will add to that a turntable and will listen to a DIY 8 chassis widerange Lorenz cellophone like replica Mono Wall until the energy bill gets unbearable or my body gives up, first. Is that a plan? LOL! Well, maybe. not sure yet. hahahaha.
I will write letters instead of e-mail, send packages instead of videos-URLs and close my door when safety is in demand and let my donkey shout if someone's not respecting it.
For techies: G401, Ortofon RMG309, EMT-TSD, Pierre Clement preamp, Leak TL12.1, PHY-HP H21LB15 (8x), Revox G36, RMA Babyface MK1, iPadPro. An oven to bake cookies and a Bialletti for the coffee breaks - no milk. And a pantera negra Eusebio can do it again and finally kick out england from the championship who had bought the game from the portuguese association. Well Ronaldo did then 40yrs later, I was in Spa Francorchamps, watching it from a TV in a english race-team tent. uuups. ;-)

Giancarlo Benzina:  nothing in Audio is fun anymore, aside from listening to an album without thinking about the next fuddstergram post. Oh well, Radio almost still is, but I get the feeling that their repertoire is properly diminishing compared to the 80s, but I may be wrong.
Records are pressed but not cooled properly, neither cleaned, CDs are like Zombies in a shop and with less available good new CD players a nightmare to listen, ...
I think yes, Cassettes, annoyingly obsolete with ultra-priced high end machines to play them with to get acceptable quality could be fun, if that wouldn't include finding the right machine, restoration, and keeping an eye on proper BIAS and maintenance. So in the end, yeah, shortlived.
digital music players run through a big tablet serving as gatefold with the right app and adding a de-loudness, plus-reel-tape vibe filter without instant forward/rewind could make it, but we know it's artificial, so gain, naaah.
old records on old good hifi-gear, that is fun, i.e. a sure v15 on an old NAD MDF table via a 3020 NAD amp to the 3-way Cervin Vega loudspeakers - that is fun, or something more normal, i.e. a dual/thorens, AT90/95 on some Wharfedale, ... and playing the 70s, 80s, early 90s records, no OG-collectionism in your head, just brush cleaning the record and stylus, yeah, that's fun and finding new interesting music for a few bucks locally, or on travel wherever you are hanging around. Re-issues and limited editions are no fun, it's a sick greedy game, mostly, sometimes with greater quality, but not improving on musical fun, much.

Giancarlo Benzina:  you can buy monochrome digital film cameras, so all the obsolete is back, including purposely banal, and badly old-style braking motorcycles, ...

Rui Cameira:  i like to record cassettes ,but buy pre-recorded cassettes , what a waste of money never did never will

Biggus Dickus:  There were so many high quality cassette decks out there throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s besides Nakamichi. I've always maintained my decks properly and used high-quality Tapes. Therefore i never experienced Cassettes as a low fidelity format.

Stephen Gustavson:  Can't skip tracks? Well unless you have a Sony deck with AMS 😉

Michael Martinez:  Is digital music far more technically superior than cassette, there is no doubt, but I it is such hyperbole to say that the fidelity of a well-recorded tape using dbx or Dolby and better quality high bias cassette media from a good quality deck is not an enjoyable listen is way over the top. The compression from the medium also has a certain charm as well.

Roy Tofilovski:  Spotify is fun in the sense that you have access to sooooo much music.

Djh 69:  Fun, fun!!!! Oh yes I had endless fun when my tape recorder chewed my newly purchased big country’s the crossing cassette twirling a bic pen around the little cog wheel for hours to wind the tape back in….only to find it was twisted and played fields of fire backwards. I’ll give you fun!!!!!!

Cosmowerks tapes:  We've always used cassette tapes. (reels, also) Personally, very pleased with tape.

However, In our neck of the woods, we have yet to see this big 'comeback' happen.

Not many people buying tapes yet, at least, here.

People say they are cool, but have yet to put their money where their mouth is, and support the artists that are on small cassette labels, at least, as far as I, personally, can tell, so far, as I help curate a small indie cassette-based label.

This area, part of Appalachian Ohio, from what I have observed, seems to be always about ten years or so, behind the wave on every big trend, except, of course, for the latest cellphones, and apps, which they all use, and all of them are always posting on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

(I, personally, do not use a cellphone, and I have opted out of digital currency and credit cards.)

They may give a lukewarm 'like" on facebook of a music video or a post of a track from Reverbnation, but little else, they don't actually buy any music, on physical formats, though they talk about it.

So, I am still waiting for this big comeback. Is it all just talk? Or, something local only to artsy-fartsy big-city hipster areas?

I cannot confirm or deny what it is, though I hear about it.

Tape, however, for us, as we have run this little record label and it's sister-label since the a pretty reliable format and is convenient to use, and we get good results from it, especially, for Ambient music.

paper toys:  Yes, I like cassette tapes for all the reasons mentioned on this video and some reasons of mine. I rarely bought prerecorded cassette tapes. For this I always prefered vinyl records. I do enjoy the devices to reproduce cassette tapes (the cassette decks / the cassette players) because they're small studios and unlike CD players you can actually do something with them, namely to adjust close to everything on them, you can take care of them (maintenance), you can even fix them sometimes.

I have some cassette decks, some good ones too, that are in a very good shape.
I do record new tapes from time to time and I do listen to my old tapes, the ones I made, but it has more to do with the music rather than with nostalgia. I listen to mixtapes I recorded and it makes sense bcoz they keep the music I liked during the period I recorded them, tapes that I for example recorded with sound adjustments I prefered for these songs (bass, treble - - - > even adjustments with an equalizer - yes, I did that < - - - ie a small studio in your home).

I still very much like this music, because it comes from the late 70s, the 80s and the 90s, not the 60s or the early-mid 70s most of which I consider dead music (dead in the sense that unlike the former periods I mentioned, the latters you cant listen to a whole LP except for historical reasons and with very few bands as an exception), whereas I still discover music from the late 70s and mostly the 80s that amazes me. The late 70s and the 80s music endured the test of time (my opinion) and not a comment about the 90s music on this..

I still record tapes because Im a cassette generation boy stuck with some hundreds of CDs most of which I now dont want to listen to.
Curiously enough this never happened with the music I have on Vinyl and cassettes. Strange isnt it? I mean, I was very excited with the CD as a media, only to realize that it doesnt suit the way I want to listen to music.

EDIT: there's also the matter of the poor sound quality, which largely is true, but as you said a good deck minimizes this issue. But when you're a fun of music genre known as "Lo Fi", as I am, you easily overcome these issues. Large part of my music is Lo Fi artists and bands.

Conclusion: cassette tapes are in every way more fun than CDs and other digital media.
My hopes: with the vinyl revival a fact, at least some of the companies that produced blank cassettes to start producing them again. I mean, depending on the seller today you need up to 10€ for normal position tape or up to 50€ or more for a chrome and a fortune for a metal tape...

PS: I did tried to keep this comment to a reasonable size

xanataph:  Been going through old albums that I have on cassette on my radio show. Do this thing called "Album Journey" where a track from the album is played on each successive show until they all are. It's not always on cassette, but always on a physical format. However, the cassette has one huge advantage - you can take it out after playing a track and it will be pretty much ready to play the next a week or fortnight (or whatever period!) later. Or cue up a track to play on a show, not play it for some reason and bring it back for the next show and it's already cued!

As for the nostalgia thing, for me that really comes through the dubbed cassettes that I made when I was young. Because of the generation loss and varying quality of dubbing depending on the source and what equipment was used those copies can have a sound that is just a little different than a pristine "original".

Hello Meat Robots:  Do the 78 revival next. The iron is hot! Strike now!

Audio Masterclass replies to Hello Meat Robots: Don't tempt me. DM

Wheelie Bear - Paul:  As a vintage audio hardware collector, I like the versatility of minidisc, the editing capabilities are awesome, and Hi-MD has true PCM 16bit 44.1 CD recording on Hi-MD discs and reformatted standard MDs.

Lyn & Ted Rockley:  Fun? They were meant to be fun? Since when?

Audio Masterclass replies to Lyn & Ted Rockley: Since 1963. DM

Andy Wason:  Off topic, but how about a video on whether stereo bass is a real thing?

Zobeid Zuma:  No. I don't find cassettes fun at all. To me, cassettes are where fun goes to die. Like so many folks, I did have fun once upon a time making "mix tapes". That lasted until I got a CD-R burner, and I never looked back. Also, the CD inserts that you disdain because they're too small are way, way better than anything we ever got with cassettes. Those tiny cassette inserts were abysmal.

David Fabien:  The advantage with cassette is that you start again next time at the point where you left off last time. Very practical mainly when listening to speeches as by trial and error you can rewind the tape and pinpoint the part that you would like to repeat. Digital audio players also allow you to do so but not as easily and precisely. There is still a place for audio cassettes. I've never given up on cassette recorders and players. I've still got two Sony WM D6C and a few others. To this day I've kept my Professional Tascam 122 MK11 mastering cassette recorder.

Jan Arild Bråthen:  from 1979 till 2002, Cassettes was the convenient way to transport and record music. And I used to have my recorder on standby when I rehearsed with one of my bands. The cassette was easy and durable. and you could listen to your rehearsal in the car driving home. I bougt many pre-recorded tapes during those days, because you could play them at home and on the go. But the most important thing if you are planning to get into cassettes: buy a good deck. With a good deck, cassettes can get close to the quality of any other format avaliable. A good ferric will often do, but If you want an upgrade, a type 2 of different formulas can still be avaliable in old stock unopened. The prices on unopened metal-tapes these days are insane, så get a good cheap quality ferric like maxell UR, then you are good to go.

George Ogrady:  Record from cd how it sound as tape noises

cdl0:  Vintage cars and steam engines are fun, so why not cassettes if that floats your boat. Not only can the content be home-made, but also the artwork. You could have hours of fun making a gift for a friend this way.
There is a serious point about tape hiss, and audio noise in general: I have read that very low-level background sound helps to activate the auditory system, pushing it above a threshold that turns it on, and improves sensitivity, so there may be something in what people say about hiss from tape, or all the noises from defects in vinyl. It may be nonsense, but does seem to at least be a credible hypothesis. Moreover, there in reality, there is always some natural ambient sound, assuming you are alive and have a heartbeat and still breathing.

Michael Imaoka:  Are you related to Sir Paul, I wonder.

Richard Wells:  For me it's an enjoyable, nostalgic hobby. I like to discover new music and bands, maybe on the radio or through social media, then make a cassette recording of it from a streaming service. I like the process of choosing a blank tape and trying to get the best from it. I have to wait and monitor the recording in real time (no drag & drop) so I actually get to listen to the album. At the end, I have a physical, collectable item to come back to. Tapes aren't perfect, but neither is my 50 year old hearing. And I'm far more likely to peruse my recordings 6 months later and replay an album, whereas with streaming I just forget about it.

Mr Jay:  It's all fun and games untill a capstan roll chews up yor tape or you forget to remove your cassette from the window and it expands.

Ján Rendek:  For me, cassettes are nostalgia. I’m in my early 50s. Greetings from 🇦🇹/🇸🇰!

Cyto Wing:  I build and refurbish gear for a hobby. If you can do this a really good cassette deck is reachable. You hit the proverbial nail on the head with your "fun" comments. Back in the day audio was about fun and discovery, in recent times it seems to be more about background noise and convenience.

Emerald Phoenix:  I like cassettes when they work as they should, ie no dropouts or tape getting chewed or audio degradation. (which unfortunately is often the case with old cassettes)
They were great for listening to in the car.
I still have a lot of my old cassettes, bought originals as well as self recorded albums.
Some of them still sound really good & there is something about them, their quality that I like.
I have a collection of vinyl records (started when I was a teenager,as one does or did) & a collection of CD.s, & I have bought many of my favourite albums on CD that I also have on vinyl & some also on tape cassette.
It is interesting comparing the same album on the 3 different formats.
Im not the slightest bit interested in streaming or mp3s etc.
Im aware that they will all be differently mastered / remastered for the different formats & different times, but in some cases the cassette album sounds best to me, in most cases the vinyl album sounds best ( with clean, non scratched ,record on a good quality deck & good cartrige/stylus). & in some cases the CD sounds best, but in many cases it does not.
Earlier runs of cd production remasters especially often sounding quite 'flat' or weak to me.
Its often down to the mixing & mastering though , which is too often. not great on CD for some reason.
I dont like using Dolby generally as it muffles the music & cuts the high end out, though good quality Dolby C can be ok. I dont mind the hiss, & on a good deck its not noticeable .
I do like DBX though on my own (cassette 8 / 4 track) recordings, when I use that format.
I wonder is it much to do with nostalgia & confirmation bias, (pun noted), from a lover of music & sound recording/ design perspective ,eg the ear/ brain /hearing experience picks up on the nuances of the different mediums & there is an association subconciously occurring, that translates to preference or pleasure or vv.

Jason Lee !:  In the late 80s tapes were awesome. As a guitar player in Bands and a home recording enthusiast, giving tapes to girls of my bands and music……sweeet memories.

bob's bit's:  hi you mhave a very good points in this video

you are very right about the top end cassette decks what do they do when the high end decks stop working

note i like the cassette with out the names and makes because alot is all in the mind i buy the 1/8 pancakes i fill my cassettes
i am lucky i have i have some OTARI DP2700 decks and i can record the 4 channel of a cassette like a reel to reel deck

doing this way i can take on the high end decks at a lower costs will not talk all the tec info on here
i may up set the the cassette dubbing lot the cat is out of the bag now funny thing you can get super recordings on low end decks

for play back the betacam sp audio is very good as well

Pete Kutheis:  Cassette is fun to me because I limit it to 3 or 4 tapes a year.

Pete Kutheis:  Roon is fun. It actually helps drive vinyl sales.

As much as I love the very high quality lossless 24 bit quality from Apple Music, I prefer physical media for things that matter. And then it’s all about fun.
The only thing as fun as cassettes are: Minidisc!
Criminally underrated format that I believe never really took off because it was expensive relative to CD in the 90’s. I bought my Sony MD Walkman in 99 and it was so great. Had all the fun of cassettes, being a media that could actually be handled (unlike fragile CD) with a proper case, just like cassettes. They were small and easy to bring around and I was never worried lending them to friends: minidiscs are very robust.
I remember reading snobby Hifi reviewers dismissing MD because of the atrac compression, but I couldn’t really hear any difference and I doubt any normal person could. I think geeks just stared at numbers too much.
One thing was clear and that was that minidisc sounded a lot better than cassette tapes. And you could skip songs!
I really miss physical media as it existed back then. Sharing a playlist online just isn’t the same thing as carefully preparing a mix tape, drawing and painting the insert yourself and giving it to a friend or someone you had a crush on.

Dann Marceau:  Cassettes were never fun.

Kelvin Green:  Cassettes are fun. Getting the levels right, Checking tape bias is adjusted, adjusting levels for each track. Then the fun part of giving a tape you’ve made to someone who appreciates the time and effort that went into it. And now I’m over 50 my ears can no longer hear above 15 kHz so hiss is less annoying than it was in my teens. 😜

Jon Holstein:  it isn't uncommon for people to describe certain background noise as depth. This is one of the issues of using these objectively meaningless terms, as it is hard to decipher what people actually mean. And unfortunately there isn't a complete list of this as far as I know, so it is hard to know them all, and keep them in the head, for the time when you might need that knowledge to make something sound the way a person want it to sound, when they are using these terms, that don't directly translate in to what we might first think.

Ronald Weed:  I miss them. Portable cassette players especially. Two ended 3.5 m plug in into my stereo & portable cassette player MAGIC!!

Kelly Bueckert:  Cassettes are a ton of fun. My daughter even likes to play them

nukiepoo:  I’m your age and a lifelong music, lover and former audiophile (I stopped being an audio file in the mid 80s when my kids started to poke in the dust caps on my speaker drivers and shove Twinkies into the VCR). The only purpose I ever found for cassettes—other than for telephone answering machines and dictation—was for listening to pre-recorded music in the automobile. I had a top-loading Akai with their wonderful glass crystal ferrite head that seem to never wear out and cleaned up easily. That was a good machine but I bet if I listen to it today it would sound like crap.😅

I remember TDK and Memorex, but the best recording tape that I ever found were from audiobooks and periodicals that my blind friend used to get from the government. He would give them to me when he was done with them. Those tapes were recorded at 7/8 of an inch per second speed. Recording over them required the obligatory piece of scotch tape over the Record-disabled-tab hole.

In order to make the voice quality of the periodical reader acceptable at such a low IPS speed, they must’ve used a very good formulation of media on those tapes because they recorded extremely well at the regular inch and seven eights speed.

Just as an aside, do you remember those Sony auto reverse cassette decks that would literally flip to tape head around mechanically? Tape head armatures and gaps were ideally designed asymmetrical and optimize for one direction. Other Reversible tape decks had tape heads that were a compromise in engineering for bi-directional record/playback. The Sony design seeked to address that by flipping the heads over. But keeping those head aligned was a bit of a chore.

Then there’s the cheap, handheld cassette recorders that actually had a little magnet for an erase head, L O L

Jeff Werner:  Honestly, for recording a jam, I ALMOST would understand the fun of cassettes but I have a little zoom h6 with 6 xlr ports, simple physical knobs, and fast easy record and stop buttons, and it tuns for half a day on four aa batteries. It is actually fun I think! A lot more fun than hearing the end of a tape click when you’re half way into a song! Also, you can’t install a tape emulation plugin on a tape recorder, that’s kind of a bummer! (Lol)

Mae Smets:  I discovered early on that VHS tapes (lp or sp) for recording music sounded much better than my Yamaha cassette deck with Maxwell Metal tapes🤭
It later turned out that I wasn't the only one...

Romantyk Zagrebelski:  I still use cassette player and reel to reel recorder.

CoolDudeClem:  I have a high end deck from the 90's that still works as good as new, and it can record almost CD quality audio on a type 1 cassette. I even made my own mono deck just for the fun reasons, it also records really well. (I even came up with the schematics for playback and recording).

CoolDudeClem:  I love cassettes for all the wrong reasons!

Shallow Fakes:  i don't find it fun when you keep banging on about spotify when its not lossless

Mike Saunders:  CD jewel cases = very much not fun! Streaming….great until some software change somewhere in the chain means your streamer stops working and you can’t figure out why. Watching hubs go around and meters move to the beat = fun. You don’t need a Nak and 2 head Naks are only about £150. People enjoyed music more back in the day when they were listening to the music and not the “system”.

incargeek:  Minidisc is fun. Also, cassette sound quality isnt “dreadful”. If it is, check your azimuth :)

dvd cd man:  the cassette suck they sound terrible and sound like crap its so bad!!!

Robert McDonnell:  I grew up with LPs and vinyl, but my main days were during the cassette days, and later on CDs. Engaging with a cassette to hear “a song” is an event. It requires intent and effort. You have to either just resign yourself to listening to the album up to the song you want, or you have to seek through the album to find the spot you want.

Get there, hear the song in all its glory, and then have to rewind back through it to listen again, giving you that downtime between listens, again, requiring engagement and intent.

It’s a subtle thing that I wonder if future generations will even wonder about, but it was how I discovered all the formative music of my life.

All that said… don’t discount Spotify. Sharing playlists with my friends and family, to me, hearkens right back to the days when I would make a mix tape of the most life shattering caliber that everyone would have to have a copy. I miss that about cassettes, and I think Spotify has done a decent job of making that experience accessible to the modern age.

Also, Spotify does an annual breakdown of the songs, artists, and musical styles you listened to the most in a given year. I ALWAYS look forward to this now, and love sharing it with close ones. Spotify, and it’s ilk, are alright in my book.

Nord72:  As much as a tape deck I can get an SVHS Recorder from the late 90s with very good audio quaility, much better than any high tech cassette deck....

Editing SECRETS revealed!:  Is this video fun? Yes. Is the comments section fun? Yes.

jonesvox1:  Cassettes are sonically garbage and I regret the money I spent obtaining them in the 80’s and 90’s.
CD’s sound amazing when properly mastered but the packaging and proneness to damage was frustrating…not to mention the shitty jewel case broken fiddly hinges.
The MiniDisc was, IMO the very best format ever….Great, compact size (almost novelties but not like the ridiculous micro sd card)…
The sound quality, although compressed is punchy and pleasant to listen to. And re-recordable!! And FUN!! All the benefits of the cassette without the cringy, poor sound….AWESOME…..So, let’s discontinue it forever……Progress? The MD could have remained relevant as a physical media if not destroyed by the sudden onslaught of Napster and its’ consequent rivals. There is NOTHING fun about downloads…Young people can’t experience the thrill of making a crush a “mixtape,” nor receiving one… Mixtapes simply became mixdiscs with MD’s.
Now with Ai you’ll see most future songs written by algorithms and played by samplers and listened to by NPC’s on crappy Bluetooth earbuds linked to their precious phones. How romantic ☠️ and who cares? …..Dystopian Paradise

dvd cd man replies to jonesvox1: the cassette should of never existed!!! i hate cassette so much they suck!!! i am glad the cassette is dead and it will never come back hopefully

CDs/DVDs/BluRays way better then cassette and its not even close!!!

Editing SECRETS revealed! replies to jonesvox1: They been spendin' most of their lives, streaming in our dystopian paradise! - CoolioGP

MirlitronOne:  My god, you could take the "fun" out of functionality. "Fun" in my mother's day was lugging a wind-up gramophone and a box of 78s. "Fun" in my youth was the fading and crackling of pirate AM radio. "Fun" nowadays is listening to horribly compressed MPEG renditions of songs or DAB radio. It's all "fun".

James Lewis:  Are cassettes really that much fun, or are people just really that bored?

dvd cd man replies to James Lewis: no its just nostalgia that making people buy and listen to cassettes but they dont know they listening to garbage its just terrible

Lyndon b:  Cassettes were fun & are fun, however in the times before the internet they were more fun because you did not have as many distractions, also you could make a recording and give it to anybody because most families had a least two players in they house or the one in the car, not now.. but good to keep this format alive, in the early 2000's i enjoyed being able to afford a good deck to record off CD's Radio & even from
Vinyl which in most cases the sound quality was far superior than the Pre-recorded cassettes, were great to record radio programmes too ..

dvd cd man replies to Lyndon b: @Lyndon b
yeah true reel to reel is better it is the best audio format ever made its the ultimate king of audio formats

Lyndon b replies to Lyndon b: @dvd cd man Reel To Reel offers much better performance

dvd cd man replies to Lyndon b: cassettes are just outdated junk it so stupid i am so glad that the cassette is dead i hope it doesnt return because they suck its so bad and sound bad i hate cassette so much i think it the worst format EVER!!!!!!

Pat Barr:  LPs were great at home, but bulky & fragile. The cool thing about CDs was that they were so shareable. You didn't worry about lending them only to get them back scratched. You could slip the new Phil & the Pherrets 2 CD in a jacket pocket & casually tell your friend, "Oh, I have this album you might want to check out," unless you heard them say "That last album from the Pherrets was in the bottom 10 for 1986!" in which case you'd just go out for pizza instead. 😎 Cassettes had a similar charm, but also a tendency to unspool unexpectedly. It was always exciting when a new tape formula came out though... Ferrichrome Forever!

FL660:  Hi mate. Brilliant video as always. Always enjoy watching them, especially the science.
I’m 55 and can honestly say that I miss the ‘mix tape’ experience of being able to record something on cassette and then choose when to fade out of the track, at my discretion. There were LOADS of great tracks and tunes, but the odd occasional one would go on for too long ! So the tape was great for that. You could fade out at the point your recipient might get bored of the intended track. You can do it now, I know, on computer, but your recipient hasn’t now got the equipment to listen 😫. Yet another FAIL of modern society.

Eric Van Nielsen:  I’ve recently been contracted by a local merchandising shop (for bands) to duplicate cassettes for them because they were getting so many requests. Personally I love doing it for them and in my head I imagine the Gen Z kid that goes to the show, buys the tape and is blown away that first time that they are “holding” the music of their new favorite band. Fun indeed.

Lucas Arts & Crafts:  Fun!...what a novel idea...truly

HashTagMediaGuy:  Super fun and colllectible.

Starman57:  Fun? Handier than vinyl, more portable and recordable back in the day,'s all we had. Otherwise the world absolutely moved beyond vinyl and cassettes for VERY GOOD reasons. The recent nostalgic nonsense revival of these formats proves that some people are just bored with the exceptional modern life they have been gifted.

kevin fetner:  No real 'revival' going on. Just enough decks still surviving to cause a niche market.....just like RTR, except more cassette machines survived. Good luck finding analog techs who can calibrate and work on them......

CrueLoaf:  Remember Metal cassettes?
However, I always used TDK AD90s! Recorded my vinyl so many of my old albums have only been played under a stylus…once!

Rui Cameira:  well i just started to record cassettes again in 2017 ,this started by restoring a pioneer CT-959 ,till today i already record 90 cassettes from cds and records i have , being my favorite songs, and what surprised me more was the sound with a good chrome cassette or cobalt sounded several times better than the cd i recorded from, the cassettes i had bought from a warehouse several years after stop seeing cassettes for sale anywhere and they sold me so cheap that i bought from TDK sa-x maybe 500 cassettes and from sony UX-pro maybe 200 of c-90 and other 200 of C-60, also some type I the SXI from maxell around a 100 cassettes of c-60 and another 100 from C-90 also some older BASF chrome maxima till 85 also super-chrome till 84,all costed me 100€ because if i didn´t take them they would throw them to the garbage, also bought around 150 Minidiscs from TDK all black , i remenber simpler times when hi-fi was hi-fi and one would listen to music whatever one had at home, i never thought that my first turntable a PL-43 from pioneer today it would deliver better sound than a 4.000€ pro-ject, it´s evolution

the sodium lights:  I find it funny how certain bands who have always been forward about encouraging fans to think more about caring more for our planet feel quite happy with pumping out this dreadful format just to appeal to the latest fade. Cassettes are just more unnecessary landfill. Hated them back in the day as well.

N. Miller:  Back in the heyday of cassettes, I bought and installed the top-of-the-line Pioneer car cassette player in my company cars. Dual capstan, three motors, microprocessor controlled soft touch buttons.

I spent a lot of time on the road and had a pretty darn bitchin' sound system. I also copied over my record albums to metal and high-quality chromium dioxide tapes. I seldom bought pre-recorded cassettes because the quality just wasn't there.

Over time, my cassette library grew to a somewhat ridiculous degree and I still play these tapes once in awhile. My home cassette recorder was an almost top-of-the-line JVC unit with ANRS noise reduction.

Were they fun to play? Definitely. I made cassette inserts using my computer when computers were not commonly found in the home. It was all cutting edge stuff.

I even use an Android app that simulates playing cassette tapes. It's pure nostalgia and I love it.

I would disagree that CDs are where "fun goes to die". They are still a viable medium and much of their problem lies in poor mastering practices taken on by the music industry with their stupid brickwalling ideas.

A fifty dollar Blu-ray player blows away any $500 turntable in terms of audio specs any day. And it's capable for displaying great quality video and surround sound content to boot!

Maurits Polak:  I remember cassettes as very good at being bad. On all fronts. The advantages of using the cassette I agree on, like : playing music offline, having to make a choice what to bring along, limited amount of available albums, having to pick and choose what to record, recording being a bit of a nuisance…
So I opted for minidisc 😂

Axels Mayo:  cassettes are fun for me because they tend to be the much more affordable form of physical media. Vinyls retain their value really well but cassettes you can for really cheap. a while ago I got about 60 cassettes for $10 and I really enjoy listening to music ive never heard before on this slow, combursome, but tactile form of music. What can i say, I find it very satisfying and stimulating, but I presume we all have our own unique quirks lol. And yes im only 20 hence why I haven't heard any of these songs before.

Editing SECRETS revealed! replies to Axels Mayo: If you're discovering unknown albums for the first time, you don't even need instant track skip. Just put it on, and let the vibe wash over you til the album's done.

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Thursday April 27, 2023

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David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

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