Now it's the audio cassette's turn to die

audio cassetteOK, so maybe it was a bit premature to announce the death of the VCR earlier this week. But it looks like at least one form of magnetic-tape media is on its deathbed: the audio cassette. The BBC reports that U.K. sales of albums on cassette have dropped to just 900,000 a year, compared with 83 million in 1989. Patented by Philips in the 1960s, cassettes represented 54% of music sales by the mid-1980s, when the Walkman was all the rage and the music industry complained that home taping was "killing music" (yeah, same old, same old). However, the cassette tape — which, given its lousy sound quality, lack of random access and proclivity for getting tangled and torn, we're not going to miss — still has a lifeline, in the form of audiobooks, where it represents a third of all sales. But as more car makers stop installing tape players as standard items, we expect to see that market dry up as well.

[Via TechDirt]