Death of the cassette

So my stereo receiver was suffering the effects of old age, I had some Christmas money in my pocket, and it was time for a new one. After browsing some online product reviews, I had a some specific models to look for. I went to a few electronics stores and found one of the recommended receivers, at a good price. I brought it home and begun the monumental task of unplugging all the components, speakers, antennas, from my old receiver and plugging them in the new one.

I got to the cassette deck. There are a lot of places to plug things in to the back of my new receiver, but where were the ones for the tape deck? There were none. The receiver had no input or output receptacles for a tape deck. That was something I needed to look for while I was shopping??

Some of the very first albums I bought were in the cassette tape format. A good portion of the cassettes in my collection are my own recordings. Yes that’s right, my sorted past includes purposely breaking federal law. But I can’t remember the last time I played a cassette tape (not to mention record one). Most of the important music I own in that format I obtained in compact disc long ago. Is it time to get rid of those tapes?

I can’t quite bring myself to do that. I still have all the LP records I’ve ever owned (although they are boxed-up in storage). For now I’ve got the tape deck plugged into the receiver’s direct broadcast satellite audio inputs. So until I decide to subscribe to a DBS service, I can still listen to them if I want to. But will I?

I’ve seen the highs and lows of three audio formats in my lifetime so far (some would argue four, as MP3 files are beginning to outsell compact discs). I know the technology of that industry can be very volatile, but it makes me feel a little old and nostalgic that these formats have gone the way of the dodo.

At least I was smart enough never to buy an 8-track tape.