It’s been 40 years since the Sony Walkman first came on the scene, and since been supplanted by CDs, MP3s, and streaming. But if you’re craving that old cassette tape sound, NINM Lab’s portable player/recorder has Bluetooth 5.0, so you can wirelessly send its sounds to a speaker or headphones. Sadly it’s not stereo.
Techmoan dug up another relic of unusual tech from the 1980s, a boombox from Japanese electronics company National that sported not one or two tape decks, but three. It’s basically the “this one goes to 11” of cassette players. Also, once he cracked it open to perform some repairs, he discovered a mechanical nightmare.
Techmoan digs up all kinds of strange and wonderful “high-tech” stuff from the past. One of the crazier items has to be this cassette tape which defeated the entire purpose of a cassette, making you load in tiny reels of tape. Perhaps this was the precursor to the fidget spinner.
Got a bunch of old cassette tapes gathering dust in your closet? Take all your mixtapes and turn them into MP3s with this handy gadget, which connects to your PC or Mac and converts tapes into digital files. An autoreverse function lets you record both sides without stopping.
Techmoan checks out an awesomely complex bit of 1970s tech. The Panasonic RS-296US used a mechanical carousel filled with 20 extra-long cassette tapes to allow for up to 2.5 days of continuous music. There was no way to select individual tracks, but you could choose tapes.
A while back, we featured Taybles’ awesome, but pricey cassette tape coffee table. They recently launched a Kickstarter to bring down the cost so more of us can enjoy one, complete with the hidden compartment, drink holders, and dry erase top for customizing your mix.
Along with vinyl, cassette tapes are staging their own comeback, with ongoing interest from electronic musicians who find the analog sound and hiss complements rather than detracts from their music. The Vinyl Factory explores this growing movement. (Thanks Paul!)