Sunday, July 18, 2010

CDs versus cassette tapes

I have a bone to pick with CDs. I know people think CDs are soooo much better than cassette tapes and yes, I guess the sound quality is better. And yes, I realize I'm really showing my age in this post.

Here are my two complaints:

1.) CDs are too fragile. One little scratch and it's over. Cassette tapes were super tough. You could step on them, crack them, pull the tape out, splice it, twist it, flatten it, then wind it back in and the tape would still play. (The sound quality might suffer somewhat but it still played without skipping.)

2.) When you burn a CD, that's it for that CD. You can't add more songs later and you can't start over and record over the whole thing. That's it. With tapes, you could record over it as much as you wanted. Eventually it would become warped, but that took a long time. They were tough as nails.

That having been said, I don't totally hate CDs. They have some good qualities, I mean, it's nice to be able to skip to the song you want - rewinding, fastforwarding, and flipping the tape over did get tiresome (I guess).

It's not just CDs I have a beef with these days, it's music technology in general. It's too complicated. It's so complicated. I guess I "get" iPods. I mean, I get my iPod, but other MP3 Players....I dunno. I had one before I got an iPod and I could never figure out how to get music on it. I always felt like I was doing something illegal. Like if I use any other website other than iTunes, I'm breaking the law.

And you know what's worse? It's never going to end. Something new is coming. And it will probably be really small. And we won't plug it into a player, we'll plug it directly into our head somehow. Not our ears, our brain. We won't need speakers - using our brainwaves we'll send the music out of our heads and into the atmosphere. I know you think I'm making this up, but the technology is out there.*

Sigh. CDs, iPods, brain plug ins... it's all a bit much for me. And I've got the Kid 'N Play cassette tape singles to prove it.

*No, it isn't.


Heather said...

The "*No, It isn't." Made me spit my milk out of my mouth from laughing, I was so caught off guard by the funniness of it that statement. Funny.

I agree with everything you said. I have NKOTB tapes and one Tommy Page. Still kicking it hard core.

Katherine said...

Man, that was one of the best asterisk disclaimers ever! Ha! I'm with you on CDs-they're weak compared to tapes!! When I get audiobooks from the library, it drives me CRAzY how they keep skipping 'cause some kid sat on it, or their dog chewed on it or something. If it was a tape, it'd still play fine! Maybe better! And kids these days don't understand the fun of listening to the radio in the afternoon, waiting for your favorite song to come on so you could tape it, then listen to it over and over never remembering what the first few seconds sounded like. Sigh. Plus, "I made you a mix CD" does not flow as well as when it's a tape. Ah, well. I'm gonna sit over here with my records and 8 track tapes and yell a some kids ("scroundrels! Hooligans!) now.

The Boob Nazi said...

I was got all the tape out and ruined it so much I couldn't do anything with the tape.

Also, I've mixed music for cheerleading before, and it's soooo much easier with a CD. I'm on the side of the CDs. Sorry.

Amy said...

I'm on the side of the ipod, it's so much easier to carry more music in a compact space, which on a long trip is a good thing. And this isn't biased at all by the fact that I can sit in the apple store and post comments on your blog.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Yeah, I like my iPod. It's much better than a walk man/CD player which always skipped when you ran. I do like some of the advances in technology, I'm just easily overwhelmed. ;)

Mark said...

As a teenager I used to help put the music together for church dances. All the guys would bring their LP's of near-pristine vinyl in the cardboard jackets and paper sleeves. The girls would show up with stacks of scratched 45's rattling around naked in a shoebox.

We'd compile the songs onto high quality cassette tapes to play at the dance. Aerosmith, BTO, and the Eagles were clear to hear, while Donna Summer and the Bay City Rollers sounded like rice krispies in milk.

What does this have to do with CD's? The sound quality is clearer than a cassette, and if you take care of them, they will last longer.

Oh, I'm such a snob.

Robin said...

I know what you mean. As soon as you figure out one thing ~ another thing comes out. The thing is this: we will never catch up. There will always be something newer and better. I miss cassettes.

Anonymous said...

this entry made me feel really old. Like when I think my parents are ancient for talking about the greatness of vinyl and simpler times.

Actually I love mp3. I love new gadgets. In my car I stream music to the phone which connect to my stereo.

And I have to say that in hot weather tapes only lasted about a few hours.

but if you like tapes i'll have to get a few just to have around in case you ever visit this area. I might have a hard time finding a cassette player

An admirer from the distance. ;)