Thursday, November 20, 2008

Use a cassette player lately?

I found a 30+ year old cassette in my house the other day and thought it would be a good idea to convert it into an electronic format using a digital recorder. Easy enough -- all I'd have to do is find a cassette player. That's actually really tricky. I have an old Sony tape deck, but it turns out I haven't actually played a tape on it in at least five years. I put the tape in and the spindles wouldn't turn. Then the eject button wouldn't work so I had to pry the tape out.

Next I tried my old alarm clock with the built-in tape deck. I pushed the eject button to open it, and the door flew off the machine and fell behind my night stand. The tape deck still worked, and I was able to make the conversion, but I hadn't realized how dead that medium was, at least around my house.

The pity is, I've got hundreds of these tapes in storage. Some of them actually have pretty good material on them, like a 1977 live recording I have of Peter Gabriel singing Marvin Gaye's "Ain't that Peculiar?". I have lots more good stuff on vinyl, but I worry less about that since those records will pretty much last forever. I can always dig up a turntable to play them or convert them to MP3 if necessary. But the cassettes are decaying. As are the players, apparently.

I might as well have a closet full of wax cylinders.


Anonymous said...

scroll down to the second CD, should be able to download Ain't That Peculiar from there.

Tape always sorta sucked.

Seth Masket said...

Lidzville, you are my hero.

So I guess the big concern about changes in media is that content gets lost over time. Is this true? Anyone out there have stuff on vinyl, cassette, or 8-track that simply cannot be found today on CD or online? It seems like there are enough audiophiles with time on their hands to convert pretty much everything that was ever recorded.

Anonymous said...

Also try find it here -