I love technology. I love all the innovations and am fascinated by the “nest big thing” phenomenon. It boggles my mind how far we have come, technologically speaking, in just the past ten years.
But sometimes I am reminded that old tools can sometimes still be the perfect tool. Sometimes the sparkle of the new distracts from the fact that the old was just better for certain jobs.
I ran into that recently…. And it had everything to do with cassette tapes.
See, recently I needed to listen to and record a radio show. It is a small time radio show, not available for download or podcast, on the AM dial on a Sunday evening. (And yes, I will explain the why this was a necessity in a later post.)
I happen to still have in my possession a Boom box complete with CD player, radio, tape player and tape recorder. I remember recording songs off the radio or off CDs for my walk man….. I never thought I would use the tape deck pat of the player ever again, and in fact, I don’t have any cassette tapes left.
Which means I didn’t have any blank tapes with which to record the radio show.
Off I went to CVS. No tapes.
I called Target, I called Kmart,
I called my mom. She managed to scrounge up a tape that had random songs from the radio on one side and the Bodyguard soundtrack on the other. Sorry, Whitney, but you have to go!
I was able to record the show (well most of it… the tape only had 45 minutes on it) and last night we listened to it with some friends.
I remember reading about the death of the Cassette Tape(1965-2007) but obviously the things are hard to kill.
And why? Well despite looking all old school and not being sold in many places, there are things that tapes and tape players can do (besides record off the radio) that no other technology has yet to be able to do.
Like the pause / stop feature that will stop the tape half way through a song and allow the tape to be ignored for years, removed from the player, put into a different player and then restarted at the same EXACT place! This is why the tape won’t really die until other things can do this… all those audio book people like to be able to pick up EXACTLY the place they left off.
Also…. Well, … when I was five I was given the best Christmas present ever. A Tape Recorder. I carried it around with me and recorded everything… my own little ramblings “I am four! I have a nightstand! There is a lamp!”, the sounds of the house, people having conversations…. And when you go back now and listen, you get this great little slice of life.
So, I am glad I still have my tape player. From being able to listen to myself at 5 tell the Christmas story, to myself at 10 giving my opinion on the Gulf War, to the heart wrenching awful mixed tape love expressions of my teen years…. There should definitely be a place on the shelf for tape players and cassette tapes.
Again, I love technology… I guess I love old tech as well as new.
Also, kind of want to play with an iPad.