Today, I read the following phrase on a midterm exam:
You can download MP3s onto cassettes.
That is like getting Arby’s to go and then freezing it so you can microwave it and eat it later. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
I worry about the new fascination with cassette tapes. Of all the recording media I ever used, cassette tapes were by far the worst. The sound was horrible. They wore out fairly quickly, which made the horrible sound even worse. I remember some recordings that sounded like the band was drowning under water. Also, the cassette tape was susceptible to damage by a cheap tape player. I remember seeing a Bic pen in a friend’s car for when his cheap deck would eat the tape right out of the cassette. He would use the pen to wind the tape back into the cassette.
I know that for the “kids today,” the cassette is a novel way to hold your music, and it’s portable to boot. It’s also probably the only physical form they’ve had to carry music. My generation has the same fascination with records, but at least those disks have a richer and warmer sound than digital formats. And we got a square-foot canvas for the cover art, which itself is a forgotten art form.
Or maybe, I really am getting older faster than I thought.