Casette tapes = FUBAR

I am currently listening to a true-crime podcast episode about an event that happened in the 80s and mentions a broken Sony Walkman found along the highway and realized: cassette tapes were actually a thing.

They happened.

Once upon a time if you wanted to throw a bunch of favourite songs together, you would need to gather all the albums in tape or record form, have a blank cassette ready at the start, then press PLAY+RECORD for each song to record as it played either from it’s source vinyl or tape.

End of every song: stop the blank tape, change songs or records or tapes and find the place where the next song you want to add begins, carefully press play then start recording on your destination cassette and nope, no such thing as shuffle-play - whatever order you’ve laid-down those song on the tape are set in stone, changing them requiring a repeat of the entire ordeal.

Not to mention having to FAST-FOWARD through a physical cassette and guessing when to stop at the start of another song - every time you want to change songs.

Man, what a hassle…

For so many years we’ve been simply copy/pasting files to organize our music I can’t even imagine what a royal pain in the a$#e analog music was my goodness.

That is all, except to highlight how thankful I am everything now comes in files - easily moved and accessed from anywhere since we no longer require a physical medium.

Thank you, technology :heart: :pray:


As a guy who grew up in the 80’s, you made my day.

You also forgot that recording was done by using a microphone integrated into the device. That microphone could record humans around the device.
So, it was also possible that somebody decided to record himself with the cassette tape present in the device instead of using a blank one.
Your music compilation could be overwritten by laughs and singing attempts of your little sister.


Oh yeah - it was all such a hassle :slight_smile:

Whatever arguments about sound quality being slightly better with analog, the increase in convenience thankfully won out, which I guess it was bound to do - path of least resistance usually being our preferred option for most things :slight_smile:

And if you want a song that’s at the end of that side of a tape, there’s a full minute or two of waiting for that fast-foward to happen, usually skipping the song you wanted which required another three minutes of rewind, foward, rewind, godmanit, rewind, forward, HAH, finally…

CDs had taken over by the time I’d hit my teenage years and though they were still producing tapes and vinyl I remember the debates about CDs having garbage sound quality compared to the older options, but again - more convenient = CDs won and though I tried to pick the quality difference myself, I generally couldn’t detect anything that could not be dismissed as a psychosomatic effect - my believing I heard a difference due to the expectation some difference existed.

Always seemed more dependent on the amplifier and speakers, than the medium sounds were coming off of.

Little moment of recognition for how awesome it is that we do longer have to be bound to physical media anymore :partying_face:

In fact, all audio solutions may be awful.

Cassette tapes were demagnetizing themselves after lots of listening. The sound always ended up to be awful but because you heard the songs a lot, that was your brain that was filling the gaps.
Vinyl are sensible to heat and bad treatment.They ended-up bended what had an impact on the rhythm of playback. Like CDs, they could produce horrible sounds because of dust and scratches.
A scratched CD is really an horror. The numeric device reading is really trying to be faithful to the scratch by restoring all asperities of the scratch.

But really, CD were invented to be scientifically faithful to the sound recorded by using laser precision.
And all that beautiful quality was destroyed by mp3 compression to respond to desire to exchange music through the internet.
I heard that, nowadays, some people don’t use physical supports to listen music but only streaming services. They are paying a monthly fee to have the pleasure to hear music in the middle of public transport, inside cities, that are far more populated and noisier than 40 years ago.

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MiniDisc was actually quite decent for the time. They were smaller than CDs you could easily record and re-record stuff and of course had non of the nonsense that came with tapes.
Apparently they were quite common in Japan but for some reason never really made it to Europe in any meaningful way.


Why is it telling me my post is “awaiting approval”??

I have not even posted anything controversial - let alone offensive!

This is getting to be a problem on a LOT of forums now: posts flagged for no reason, then follow-up action based on nothing but what amounts to in-forum trolling from a tiny percentage of random members by flagging posts out of boredom.

Irritating, given all the decades progress the world has made increasing freedom of speech - to have online be hyper-regulated to a much heavier degree than real life.

Nope - it was only the post before this: I’ve re-read it - there’s not even a single bad-word or language that’d trigger a hold by the forum software at all.


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Guilty as charged :smirk:

Fact, I finally grabbed grabbed myself a pair of Sansung Buds+ before this lockdown went into effect, because I’ve so often got some kind of earbuds in my ears, well - cord-rage is a real thing and I’ve got angry at many corded ear-phones for the tickling against my neck and ripped them out on the spot - popping the wires in the process.

Though really, it’s not spotify or music generally that has my interest anymore as much as podcasts and the endless different types of shows there are now.

On the positive side though, I lost interest in television and haven’t been interested in any kind of show for like, two years now or so.

That’s veering off topic though, and my burgers are burning - I can smell em damnit…

You were able to remove the (c)lip at the top of the cassette, so it was write protected. But a single piece of scotch tape would remedy that again. Same for VHS tapes.

Those were the days LOL!

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That’s the one :slight_smile:

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What I remember most about the Walkman is continuously feeding it batteries. Boxes and boxes of batteries. Gotta have my Rock as loud as possible. Gotta rewind that favorite song over and over. Can’t have it dragging! Batteries!

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I have a Walkman.

It still works (the last time I tried it).

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Yah and the dimemna of whether to go for the a-grade AA’s - that last longer but still run flat too quick - or cheap AA’s, only to have to swap em out every half hour or so.

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It’ll still be working another hundred years I’m quite sure :slight_smile:

Probably be worth something to the devout collectors out there too in decent condition: last I heard their were small hipstery companies starting to manufactur cassettes again for, such people :smirk:

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MiniDisc have a special place in my heart, a interesting combination of the mechanical and the digital.

A fine video about this piece of Sony tech:


How about a Sony branded Palm Pilot?
Found it yesterday while rummaging through a closet… :laughing:
I bet we all have some piece of ancient tech lying around.

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I had one those :slight_smile:

So primative: hard to become they were the pinnacle of mobile tech well, twenty years ago though it doesn’t seem that far back.

Oh yes, I always had jealous looks when I used it, but I do remember syncing was a pain in the behind.
They were short lived though, at least the Sony ones.

Crazy how much tech has changed in the last two decades.

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Regarding fast-forwarding, we certainly had at least one cassette deck that allowed pressing the FFWD button halfway to fast-forward WITH sound (and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an intentional function). Granted, it Mickey-Moused quite fast, plus I think it was very bad for the tape.

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Between the syncing, the terrible 240x160 LCD screen and always having to retype things with that silly little stylus, it was so much hassle for what was basically a calendar app in your pocket :slight_smile:

Truly, it was faster and easier to just carry a pen and notepad around, but yeah we convinced ourselves they would save time to justify their purchase anyway, then felt compelled to use the suckers - to justify purchasing them :smirk:


I remember doing that with some tape decks, but I think it also ran the risk of chewing the tape completely on occasion.

Untangling chewed up tape was another one those joys of the times actually,… though it didn’t happen that often, it never seemed to occur with tapes you didn’t care about - only your favorites.