Anyone of a certain age has a drawer full of old tapes
The digital world has finally caught up with the humble audio cassette as electrical retailer Currys announced it will stop stocking them.
Last year Currys sold just 100,000 tapes compared with 83 million in 1989.
The store will also phase out tape decks, which are currently available in less than 5% of audio equipment.
Currys said that the tape was no longer able to compete with MP3 players – some of which store the equivalent albums as 1,500 cassettes.
Mix tape nostalgia
The recordable tape was introduced in Europe in 1963 by Philips.
It will be missed by anyone who has spent a wet weekend making a “mix tape” for a loved one.
“I remember the tape with some fondness. The hours spent putting together compilation tapes and the all-too-familiar experience of finding that your deck had chewed your tape, will resonate with many now in their thirties and forties,” said Peter Keenan, managing director of Currys.
“For today’s MP3 generation, it’s just a few clicks of the mouse to achieve what’s arguably a better outcome,” he added.
The death-knell for pre-recorded tapes was sounded in the 1990s when record companies started phasing them out as CD sales overtook them.
The audio cassette has been a remarkably durable format and it will live on for a while longer. It is estimated that there are 500 million tapes still in circulation.