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Goodbye to (Real) Mix Tapes


Published July 28, 2008 at 4:18 p.m.

It was inevitable.

In June, Hachette, a large U.S. trade publisher, released its last audiobook cassette. Now The New York Times has posted an obituary of sorts bemoaning the death of the cassette tape.

From the article:

"For Hachette, however, demand had slowed so much that it releasedits last book on cassette in June, with “Sail,” a novel by JamesPatterson and Howard Roughan.

The funeral at Hachette — anoffice party in the audio-book department — mirrored the broader demiseof cassettes, which gave vinyl a run for its money before beingeclipsed by the compact disc. (The CD, too, is in rapid decline, thanksto Internet music stores, but that is a different story.)

Cassetteshave limped along for some time, partly because of their usefulness inrecording conversations or making a tape of favorite songs, say, for agirlfriend. But sales of portable tape players, which peaked at 18million in 1994, sank to 480,000 in 2007, according to the ConsumerElectronics Association. The group predicts that sales will taper to86,000 in 2012."

Quite a sad day indeed. Scoring teenage angst will never be the same again.