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Audio Cassette Tape

From Chace Audio

Also known as the compact cassette, the audio cassette is a consumer magnetic tape sound recording format developed by Philips in the 1960s. Originally intended for dictation, its ease of use and eventual improvement of fidelity lead to its replacement of reel-to-reel tape as the primary consumer recording format.

In this format, a variable length of 1/4” four track tape is contained on a pair of reels within a plastic cassette. In most consumer applications, two tracks are recorded or played back at the same time, and the cassette must be flipped over to use the other two tracks. This makes the cassette tape essentially a 1/4” up/down format with the fidelity of two track1/8” tape and is not suitable for professional applications. Some consumer music devices allow the recording of all four tracks at the same time, but the area recorded is still half that of professional 1/4” tape.

During the 1980s, the audio cassette's popularity grew as a result of portable pocket recorders and hi-fi players (including Sony's Walkman), and cassette sales soon overtook that of LPs and 8-tracks. Their durability and copying ease even acted as a catalyst for cultural change by helping bring underground rock and punk to the forefront of the music scene. By the early 1990s, compact discs were becoming more and more popular and soon overtook audio cassette sales in the United States. Some developing nations still use cassettes for purchasing and listening to music.

This definition is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License found at . It uses material from the Wikipedia article at .

Before illegal file sharing, music fans would share music with one another by making "mix tapes" with distractingly high noise floors via audio cassette decks.


A consumer grade audio cassette tape, straight from the 80s.