The middle child of audio technology, neither as hip as vinyl or as modern as the MP3, the cassette lives on in a massive online shrine called the C-90 Project. Odds are, if you’ve ever seen a blank cassette, it’s stored in here or soon will be. We saw its colorful compact novelties back in 2005. Now, the site has grown and added features, including bi-lingual discussions in both English and Russian, plus organization by format (compact cassette, the standard size, as well as microcassette and minicassette) and brand. If you want to add to this collection, they welcome participants. History will thank you.

A couple of the odder selections here. Weirdly, I remember seeing both back in their day. (Hey, I guess TDK decided to add some Latino flair to their tape line.)

Project C-90. An Ultimate Audiotape Guide. (indeed … it’s even bigger than you think)

  • Darren Landrum

    Here's an interesting site for you:

    http://www.sweetthunder.org/tapes/

    This guy buys up tapes from thrift stores, garage sales, and the like, and then digitizes the more interesting random content he finds. Among the gems are a pair of tapes of a WWII veteran telling stories about the war.

  • http://www.ineedvinyl.com Elijah

    I have more vinyl records and tapes then I do CD's.. And I produce music for a living!

    I love the nostalgic feeling I get when I pop in an old tape from 15 years ago and remember the lyrics word for word.. the patience of rewinding.. It's a beautiful thing!

    My favorite tape:

    The Police – Outlandos d'Amour and Regatta de Blanc, one album per side. I think it was released after both albums had already come out. I just love the fact that I have two of my favorite albums on one tape!

  • http://rekkerd.org ronnie

    I know many people also bought tapes, but for me the tape was more like a "blank canvas". Something you could be actively involved in, from what you'd record on it to how you'd mark/decorate the tapes and cases.

    I'd copy clips from radio (even computer software that was broadcast), sit in front of the tv to record obscure stuff from late night mtv and use multiple cassette decks to glue together various guitar parts and beats created with my Casio toy keyboard.

    It's so cool to see so many tapes on the Project C-90 site that look familiar to me, and I can almost hear what music was on the tapes I have/had, and see the writing I put on them.

  • Sven

    Making every page bilingual is really bad usability and shows you don't know how to create real websites. I was interested i the page, but after having to manually filter out 50% of the content on every page after looking at it then realizing that I don't actually read russion is super-frustrating.

    Nice that there is also http://www.tapedeck.org/, which has the same mission :-)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Sven — interesting, but Project C-90 has about twice as many tapes, and running.

    I think having two languages side by side nicely reflects the way cassette packaging used to look. Anyway, doesn't everyone read Russian? ;)

  • http://c-90.org haplishe

    Hi! I'm an author of "Project C-90". You can see brand new version at http://www.c-90.org/

    Haplishe

  • http://www.wiretotheear.com/ Oliver Chesler

    I love my boxes of cassettes. Slowly I'm making them digital but I'll never ever throw them away.

  • BirdFLU

    I'm still rockin' the true bastard child of technology; the Digital Compact Cassette! DCC 4 ever!

  • zenzen

    Excellent project! What a thrill seeing some of those old designs again. Now if only you get get production/availability dates for the tapes. If you had asked me 15 years ago, I could have identified the progression of Maxell, Sony, and TDK designs. Now, not a clue.

  • http://apocalypsofacto.blogspot.com Apocalypso Facto

    Oh, the memories… I used to have lots of TDK's and Sony's, and in fact, I still have them, somewhere at my mom's, kept in boxes, I just don't play them anymore. Guess I haven't played cassette tapes since the last century… :-D

  • Bobbi

    I salute you who still listen to tapes. I too have a lot of my old tapes, but I am also, like one of you, am digitizing them. People keep on saying go to iTunes and download songs, but some of the tapes I have are out of print or not available on iTunes at all. Just yesterday I picked up more tapes from the same store: I go just about once a week and buy them for pennies on the dollar. Some time back I also found some blank cassettes still in the pack!

    BTW, I was really shocked and pleased to have come across a still working Sony Walkman at the thrift store. I put some lithium batteries in it and it's was so great to put in a tape and listen to it!

  • http://Reclaimmedia.com Ryan Purcell

    90% of the audio out there is not available on iTunes or even CD format. The only way to get all of the music that is currently on tapes and LPs in digital is to either digitize it yourself or have someone do it for you. There is an article about that at

    Reclaim Media

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