Discussion:
Lou Ottens, inventor of the audio cassette tape, has died
(too old to reply)
Big Mongo
2021-03-10 17:10:36 UTC
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https://www.nme.com/news/music/lou-ottens-inventor-of-the-audio-cassette-tape-has-died-2897622

Lou Ottens, inventor of the audio cassette tape, has died
He also played a key role in the invention of the CD

By
Patrick Clarke
10th March 2021


Dutch engineer Lou Ottens, who is credited with the invention of the audio cassette tape, has died aged 94.

Ottens started working for electronics manufacturer Phillips in 1952, and by 1960 had been promoted to head of product development. It was there, along with his team, that he developed the world’s first portable tape recorder.

In 1963, he introduced the first cassette tape at the Berlin Radio Show electronics fair, which superseded the cumbersome reel to reel systems used until that time. The following year, the name ‘Compact Cassette’ was trademarked.

After making a deal with Sony, Ottens’ design then became the standard cassette used across the globe despite competition from imitators. An estimated 100 billion have since been sold.

Later in his career, while technical director of Phillips Audio, Ottens played a key role in Phillips and Sony’s joint development of the compact disc in 1979. At least 200 billion CDs have been sold since they were made available to the public in 1982.

Cassette tapes have been experiencing an unlikely surge in popularity recently. At the end of last year, it was revealed that cassette sales more than doubled in the UK in 2020.

The British Phonographic Industry estimated that 157,000 tapes were sold in the UK by the end of 2020, despite two national coronavirus lockdowns.

That’s the highest number since 2003, when compilation ‘Now 54’ – featuring the likes of Oasis, Girls Aloud and Busted – was the biggest seller on tape.

The best selling cassettes of 2020 were occupied by Lady Gaga‘s ‘Chromatica’, 5 Seconds of Summer‘s ‘CALM’, Yungblud‘s second album ‘Weird’ and the The 1975‘s ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’.
danny burstein
2021-03-10 17:22:07 UTC
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[snip]

Philips made the very wise decision to license
out the production/use of its "compact cassette"
design for a pretty small payment.

(Afraid I don't recall the amount and couldn't
find a reference).

As such, just about everybody adopted it...

And the rest, as they say, is history.
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Terry del Fuego
2021-03-10 22:01:53 UTC
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On Wed, 10 Mar 2021 17:22:07 +0000 (UTC), danny burstein
Post by danny burstein
Philips made the very wise decision to license
out the production/use of its "compact cassette"
design for a pretty small payment.
Along with that came strict compatibility demands, which meant that
stereo cassettes could be played on mono equipment and vice versa.
That probably prevented quad cassette from ever being a thing in the
1970s, though after the patents lapsed in later years there were a few
multitrack home studio recorders.
Terry del Fuego
2021-03-10 22:07:34 UTC
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On Wed, 10 Mar 2021 09:10:36 -0800 (PST), Big Mongo
Post by Big Mongo
In 1963, he introduced the first cassette tape at the Berlin Radio
Show electronics fair, which superseded the cumbersome reel
to reel systems used until that time.
And, because there always is, there was a long-forgotten format war at
the time, at least in Europe:


Prior to that, there was the RCA cartridge:

danny burstein
2021-03-10 22:18:52 UTC
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Post by Terry del Fuego
On Wed, 10 Mar 2021 09:10:36 -0800 (PST), Big Mongo
Post by Big Mongo
In 1963, he introduced the first cassette tape at the Berlin Radio
Show electronics fair, which superseded the cumbersome reel
to reel systems used until that time.
And, because there always is, there was a long-forgotten format war at
http://youtu.be/JJUYI3XkvT4
http://youtu.be/Li699Qflv3g
And after that, 1972ish, there was the El-Cassette!

(clickety click)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elcaset

(which claims 1976 for the intro, but I was
working at a store a couple of years earlier
and remember the literature. I don't think
we ever stocked, let alone sold, any)
i
--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
***@panix.com
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
Terry del Fuego
2021-03-11 17:42:14 UTC
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On Wed, 10 Mar 2021 22:18:52 +0000 (UTC), danny burstein
Post by danny burstein
And after that, 1972ish, there was the El-Cassette!
(clickety click)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elcaset
(which claims 1976 for the intro, but I was
working at a store a couple of years earlier
and remember the literature. I don't think
we ever stocked, let alone sold, any)
When I bought a <https://www.cassettedeck.org/kenwood/kx-1030> soon
after it was introduced, Elcaset was one of the current options at
Pacific Stereo (on-topic), so if the date at the Kenwood link is
correct, Elcaset was around until at least early 1978. Given its
status as a legendary failure, 1976 seems about right for the
introduction. That trip is the only time I can remember seeing one.
The salesman was...dismissive. Maybe the Elcaset deck would have been
more reliable than the Kenwood, which made great recordings in between
trips to the shop for repeated tension issues.

Within a few years there was a mini-format war in the reel world with
the introduction of "EE" tape, which was allegedly great stuff, but
never widely adopted.

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