The Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette or sometimes
simply 'tape', is a magnetic tape sound recording format. Not many people
know that it was originally designed for dictation but improvements in
fidelity soon led the Compact Cassette to replace reel-to-reel tape recording
in most non-professional applications.
It's uses included mas portable audio to home recording to data storage
for early computers. Between the early 1970s and 1990s, the compact cassette
was one of the two most common formats for prerecorded music. It sat next
to the LP disc and later the Compact Disc.
fewer people know tha the whe word cassette is a French word meaning "little
A compact cassette consists of two miniature spools, between which a magnetically
coated plastic tape is passed and wound. These spools and their parts
are held inside a protective plastic shell. 2 stereo pairs of tracks (that's
to say four in total) or two monaural audio tracks are available on the
tape. 1 stereo pair or one monophonic track is played or recorded when
the tape is moving in 1 direction and the second pair is played when moving
in the other direction.
The Reel-to-Reel format was used in the very earliest tape recorders.
In the early days, this format had no name, since all forms of magnetic
tape recorders used it. The name came about only with the need to distinguish
it from the several kinds of tape cartridges or cassettes which were introduced
in the early 1960s.
The format was first commercially developed in the late 1940s by American
audio engineer Jack Mullin with assistance from Bing Crosby.
Jack Mullin was a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War
II. His unit was assigned to investigate German radio activities and during
his duties, he acquired two Magnetophon recorders and 50 reels of I.G.
Farben recording tape from a German radio station at Bad Nauheim, near
Once back home, he worked to develop the machines for commercial use,
aiming to interest the Hollywood studios to use magnetic tape for movie