Transitions [1:03 pm]
There was a funeral the other day in the Midtown offices of Hachette, the book publisher, to mourn the passing of what it called a “dear friend.” Nobody had actually died, except for a piece of technology, the cassette tape.
[...] Nowadays, listening to music on cassettes is a dying pastime. None of Billboard’s Top 10 albums last week were issued on cassette, though half were released on vinyl, which has been resurging. Last year, only 400,000 music tapes were sold, representing one-tenth of 1 percent of all physical and digital music sales, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. In 1997, the figure was 173 million, and that was when cassettes were already getting a drubbing by CDs. (The iPod wasn’t introduced until 2001.)
“I would not expect to see a revival of cassettes like we’ve seen in the LP market,” Mr. DuBravac said. While vinyl records have always been prized artifacts for their devotees, the plastic cassette tape has little sex appeal.