Hi Steve:

Most Japanese-made (or in later years, Japanese-designed and elsewhere-in-Asia-built) consumer 
cassette decks were 2-head models, but more importantly, when did you ever see any electronic device 
from Japan where they left off a potential feature at a given price point? Features sell. Meters 
sell. The ability to record sells. There were plenty of playback-only machines -- in fact I'll 
hazard a guess that the MAJORITY of cassette machines produced over the years were play-only. Think 
Walkmans and car systems, probably many more of these cassette "decks" sold than stand-alone home 
"stereo system" models. One flaw in my logic could be boomboxes, which often had record ability, but 
I bet a lot more play-only Walkmans were sold than play-record boomboxes. Walkmans got to where they 
were $20 in a blister pack at the local big-box store or supermarket. Even CD walkmans got nearly 
that cheap eventually.

As for a professional-grade play-only deck, doesn't Tascam still make the dual-well model that has 
play-only on one side? That's the only use of play-only cassette decks I've seen in professional 

Boy do I not miss cassettes for music content, but I think we'll end up missing them for spoken-word 
content. There is little attention paid to quality with cheapo digi-recorders of spoken content and 
the digital artifacts of low-grade lossy formats are far more annoying, at least to my ears, than a 
little bit of hiss and/or wow from a cassette.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Abrams" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 8:18 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The end of the cassette ? ? ?

>I just did a search for cassettes on and got 177,692 results.
> I do have a question about cassettes.  Many of us still have hundreds of cassettes.  Our sole 
> interest is in listening to the cassettes or transferring them to CDs or computer files.
> I am surprised that no one seems to make good playback equipment which does not record. Surely 
> there would be a number of advantages to such machines. Cheap playback machines were often found 
> in the early days of the cassette.
> SA
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 10:56 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The end of the cassette ? ? ?
>> This is just about the last "mass" market for cassettes in the U.S., I think. I'm not sure where 
>> you could buy a modern commercial music release in the U.S. or western Europe -- or if such a 
>> thing is even manufactured anymore. I think commercial music is still released on cassettes in 
>> parts of the Third World.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 3:05 PM
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] The end of the cassette ? ? ?
>>> This article talks about the end of the cassette for "talking books".
>>> It has some interesting statistics in it.
>>> Richard
>>> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
>>> Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
>>> Detailed contact information:
>>> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.