Cassette Tapes Are Back

Amongst a certain set of people, at least
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2011 12:03 PM CDT
Cassette tapes are back, baby.   (©schnaars)

(Newser) – Proving once again that everything will someday become cool again, the Wall Street Journal today brings us the news that cassettes are making a comeback. A small comeback, sure, but a comeback nonetheless. “I want them fresh, sealed in the package,” says one collector. “I know one day I'll rip them open and smell that sweet plastic-y smell.” Another sings the praises of the usually-derided “tape hiss,” saying that it actually “has the same amount of charm as a little crackle when listening to a record has. It makes it seem more real.” (Vinyl records, of course, are experiencing their own resurgence.)

Cassette sales are up about 50% this year compared to last year, but the Nielsen SoundScan numbers don’t take into account all the collectors scouring eBay and flea markets for private sales. The president of the US’ largest cassette tape manufacturer confirms there has been a surge in sales, and says that the cassette has never truly been finished—though many thought it was, especially when Sony stopped making Walkmans. Oakland, Calif., even boasts a cassette-only music label. The label owner says that cassettes “combat ADD where people with a CD can kind of skip all over the place. … With a tape, you kind of have to take it from start to finish on both sides.”

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |