Compact Cassette

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Compact Audio Cassette (CAC) or Musicassette (MC), also commonly called the cassette tapeor simply tape or cassette, is an analog magnetic tape recording format for audio recording and playback. Released by Philips in 1963, it has been developed in HasseltBelgium.[2] Compact cassettes come in two forms, either already containing content as a prerecorded cassette, or as a fully recordable “blank” cassette. Both forms are reversible by the user.[3]

The compact cassette technology was originally designed for dictation machines, but improvements in fidelity led the Compact Cassette to supplant the Stereo 8-track cartridge and reel-to-reel tape recording in most non-professional applications.[4] Its uses ranged from portable audio to home recording to data storage for early microcomputers. The first cassette player (although mono) designed for use in car dashboards was introduced in 1968. Between the early 1970s and the early 2000s, the cassette was one of the two most common formats for prerecorded music, first alongside the LP record and later the compact disc (CD).[5]

Compact Cassettes contain two miniature spools, between which the magnetically coated, 1/8″ wide polyester-type plastic film (magnetic tape) is passed and wound.[6] These spools and their attendant parts are held inside a protective plastic shell which is 4″x2.5″x0.5″ at its largest dimensions. Two stereopairs of tracks (four total) or two monaural audio tracks are available on the tape; one stereo pair or one monophonic track is played or recorded when the tape is moving in one direction and the second (pair) when moving in the other direction. This reversal is achieved either by manually flipping the cassette, or by the machine automatically changing the direction of tape movement (“auto-reverse”) when it detects that the tape has come to an end.[7]


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