How the Cassette Tape Shaped the 1960s - Cool History Facts

How the Cassette Tape Shaped the 1960s

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When talking about the marvels of technology, we definitely need to consider how significantly it transforms the way people communicate with each other. All the stuff that you have used everyday while growing up has had a significant role to play in your life in ways that you had never imagined. Mentioned in this article are two inventions that has had a crucial role to play even in today’s pop culture.

A technological artifact that you commonly find in cars and home is the audio cassette tape. Invented in 1962, it had humble beginnings and was used for purposes other than listening to music. Initially, it was designed for the sole purpose of dictation machines and used to record speeches. Improvements in its recording quality made it potentially applicable to serve multiple purposes.

During the end of the ’60s it had already started to become commercially available at a cheap price. It was used in homes for personal recording, listening to music and evne storing data on microcomputers. Audio could be recorded and publicly shared for the first time which marked an important beginning.

A new era was thus born, where personalized mixed tapes could be shared with family, friends and anyone interested, where the way of experiencing music changed for good, where people spent hours creating mixes and listening to the ones their friends had given them. This spirit for collaboration nurtured the desire and hunger for media.

This desire and hunger for media was satisfied in 1977 with the introduction of the VHS (Video Home System) in the United States that forever changed the landscape of home entertainment. As of then, even the average household was able to watch video as per their convenience. Before the explosion of VHS in the marketplace, theatres were the only means of watching movies or live events. Furthermore, setting up your VHS properly gave you the privilege of recording shows on your own television for later viewing.
VHS encouraged the sharing of recorded material even more as people could not only share their audio but also their video. Due to the ease and convenience with which this could be done, there were seismic shifts in the landscape of media that became increasingly more collaborative.

These technological inventions shaped modern media to become what it is today, and although audio and videotapes are no longer in use, they introduced the culture of sharing in the media. This especially seems true while looking at websites like YouTube and Vimeo where there is no cost for uploading and downloading videos that has led to exponential growth in their usage. Had it not been for the innovative work of pioneers during the early days, who stayed up late at night perfecting their craft, the world would not have been the same.

Photo by stuart.childs / CC by

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