Rewind, Relook and Realise

Cassette Talking to MP3

In a world of downloaded playlists and digital music players let us not forget the humble cassette tape.

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the cassette tape and yes, they are still in production. The tape was invented by a German man who wanted to make the reel more portable and accessible. Before the cassette tape, reels came in large wheels that made it hard to carry around.

But what the cassette did was change the way media became accessible to the masses, especially the music industry. It became easier to record music, words and sounds, and then distribute your music (all you needed was a portable cassette player and you could play your song). You could say this gave rise to the Walkman, which in turn evolved into the portable music players we have today.

But don’t think the cassette tape is a thing of the past — in regions where the Internet is not yet accessible and downloading music is not an option, the cassette tape and its player is still the best option. Also, there are music connoisseurs and sentimentalists that still hold cassette tapes close to their hearts and say that they sound better. (Or maybe you think it is just nostalgia that drive these opinions)

Media devices have evolved and digital seems to be the buzz word but what about older media devices? Look at the music industry, see how it has evolved with technological breakthroughs. Even the word ‘download’ was not a commonly used word 20 years ago. Issues in today’s media environment were never there before ‘download’ emerged.

Take a closer look at the music industry and understand its evolution.

Here are some books on the music trade, all available at the NTU libraries.

About Debra Bernadette L’Angellier

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