Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rant #338: Cassingles

You might remember that several rants ago (Rant #325, Sept. 2), I discussed a situation I had with a device that I tried to use, and it wouldn't work, but finally, when I was about to give up, I finally figured out how to use this thing?

The gadget was the Tape Express by Ion Electronics, which allows you to created digital copies of your cassette tapes right on your computer.

Well, I have now found a use for this gadget--to create MP3 files of my cassingles.

What's a cassingle?

From about 1995-1997--just prior to the explosion of the Internet and just after 45s were basically dropped as a format by record companies--cassette singles, or cassingles, made their appearance on the scene.

(I might add that the first version of cassette "singles" actually came out in the late 1960s, and many people still have them in their collections. But 45s were still available then, so what was the point?)

They were tape, they were cheap, the fidelity wasn't that great, but they were sold by record stores across the country. CD singles had also come out at about the same time, but they were often more expensive than these cheaper counterparts, so lots of people stayed away from them, including me.

I personally collected about 60 some odd cassingles. I didn't really like them, but in lieu of 45s, this was about the best I could do. And the great thing about them was that you just popped them into your cassette player in your car, and away you went with the music.

But this phenomenon only lasted about three years, finally giving way to cheaper priced CD singles, and eventually, to digital downloads of your favorite single songs.

These cassingles in my collection haven't been played since I played them the first time in my car, so they are all fresh and ready to go. The fidelity isn't great, but a lot better than I expected.

I am rediscovering music by Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Annie Lennox, Adam Ant and many other artists that came out in this format at that time. These are probably the final "singles" I collected, and it's fun to see where my head was musically during this period when I was in my late 30s.

I am also making MP3 files of radio shows that I taped way back when, some even from the 1970s, like the Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder where Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz of the Monkees were featured.

I also have a radio show where I was the featured guest, believe it or not. I talked about my bubblegum music collection on a college radio station from Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey in the late 1980s.

This is all fun, a bit time consuming, but fun nonetheless. And again, the fidelity on some of these tapes is better than I expected.

Sure, it's not as fun as digitally recording your old records, but I must admit I am having a ball!

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