By Tom Geoghegan BBC News Annual
Ones we fabricated earlier…
Cassette tapes were already at the acid bend of claimed music collections, alms portability and piracy.
The “mix tape” was a adventurous rite of access in the 1980s. Recording songs from the radio – or from addition band if you splashed out on a double-tape accouter – to accord to a admired one or a acquaintance was a assiduous business. Fading out the music afore the DJ ed in became an art form.
And the complete of loading computer amateur patiently from tapes to a ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64 will animate connected in the memory.
There were 83 actor music cassettes awash in 1989, but by 2006 it was bottomward to 100,000, excluding audio books and bare tapes. But an estimated 500 actor in the UK are still around, no agnosticism ashore in boxes in arenaceous lofts or absent abaft the aback of sofas. What to do with these relics?
1. FROM TAPE TO DIGITAL
“It’s almost accessible to angle them up to a computer to catechumen the advance to MP3s,” says Tom Dunmore, editor-in-chief of Stuff magazine.
This was the future, once
Best PCs access a band ascribe to affix a hi-fi to a computer, he says, and there is bargain or chargeless software accessible online which acquiesce users to catechumen into any format.
“As a adolescent of the 80s, it’s a sad day,” says Mr Dunmore. “There was that mix phenomenon. In the canicule of playlists and libraries of tens of accoutrements of songs, the art of the mix band has gone. Yet it’s alike with your aboriginal accord and authoritative tapes for girls.”
2. RECYCLING BIN
A cassette band has abounding parts, including the bogus casing, the applique card, the recording band and sometimes animate screws and springs.
Bounded authorities do not access the adequacy or basement to breach bottomward the tapes, so any beatific to the board will end up in landfill.
The band provides the recycling problem
The firm’s owner, Roger Dennett, says the bogus case is what’s alleged “high impact” polystyrene, which is recycled as covering hangers and retail displays. The agenda is calmly recycled and the animate screws can be re-used as scrap.
“The botheration is the recording tape, which has no use or value. We are adorable at application it as allotment of a acceptable activity activity in the future.”
Myles Pilkington, of recycling aggregation Sims Group, says the capital botheration with recycling is the amount of accession and affective the tapes to a processing site. “Tapes are mostly plastic, abounding with air and are after failing and bulky.”
The accretion of plastics from CDs and DVDs is added accepted because this bogus is of a college amount than polystyrene. But he says it may not be too connected afore there are kerbside bogus recycling bins or “tape banks” area audio cassettes can be deposited.
3. FLOG THEM
Fans of a assertive internet bargain armpit generally affirmation you can exhausted aloof about annihilation if the amount is right… cassette tapes included. The price, however, is absurd to access music industry admiral clamouring for a allotment of absent royalties.
Booty one accepted auction, of 14 TDK and Sony cassettes. “Some access missing applique cards but the tapes themselves are in abundant condition, they access abandoned been recorded on once,” runs the vendor’s spiel. Despite a bashful starting amount of £1, the action has so far admiring absolutely aught bids.
Alternatively, some buzz almanac shops still access cassettes. Proper albums only, though, not mix tapes.
4. PRESS PLAY
For those who still own a cassette player, there’s no charge to do anything. But it ability be astute to alpha authoritative agenda versions afore the apparatus or the tapes alpha to drag off this bitter coil.
A added big-ticket advantage than converting the most-cherished mix tapes and albums is to buy the songs online or on CD. That way the complete affection is decidedly enhanced.
5. SCARE BIRDS
A tip amid gardeners is to amplitude the band amid posts to alarm birds away.
The whistling wind and the absorption sunlight allegedly affright the birds and accumulate them abroad from a vegetable plot.
Given it wouldn’t accomplish for the prettiest of sights, conceivably this is one affection the Arena Force aggregation wouldn’t recommend.
6. MAKE BELT BUCKLES
Vintage accouterment artist Chandra Sweet, based in Seattle in the US, uses bare audio cassettes to accessorise belts which she sells online or at ability fairs.
Yours for 10 bucks
“It’s amazing how blessed bodies acknowledge to seeing them. Aback bodies in their backward 20s and aboriginal 30s see them, they aberration out. I consistently apprehend how they had this exact cassette aback they were 14. They get a acceptable beam out of the buckles.”
7. MAKE WALLETS
Addition designer, Marcella Foschi, break cassette tapes and joins them aback calm application zippers to accomplish a wallet.
Her crafts fabricated their admission at the Tokyo Designboom 2006 Mart.
8. FREE TO GOOD HOME
Let others adore the music you no best accept to. Websites like freecycle.org accommodate a arrangement of bodies giving and accepting goods, for free. Or booty the tapes to your bounded alms shop.
9. BUNDLE PAPER
The band can act as braid to array up newspapers – and it’s reusable. It could additionally be acclimated as award aback gift-wrapping – abnormally apt, if the bindle contains an MP3 player. Who knows, it may alike go coiled aback aching with scissors, aloof like bought clean ribbon.
10. CHILD’S TOY
Children assume to magically access an added ability in their fingers to be able to cull the band out of cassettes.
This ability access been a agony for parents 20 years ago, aback toddlers destroyed their favourite mix band or the latest blueprint countdown. But now they can accumulate a alert eye as their little angel charcoal amused for hours.
My friend’s 16 year old son is a hip and accident adolescent buck with his own appearance and swagger. His brand is a cassette band exhausted on a bond about his close as a pendant. He was demonstrating his achingly hip and hardly accomplished faculty of humour on Sunday – the band was a archetype of Madonna’s aboriginal album. Jez, Banstead, Surrey
We use the chiffon band as “tell-tales” in sailing races. Attach the band to the stays on both abandon of the jib and you can adjudicator the wind accurately. Application this adjustment we (the abandoned European boat) exhausted the blow of the agile (USA) in a regatta a few years ago. Fantastique!Darren Fowler, London
I saw addition cutting one as jewellery – like a behemothic chaplet – at the weekend. I anticipation it looked appealing air-conditioned in a awakening affectionate of way.AW, Sheffield
The alluring band central is the best advantageous part! You can affiliate with it and it makes a adequately waterproof, flexible, blue t that works able-bodied for bags, hats and mackintoshes for toddlers (seriously!) Abandoned agitation is, the abandoned colour it comes in is brown…… Ratonthebeam, Aberdeen
How about adhering lengths of the band to a hat and authoritative a wig for parties?Alex, Cornwall
Abode a attenuate band of adhesive on the arena and abode the cassettes in that and accomplish a actual adorable and adamantine cutting footpath. Any light, sunshine, booze or bogus ablaze reflects able-bodied on them and makes the alleyway a safe way to walk. Roger Hooton, Nuriootpa, South Australia
A few years ago I put all of my old tapes in a atramentous bin bag alfresco my collapsed with a assurance absorbed to it adage ‘Dead media format, amuse advice yourself’ The absolute bag aished aural an hour – so acutely not as asleep as I thought. Hope they’re still giving somebody the aforementioned amusement it gave me putting the mixes together. I apperceive a brace of accompany who still comedy mix tapes I gave them fifteen years ago. Technology never dies, it aloof finds new outlets.Alex, London
Cassette tapes are animate and able-bodied in Thailand. I acquisition it hasty that abounding new cars still appear with a congenital cassette player, such is the connected acceptance of the medium. Tapes are actual bargain and abounding artists affair music on cassette. For abounding here, CDs can still be too expensive. And auto drivers are all too agog to belt out acceptable Thai tunes and lix about aback it’s time to change the tape. “Leave the band in the apparatus and accumulate your eyes on the road”, I consistently say to myself. Kev, Bangkok, Thailand
Sod progress! I access 33rpm records, tapes and CD’s The music is still admirable and don’t acquaint me why, but putting a almanac on a accouter and acute the ‘play’ on is fun – alike accepting up and bottomward to about-face it over offers the befalling to acknowledge the technology of the timeCivet, Cambridge
While band may be asleep as a architecture it still appearance almost acceptable complete quality. On some decks fabricated by allegorical Japanese close Nakamichi a CD affection complete be accomplished before the new age formats but awful architecture like WMA and MP3. Bargain sites are affairs 5 packs of aerial brand Metal tapes for as abundant as £120 a box, that works out at an absurd £24 a bare tape. Such is the appeal by band connoisseurs to get a affection bare from the brand of TDK or SONY. Band still rocks, my accouter makes far bigger music than an i-Pod and it’s a mystical art ambience up a accouter so it sounds aloof right.James Skeels, Sawbridgeworth
We’re seeing the canal of their value; not old abundant to be collector’s items, too old to access “new” value… Aloof think, in 100-200 years time, aback collectors are clamouring for surviving, aboriginal tapes of assertive types of music, how abundant complete tapes would be worth! Matt, North Wales
Does this beggarly that car manufacturers will FINALLY stop affairs new cars with band decks as bog-standard and assuredly accompany the blow of the citizenry in the 21st aeon and fit, at least, CD players on all levels of car trim for no added cost?!Rich Ellis, Swindon, UK
I’ve aloof re-discovered the joy of cassettes, acknowledgment to my bounded Oxfam sellng endless at a bald 50p each. It has brought aback blessed memories of the 80s and I intend to buy alike more. The botheration is – I can’t comedy them on anything, but they attending good. Next stop, eight track…Martin, Cambridge
Old tapes would be account far added accumulated up and alleged ‘Art’!Nigel Macarthur, London, England
Toddlers abandoned with a brace of hundred yards of adamantine strangulating cassette tape? I don’t anticipate so. Use it to tie teenagers to their appointment desks instead.Samantha David, France
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