I can still order cassette tapes from some retail sources.  I get catalogs frequently.  I doubt they will go on for many more years though.  I personally own 3 recorder/players that I have plugged into my stereo set along with two reel to reel playeers  plus a 3 speed record player and a CD player.  Obviously most are obsolete or soon to be yet I still have times I need to use them.  In addition I still have two portable cassette players.  Maybe I'm just hanging on.  Do you know anyone who needs a few reel to reel recorders or a couple of dot matrix printers?       Jack

From: Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wed, December 30, 2009 4:59:42 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Media Timeline - Historical Assistance Please

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
        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 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:
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.