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Farewell, cassettes

One of the older Maxell cassettes that got examined and tossed

No, I'm not chucking out my VCRs and Tape Decks just yet, but I did take the time last week to clean out most of the old cassettes. Barely old enough to have ever used vinyl records, let alone to own any, cassettes were my first format. The Sony desktop recorder I got in 1990 was one of my first pieces of electronic equipment, and the number of cassette players/recorders peaked at nine, just two years ago (the Sony, three handheld voice recorders, two stereo cassette decks, a portable Casio stereo, a used walkman, and the deck in my car... the last two are gone now).

My first use for cassettes (at age 8) was as a toy, and some of the early recordings of me and my sister survived. I searched through the stacks of cassettes for anything sentimental, including a recording I made of Lady (our family cat) a decade ago, and recorded them to computer where they can be backed up. Also found: recordings of my old radio station attempt and the later work for Webradio WCWP. I've cut the number of cassettes in half, with a few more getting tossed this week.

The VHS tapes were easier, since they were full of Star Trek episodes and movies that I today either own or can download. Once I edit and compile all the TV DX onto DVD, I only expect to have a few left. All the demo material (WBBH/WZVN newscasts and work from college) has been condensed from over a dozen to just three cassettes.

Though I still use VCRs to record TV, audio recording moved to my computer a long time ago; even failing that, I use MiniDisc. I've meant to clean out my cassettes for years now, and its a relief to get around to it. My break from book-editing is coming to an end, and some work will remain to be done, but I'm very happy with the progress I've made so far. Now all I have to do is find something to fill the vacated space on my bookshelf.


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