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Author Topic: Analog cassettes: are they still used anywhere, or is this format dead?!  (Read 8250 times)

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Offline sunjan

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A friend of mine has a lot of tapes at home, but these are not live tapes, merely dubbed from vinyl and CD.
Now, he's about to dump the whole lot in the trashcan.

I felt sorry that they should end that way, but we sort of came to the conclusion that there is no usage for old second hand tapes in this world anymore.
About 150 of them are ferro/type I, and 100 are chrome/type II.

Reflecting on this, are any there places or categories of people that still prefer the old analog tape, or is this format completely obsolete now?
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Offline heyitsmejess

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i have a marantz pmd 430 that i use on a regular basis for recording.
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Offline twatts (that "Pants" thing is so lame...)

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Audio books still use tape.  Or call a bunch of churches up.  Lots of them use tape to record sermons.  With either, the point is that you start where you left off - CDs start at the beginning again...

I always take my tapes to the local record store and dump them in the Free Bin.  That's a little better than throwing them away (reuse!), maybe someone still has a tape deck and needs new tapes???  I have a big batch of Hendrix tapes that I put on Craigs List, no one wanted them...  This weekend they're going to the Record Store...

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Offline indietaperwloo

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From an archivist's point of view, throwing away any recording that is recoverable is a crime.  Dubbing from vinyl and CDs maybe not so much but original material such as sermons from a church and especially live concert recordings would definitely be a waste if anyone chucked them without archiving them digitally first.
I work as my church's archivist and sound engineer and we have been recording digitally for quite some time and there are many other congregations and vacation bible schools in my denomination who are now digitally recording the sermons and study lectures from Sunday service and from study weekends and gatherings, vacation bible schools, etc.  There are still some congregations I know of who still record to cassette and I know they still sell blanks so, to answer your question, no the format is not out but IMO it is certainly being handed it's hat in favor of digital formats such as MP3 and CD.
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Offline ljsurfer2002

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From an archivist's point of view, throwing away any recording that is recoverable is a crime.

of course. but the question is always: TIME. Some people don't have the time to digitize. or you think you'll get to it 'someday' and then the tapes sit in a box in the garage for another 5 years...
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Offline sunjan

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Re: Analog cassettes: are they still used anywhere, or is this format dead?!
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2008, 05:13:57 AM »
no longer being used for audio books: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/28/business/media/28cassette.html?th&emc=th

Interesting read, T+!

I have the same agony about digitizing. I have maybe 500 tape masters from my own analog years (1988-1998), and I took over another retired taper friend's collection with 1500 tapes (another 300 or so masters in there).

Consider doing this in real time, including editing in post. There's a few thousand hours of work waiting to be done there.... :P

I wonder why no business came up with a "digitizing service" where you can send your tapes against a fee. Just like any of the numerous CD ripping services (http://techdigs.net/content/view/152/43/) or scancafe.com for photo negatives.
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Offline DeepCreatures

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Re: Analog cassettes: are they still used anywhere, or is this format dead?!
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2008, 06:52:02 AM »
i have a marantz pmd 430 that i use on a regular basis for recording.

still do the same thing.  some of my favorite shows that i have recorded in the past 3-4 years are on cas.

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Offline jacobmyers

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Re: Analog cassettes: are they still used anywhere, or is this format dead?!
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2008, 05:31:15 AM »
I have a Tascam 488 (eight-track cassette "Portastudio") that I used as recently as two years ago. It's broken a belt and I've been too distracted to track one down. I occasionally dump tracks (or whole songs) to cassette from the computer for "tape saturation". Then they go right back to digital. It's sort of "ghetto" but hey -- that's where I live.

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Re: Analog cassettes: are they still used anywhere, or is this format dead?!
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2008, 08:50:29 AM »
From an archivist's point of view, throwing away any recording that is recoverable is a crime. 

That's why I keep mine.  I still have a rudimentary vinyl collection for the same reason, even though I have nothing to play the records on.  The reality though is that there's probably a slim chance this will ever have any real use for me or anyone else.  My cassettes were the fruits of the labor of love that has transformed into the pure digital media world.  But the bottom line is that I can't throw any of my cassettes out simply because I have a sentimental attachment to them.  When I die, I could care less if they're the first thing that hits the trash pile.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 08:53:23 AM by tonedeaf »

Offline George

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Re: Analog cassettes: are they still used anywhere, or is this format dead?!
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2009, 03:47:31 PM »
I didn't tape before 2003 so I never used analog, just cassettes for vinyl and cd transfers of studio albums.  When I got into MD, the first thing I did was hand over all my cassettes to my sister so she could listen to them or copy music she wanted onto them.  After a few years they wound up in the garbage as she got a discman.  I don't see any purpose in saving cassettes with studio (store bought) music recorded onto them.  I actually just gave away two Japanese imported walkmans to my mom so she could listen to her Greek music.  That's pretty much washed my hands of that format.  Next up: Minidisc.  I still have my sharp recorder/player and a bag of MD's.  I recently reminded myself that I have the Sony 5 CD changer/minidisc deck sitting in my parents house.   
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Analog cassettes: are they still used anywhere, or is this format dead?!
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2009, 06:02:02 PM »
I have a valise case full of late 80's 4 track recordings done on a Yamaha MT44D deck and another of dbx encoded cassette masters from a Yamaha K720 stereo deck.

I should really x-fer that stuff yesterday, but it's a project.  Time to get both repaired if possible to do the x-fers before the expertice evaporates forever.  I really just need the 4track for the x-fers but I'd like to keep the K720 around for the odd cassette I may want to play.  Any suggestions on who to contact to service this gear?

I so loved that K720 machine.  Some cool features were the optical sensor auto reverse that flipped directions before the leader in a fraction of a second, auto bias, HX-pro, dbxII, blank skip, intro & music scan, section repeat, rec fade-in-out button, timer recoring/playback and a totally cool fuction that FFW'd to the end then rewound to where ever you were on the tape, resetting the minute-seconds remaining count-down timer precisely (the best mixtape tool ever!).

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The MT44D 4track deck used little adhesive magnetic sticker on the casstte window to tell the machine to go into 4-track mode and the sensor stopped working so I need to bypass it.  It came in a rack along with a 6 channel mixer and patch bay.  Everytime I see the little handle protrusions on a Edirol R-4/pro/44 I think of that 4 track machine rack.  Sexy gear for it's day.

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Offline 108Ω

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Re: Analog cassettes: are they still used anywhere, or is this format dead?!
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2009, 11:20:59 PM »
I owe much of my music appreciation to the Compact Cassette

However:

   
The Cassette Tape
"Peace is for everyone"
        - Norah Jones
"We tape to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect"
                      (with apologies to Anais Nin)

 

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