Friday, March 30, 2018

Fun With Vintage Audio Cassettes

At one time the lowly audio cassette was the cat's pajamas for home recording. This was after the 8-track but before the compact disc. People even recorded their own music and that of friends, and naively assumed that these treasured recordings would be around forever and ever.

Fast forward (heh) thirty years and guess what! The specter of excessive friction has entered the scene, wherein those tiny hubs inside the audio cassette will not turn and no amount of jockeying, rock-and-rolling or fast forwarding will remediate the situation. One could cry out in anger and hurl the apparently useless time capsules into a nearby yard for the dogs to have their way with ... or possibly, just maybe, a glimmer of hope exists in the C-Zero cassette.

What, you have never heard of the C-Zero cassette? There is no reason that you would have unless you are a tape duplicator or consumer of such arcane services. These are the empty plastic shells that purveyors of tape duplication services stuff with various lengths of audio tape. One can reportedly take the non-playing tapes and transfer them to new, low friction C-Zero cassettes and, voila!, problem solved. I will test this hypothesis and report back here when the truth of the matter has been established.
CD burner (top) and JVC audio cassette deck (bottom)

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