the New York Times ran an obituary, but not about a person. The paper said good-bye to an old friend:
the audio cassette tape.
you're into music, cassettes were dead and gone years ago. Compact discs, which are sturdier, have
higher fidelity, are stackable, and slip easily into CD players, took their
place. New automobiles don't even have
a slot in which to play cassettes any more.
delayed notice of the death of audio cassettes, it said, because they retained
some favor as a medium for audio books, and for quick and easy family
new and tiny handheld audio devices that can hold hours of music and several
books at a time have become the coup de grace for cassettes.
no surprise to those who have kept up with audio technology. But this line in the New York Times
story jumped off the page: None of Billboard
[magazine's] Top 10 [music] albums last week were issued on cassette, though
half were released on vinyl, which has been resurging.
are dying, but flat, cumbersome, vinyl phonograph records are surging back to
popularity? How is that possible? The fact is that more than 1 million vinyl
albums were sold in the United States last year because people have
re-discovered the tactile pleasure of handling old-fashioned discs. Others
swear the sound is richer than a CD, and many recording artists are releasing
new vinyl albums.
no great pleasure in shoving a cheap plastic cassette into a machine or
untangling its flimsy tape when it gets wound around a spindle. The sound is hissy, not rich. No one that we know of is putting out new
music albums on cassette. And with all
those digital audio players showing up in readers' hands, it seems the idea of
releasing audio books on cassette can now rest in peace as well.