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Thanks, everyone, for the comments on- and off-list...and Happy New Year!

Hello, Jack,

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 
also supported
          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 
portable cassette
          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
          http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/28/business/media/28cassette.html
          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!

Cheers,

Richard

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 
>so. 
>Jack

>>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.