1. theairport

    Semi-related: over at the blog “CreateDigitalMusic,” Peter Kirn has written a pretty insightful article on the progress of digital audio quality, which has been much maligned from virtually everyone across the board.

    And it’s kind of a phony argument to say that cassettes are “more DIY” than any other medium; you’re absolutely correct by saying that if you’re going to put your fingerprint on an album, the intention is going to reveal itself one way or another. I know musicians who have released CDs in personally-cut holders with their own art and liner notes. All handmade. CDs, however, offer the unparalleled ability to cheaply streamline the recording process. I can record, produce, and distribute my own music on a computer for a increasingly small fraction of what an analog recording set up would cost, excluding the cost of hiring a producer as well. It’s still possible to bounce to tape after everything is mixed down, but tape is still expensive, and it just seems like an extraneous and laborious step to, at that point, put everything to cassette at that point.

  2. johngrant

    Cassettes CDs (and to a lesser extent, 8-Track tapes) were/are successful for precisely the same reason; Portability. Convenient DIY manipulation is great but merely incidental. Now that portable technology has shifted into hyper-drive it seems likely that CDs will be slipping into the cut-out bins at a greater rate than previously imagined. Vinyl has never been portable and for that reason is not really part of the same equation, and ironically, looks like it will outlast Cassettes & CDs as preferred music media.

    I’ve got got quite a few vinyl LPs over 50 years old that still sound great. Cassettes? Laughable shelf life. CDs?
    As you said we’ve all got CD drives; Not that long ago we also had floppy drives.

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