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Cassettes - What are you doing with your old tapes ?
Posted by: Tonstone ()
Date: November 25, 2023 21:35

I have an attic full of hundreds of cassette tapes that I collected in the 70's - 80's - and 90's - I was about to throw them out as most of these shows, outtakes would be availble on digital format now. But having listened to some of these tapes on my new Teac cassette deck. I think some of these would be lower generation than the CD versions available

So I have had a rethink and will keep them for now, It would take me an age to compare my tapes to what is available digitally.

Anyone else facing the same dilema and not sure what to do?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2023-11-25 21:38 by Tonstone.

Re: Cassettes - What are you doing with your old tapes ?
Posted by: Tonstone ()
Date: November 25, 2023 21:40

sorry duplicated



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2023-11-25 21:41 by Tonstone.

Re: Cassettes - What are you doing with your old tapes ?
Posted by: BlueTurns2Grey ()
Date: November 25, 2023 22:10

I transferred them all to a digital format. After 40 and more years some these tapes made problems, like:

Memorex: The white intro cleaning tape didn't stick together with the recording tape. The glue was too old. Hard to repair, because Memorex cassettes didn't have screws to open them. You can use a pencil and roll the tape a few seconds forward, a bit more than the recording tape beginning, to prevent this problem. And stop playing some seconds before the end.

BASF, Scotch: Some of them didn't turn easily enough, to run in perfect speed. I transferred some of the tapes into other cassettes.

TDK & Maxell cassettes have been the best for my tapedecks.

All tapes started to produce more or less 'Ghost Noises', which means that you can hear an echo between the songs. That happens because of magnetism. So don't wait too long to rescue your gems.

Another problem was to get new belts for my tapedecks. Finally they all had to be changed, they have been so soft, that they started to break or to stick like glue on the wheels.

It took a year to transfer everything I wanted, but it was worth it. Everything had to be done in real time, a 90 minutes cassette took 90 minutes to copy and minum the same time to archive, if everything was working perfectly. There's always something you will find, that would have been lost for ever. One of my finds was a copy of Wild Horses and Bitch from Top Of The Pops 1971, which I posted here. It wasn't perfect, but so much better than all circulating recordings. I'm sure, a lot memories will come back, if you start such a project.

Good luck.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2023-11-25 22:21 by BlueTurns2Grey.

Re: Cassettes - What are you doing with your old tapes ?
Posted by: Munichhilton ()
Date: November 26, 2023 02:14

I don't seem to have the physical ability to throw them out. There are gems in there that you are unaware of but as you said...who has the time to find them?
I started transferring a single bit somewhere in the middle of each tape and comparing to whats available digitally. I've found very few things but the things I've found have been worth it!

Take your time. Don't throw away...

Re: Cassettes - What are you doing with your old tapes ?
Date: November 26, 2023 15:22

I use mostly digital today, but analog sound has got special character.
I would welcome if the new albums are also released on cassettes, not only vinyl. Vinyl has less durability when playing and you cannot use vinyl to do your own analog recordings.

Some of the older tapes will shed more oxide when playing, those you can either throw away (if nothing valuable is there), or digitize them and keep them just for a memory.
Those you want to keep playing in analog format you can make a copy on good dual tape deck onto new tape (Recording the Masters [store.recordingthemasters.com], or Maxell UR 90). Then use the copies regularly and the original only on special occasions :-)

Re: Cassettes - What are you doing with your old tapes ?
Posted by: billwebster ()
Date: November 26, 2023 15:47

From back in my mixtaper days when I used to make tapes for the car, I still have quite a few Maxell, TDK, BASF, Sony, etc tapes. I am sure there are enthusiasts out there who would like to record over them. Some of those tapes have previously been subjected to heat while located in parked cars in the summer decades ago. I just cannot tell which ones. Some haven't.

We had an old car with a car stereo that would play tapes until the end of 2009. So my mixtaper days maybe lasted longer than most. The 1st time I that music sourced from a super loud CD started crumpling the tape whilst recording, was in around 2000. As that decade progressed, this became increasingly frequent, so much that it wasn't fun anymore because I didn't turn the new songs down enough while recording on side A, the tape might even crumple later while I recorded onto the same stretch of tape on the opposite side B. So in the later years, I rarely got to make more tapes than one for my dad.

Either way, I like the method of having one full song to decide on what to put on next. It gives you time to digest what you like in the song now playing and the next. You don't have that with files when you create a playlist. I feel lucky to have experienced the days of tape because I learnt a sense of flow for the music while recording these mixtapes.

After the new car had CD and USB, I switched to mix-CDs. But the process of ripping and then burning, all the while having to mix it "in theory" beforehand and not "live" while recording it, felt rather dire.

Then, I tried USB at some point. But the car stereo did not remember where it had stopped playing, and instead, would always give a spin to the songs by artist name in alphabetical order. Abba fans would have rejoiced.
I did not adopt the USB drive as the medium to proceed because I did not have the time at the time to train my dad how to use it and play "playlists" or "folders" from the USB drive. In the meantime, my dad's interest has shifted to listening to Bohemian Oompah music that is broadcast by some of the Czech radio stations across the border, much to the annoyance of my mum, who has since given away her 1st pressing of "Exile on Main St." to make space in the living room for other stuff, only telling me after the fact because she knew if she would have asked me, there was no way she would have gotten that space. I cannot fault her for that: she was right. That's what I would have done.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2023-11-26 15:50 by billwebster.

Re: Cassettes - What are you doing with your old tapes ?
Posted by: JMARKO ()
Date: November 28, 2023 07:37

Facing the dilemma. Convinced there are minimal treasures on my cassettes.
But they are are y lying/landfill nightmare

Only strategy I have seen is offering them in bulk on a Craigslist type site and stipulating they are being sold as blank cassettes and not for any content on them. But the photos, of course, include the spine information, in case any one is intereste$

Re: Cassettes - What are you doing with your old tapes ?
Posted by: JMARKO ()
Date: November 28, 2023 07:39

Facing the dilemma. Convinced there are minimal treasures on my cassettes.
But they are are y lying/landfill nightmare

Only strategy I have seen is offering them in bulk on a Craigslist type site and stipulating they are being sold as blank cassettes and not for any content on them. But the photos, of course, include the spine information, in case any one is interested.

Same dilemma with CD and videotape media. None of it is recyclable.

J

Re: Cassettes - What are you doing with your old tapes ?
Posted by: Irix ()
Date: November 28, 2023 10:55

Quote
JMARKO

Same dilemma with CD and videotape media. None of it is recyclable.

Basically they're (cassettes too) 'recyclable' since 20+ years - but like many things it's a question of effort & money. And recycling often means downcycling (to substandard material).



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