Before there was MP3s, there was compact discs (CDs). And before CDs, there was audio cassette tapes. It is rare to find a retail store that now has a section dedicated to selling audio cassettes. The audio cassette has turned 50 years old today.
The audio cassette was invented by engineers at Philips. Although the official launch date has been debated, Philips reports that they launched the audio cassette at their headquarters in Amsterdam on September 13, 1963. The audio cassettes contained tapes of audio that was 3.15mm wide and ran at 1-7/8 inches per second. The technology was supposed to replace reel-to-reel tape for dictation, but it went mainstream.
A lot of people remember what the first audio cassette that they bought was. I think my first audio cassette was MC Hammer’s “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em.”
Happy 50th birthday audio cassette!