Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, August 12, 2005

C30, C60, C90 Go...

The Puzzler has been mentioning tapes recently. Audio cassette tapes. Which got me thinking.

You don't actually see many of the old fashioned cassette tape recorders around these days. Maybe just the odd one or two in older cars. Radio/cassette players usually. Or maybe in old Music Centres or aging ghetto blasters in spare bedrooms where they gather dust as no-one has the heart to throw them away. No, these days digital is all the rage for audio: CDs, MP3 players and the Interwebnet.

Back in my day audio cassette tapes were the bee's knees. They paved the way for the personal stereos like the Walkman. They could be used to record stuff off the radio - the Top Forty usually. They could be used to copy entire albums from friends. Home Taping Is Killing Music. They were versatile little critters. But best of all they could be used to make compilation tapes for parties. Bring some of your tapes, man. If you had a twin tape deck you were cool. Party on like it's 1985.

Casette tapes came in four sizes. Well, lengths really. The only difference between them was simply the length of the iron substrate coated plastic tape coiled around their weedy plastic spindles. The lengths were either 30 minutes (15 minutes each side, oh yes, they were reversible), 60 minutes (30 each side), 90 minutes (45 each side) and 120 minutes (60 each side). Hence C30, C60, C90 and C120.

C30s - they were my favourite. Just the right length for a short compilation tape of maybe 5 songs each side. The C30 never seemed to get tangled up either which was a good thing. The C60s I always thought were the 'wrong' length - you couldn't fit any but the shortest albums on them - LPs rarely were the same length on each side of the vinyl anyway. C90s were much better - actually slightly too long for an album - but you could always repeat your favourite tracks at the end. A bonus. The C120s I hated though. They were so prone to getting mangled up and potentially ruining your tape recorder as well as the tape itself that I dreaded even using them.

Up in the attic I've still got a few cassette tapes. Only a few mind. They are cassette singles of the early ZTT artists. Ah, thank you for the Memorex.

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