Thanks, everyone, for the comments on- and off-list...and Happy New Year!
Let's look at the cassette dates.
1963 is well-documented
1970 is somewhat arbitrary and based on personal recollection
1978 as Dominant is based on the introduction of the Nakamichi 1000
plus one year
and one year before the introduction of the Walkman (which
the format) -- so it was splitting the difference between
1977 and 1979
1993 as the beginning of the decline was the year that the
Nakamichi Dragon was discontinued (1982-1993) and the year the CR7
was discontinued (1986-1993), although the peak year for
machine sales was 1994 with 18 million sold, but I suggest
that the demise of
the high-end gear was more telling.
2002 as the beginning of the niche market was the year Nakamichi stopped
making cassette decks. I recall being somewhat shocked
between the late
1980s and the late1990s when walking into a Circuit City
looking for cassette
decks at the lack of choices available. Certainly, the
cassette was no longer
important for music distribution -- which is the basis of
this as opposed to
dictation. Audio books beg the issue, but...
2008 was chosen as the "end" because of the NY Times article
"Say So Long to an Old Companion: Cassette Tapes"
By ANDREW ADAM NEWMAN, Published: July 28, 2008
This article also says that in 2006, cassettes only
accounted for 7% of all
sales in the $923 million audio book industry.
Tascam is currently selling one cassette deck, and, sadly, it's not
even their flagship 122-series, long the mainstay of
news/broadcast/recording studios and some transfer facilities.
Rather, it is the dual-well 202 MK V. At least both decks record on
this one. This is a two-head machine and does not offer any bias
setting (as did a similar Kenwood deck I bought in the late 1980s
that made great tapes).
Marantz no longer offers any cassette machines, and they were once
the mainstay of event recording.
Sony sends you to retailers and doesn't even bother listing the
products on their website. I suspect that the retailers are cleaning
out the distribution channels at this point.
Anyway, I don't know how to pick the end date of a format with any
precise accuracy as there are always a few hangers-on.
My goal here is to define widespread release of new entertainment
content in the format and while LPs are not widespread, I think we're
seeing more entertainment in that format than in cassettes. My major
interest in this research project is music entertainment.
I see Tim's point, too, but I don't know. Most duplicators and
duplicator suppliers I've dealt with have stopped stocking product
and or shut down.
I could keep it as a niche product, I guess. The NYT article, cited
above, suggested that even the then-diehard users thought they'd be
out of cassettes by 2011.
Thanks and Happy New Year!
At 03:42 PM 2009-12-30, jack palmer wrote:
>I wonder about the cassette tape use. Many radio shows are still
>copied and sold in that format although MP3s are taking over a lot
>of it now. I would say it was still a niche use. At least for
>another year or
>>cassette Developed 1963 Major 1970 Dominant 1978 Decline 1993 Niche
>>2002 Ended 2008
>Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
>Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
>Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
>Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.