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Vintage Cassette Players

The Compact Cassette or Musicassette (MC) was developed by the Dutch company Royal Philips in Hasselt, Belgium, by Lou Ottens and his team. It was introduced in September 1963. On its initial release, the cassette tape was chunky and had low sound quality, and it was originally designed for dictation machines. But the technology improved very quickly and better fidelity and features such as noise reduction led the Compact Cassette to supplant the stereo 8-track cartridge and reel-to-reel tape recording in most non-professional applications.

vintage cassette players

By inventing the cassette tape, it allowed anyone to make recordings without high technical skills that were needed for the reel-to-reel.

The cassette tape peaked in popularity by the late 1980s, but due to a new technology called 'Compact discs', the market for the cassette tape had drastically dropped in both Europe and North America.

Timeline

1962

Philips invented the first compact cassettes for audio storage. Ultimately, the Philips cassette became the standard format due to their licensing the technology to other companies for free.

1964

First home recorders utilizing compact cassette technology were released in the United States.

1966

First music albums released on the cassette format. The first artists included Nina Simone, Eartha Kitt, and Johnny Mathis.

MID 1970S

Cassette Decks were introduced to cars, replacing the previous 8 track players.

1979

Sony released the Walkman – a portable music player that revolutionized the way that people consumed music on the go.

2001

Cassettes finally lose the music fidelity battle to CDs and begin slowly disappearing into obscurity.

2009

Jadakiss "The Last Kiss" is the last major label release on cassette.Jadakiss "The Last Kiss" is the last major label release on cassette.

2021

Underground and DIY communities release regularly, and sometimes exclusively, on cassette format, particularly in experimental music circles and to a lesser extent in hardcore punk, death metal, and black metal circles, out of a fondness for the format. Even among major label stars, the form has at least one devotee: Thurston Moore claimed in 2009, "I only listen to cassettes." Very few companies (as of 2021) still make cassettes. Among those are US company National Audio Company, and French firm Mulann, also known as Recording The Masters. They both make their own magnetic tape, which used to be outsourced.