In a message dated 3/25/2005 8:28:48 AM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
> I've accumulated)...but I have a fair number of cassettes I taped in
> the 1980-83 period, and even a few I taped back in 1968 or so (old
> Philips tapes from when that was all you could buy)...and they are all
> still playable.

Likewise I have a couple of hundred from the same period, and they don't
seem to have degenerated much if at all.

Current recent experience:

More than 100 commercial and recorded audio cassettes from the 70s; only one
with mechanical problems.

About 25 U-matic video cassettes from the 70s. Only the earliest, system
introductory demos dated '71 and '72, had lubrication problems in an A-V type
player, but played OK on a professional deck.

Several mid 1960s 3-3/4" half track tapes on 3" reels stored in uncontrolled
conditions: no problems at all. I transferred these to both audio and data CDs
with several different codecs in the hope that someone will have the hardware
and software to play at least one of the formats in the future, but I'd bet
the original tapes will outlast the CDs anyway.

Mike Csontos