Believe it or not, people still buy VHS tapes. The aging format has been in decline for years, but between the collectors and the luddites, there’s a big enough market for Amazon to maintain a massive library of tapes for sale. You’d never guess what tops the “New and Popular” list.
It's hard to remember a time where our musical picks weren't contained in a Spotify playlist. But just a few years ago, we were still preserving our audio masterpieces on cassette tapes. Tapedeck.org is a project of a German graffiti artist named Neck, who has been collecting images of these analog gems from another…
Stupid hipster 80s fetishism notwithstanding, cassette tapes don't get much love. That's a shame, because magnetic tape is still a surprisingly robust way to back up data. Especially now: Sony just unveiled tape that holds a whopping 148 GB per square inch, meaning a cassette could hold 185 TB of data. Prepare for the…
No matter how outmoded the technology, you'll find someone who's devastated that it's gone. These people are in absolute denial about the old tech's inferiority to the advancements that supplanted it. This is Micke, the Swedish tape nut. He is precisely the luddite we're talking about.
I don't remember the last time I saw a cassette tape in real life. Seriously, it's been years. But when I see these cassette tapes refashioned as pieces of art, I'm happy. I love seeing old media being used in a way it was never meant to be (and the only way it could be now).
A decade ago, even after CD burners were ubiquitous, mixtapes were still the jam. It really mattered what kind of tapes you used. If you went cheap, it meant you didn't care about what was recorded on them. Shame on you.
Remember cassette tape players? Unlike the mp3 players so prevalent today, they didn't just play music; they made some white noise too. This art installation called Binatone Galaxy by Stephen Cornford takes advantage of that fact to create a neat but eerie soundscape that's totally living in the past. So take a…
Italian artist Lorenzo Durantini made this 5-foot tall tower from his collection of 2,216 VHS tapes. It looks like a shrine to the TV demons. Or, if you believe that TV makes you stupid, a monolith that turns people to monkeys on touch. Unless these are all 2001 tapes.
I have a gigantic case full of CDs that I have no idea what to do with. Do I toss them out? Do I save them for my kids? I'm sure other people have the same questions with their dead physical media—CDs, video tapes, DVDs, soon to be Blu-Rays—what's going to happen to all of that? Why not turn it into a giant skull…
Well, it's not looking like this 1973 ad for Sony's TC-377 tape deck will quite bear out, but we'll circle back in about twenty years just to be sure.
There will never be anything quite like the mix tape. For better or worse, it really changed the way people listened to music. So it's sort of bittersweet to see Sony releasing its final cassette-playing boom box ever.
This morning, Ron van der Ende left me speechless with this. They are not pasted in Photoshop. They are not giant tapes. They are not even painted. They are bas-relief mosaics made with old wood cuts. There are more:
Released in 1978, the 2-XL educational robot was before my time, but it wouldn't have haunted my nightmares like Teddy Ruxpin did. At least this robot had the decency to look like a damn robot.
Using little else than the parts inside an old GE boombox, Michael Colombo made TapeScape, a robot that front-mounts the jambox's tape head and uses it to follow strips of cassette tapes on the ground.
Humans have been writing music for at least as long as we've been recording history. It was storing it that took a little more time. Here are all the ways we've done it to date:
I got off to a rough start.