I’m sure this wall of tapes in a New York City burger joint is supposed to be cool decor. For me, it triggered a trip down memory lane that wasn’t too pleasant. When I saw it, all I could think about was how happy I was when the CD came along and made these things obsolete.

Pre-recorded tapes had the slight advantage of convenience offset by terrible sound quality, short duty life, and high cost.

I never had enough money to buy new release cassettes, though I did record every new album that I bought. Home taping meant better sound quality and the ability to put two albums on one cassette. It also meant that when the inevitable cassette failure arrived, I still had the album.

If I was the CEO of Spotify, I’d give away cassettes to every new listener. Once someone plays that sad contraption, they’ll race back to their phone and never leave leave the stream again.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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