Cassette Tape Format Is 50 Years Old

cassette-tape-50th-anniversaryPhilips is celebrating the 50th anniversary of  the Compact Cassette, which the company introduced in Europe on August 30th, 1963 at the Berlin Radio Show.

Although there were other magnetic tape cartridge systems, Philips’ Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips’ decision in the face of pressure from Sony to license the format free of charge.

Philips also released the Norelco Carry-Corder 150 recorder/player in the U.S. in November 1964. By 1966 over 250,000 recorders had been sold in the US alone and Japan soon became the major source of recorders. By 1968, 85 manufacturers had sold over 2.4 million players.

Here are some of Phillips vintage marketing images for the Cassette Tape:


13 thoughts on “Cassette Tape Format Is 50 Years Old

  1. I’ve posted many times about my lasting and current love of this format. A year ago I stopped recording digitally and switched back to compact cassette. I’ve never been happier with a recording platform than i am now. Happy Birthday!

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  2. Still listening sometimes c-cassettes with my Yamaha K-540… Not so long ago I purchased some great cassettes from Burger Records and my old stash is full of great cassettes from 70’s and 80’s. Bit hipster stuff, but I listened to c-cassettes before it was cool to be a hipster!

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  3. Never had a R2R but owned several Nakamichi decks which were my prized studio possessions at one time. Absolutely loved tape format but cant see myself ever switching back from digital.

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  4. I have cassettes from 1975 that still perform well, but my LPs have long since walked off with the dodos and all of my old synth floppies have pretty well eaten it due to Weiss domains demons. Tape has its drawbacks, but given rational care, longevity isn’t among them. USB sticks lack a bit of the romance of hauling around a Walkman and 12 strange tapes like a culture-jamming prospector, but having 12 GB of goods in a magic box the size of your pinkie isn’t exactly roughing it. Here’s a little +1 for Maxell and TDK. Most of their tapes are still rolling after all others went to Oxide Limbo. Isn’t it great to have all of these First World problems? :D

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  5. I have a Marantz PMD511 deck that still see’s regular use. Running guitars through it gives the sound a warm smooth quality that just doesn’t happen any other way. Long live the cassette tape!! I also listen Sade on it …

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  6. One thing I forgot for mention. Being intkt this format now is a double edged sword. You can buy fantastic used decks super cheap but fantastic blank tape is rediculously expensive. I rarely see the best tapes selling for under $10 a piece and usually double that.

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      • Amazon actually for new old stock. I won’t even touch my favorite formulas (Denon HD-8, Realistic metal type II, Maxell XL-II etc) at those prices.

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        • Sheesh … Good to know. Thanks for the info Tribrix. I better start grabbing them where I can find them.

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