So, apparently this Saturday, September 7th is Cassette Store Day. Modeled on Record Store Day, it’s a celebration of the cassette.
I’ve been noticing the recent resurgence of the cassette with some amusement. I’ll admit, I don’t get it. I certainly owned a lot of cassettes back in the day, and I have fond memories of my first Walkman, and of spending countless hours carefully putting together mixtapes. (I suppose my podcasting is, in a sense, a continuation of that early compulsion to put together music mixes.) So, on one level, I understand the nostalgia that some people have for the medium.
But on the other hand, so many things about cassettes were a pain. The way they would stretch and wear out. The awkward blank space when one side of an album was longer than another. The inability to cue up a song quickly. (The fact that cassettes basically force you to listen to whole albums is arguably an advantage, but I remember spending all that time when I was DJing or making mixtapes painstaking cueing up songs.)
I still own a few cassettes, and a working Walkman, but I hardly ever listen to music on tape. And I haven’t bought a cassette in well over a decade. These days I’d say I buy 80% of the music I buy as downloads, and maybe 20% as CDs. Even though cassettes seem to be a bit cool again, I don’t think I’d buy one.
What about you? Do you still listen to cassettes? Do you buy them? Are there advantages to them as a medium that I haven’t listed?