Those of our readers old enough to remember the 90s will almost certainly recall cassette tapes fondly. The clacky little tapes and their creaky cases have more or less disappeared from the world, and no surprise: they were fragile, limited, and sounded pretty bad.
But they were also hugely empowering, and helped produce in an age of comparative consumer powerlessness the same feeling we take for granted today: that we should be able to copy, lend, and duplicate the content we’ve bought. Cassette is a documentary looking for a few bucks on Kickstarter that hopes to highlight cassette culture then and now.
Here’s the trailer:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7ect212UsVs w=640]
Interestingly, the format appears to be having a minor renaissance: the manufacturer in the trailer describes a lull as CDs take over, but slowly his business returned. And elsewhere in the world, tapes are understandably more practical than CDs, MP3s, or vinyl.
Personally I think it’s a very interesting topic, though I hope they take a little time to look at the other tape-based devices that have been prominent: minidiscs, reel-to-reel, 8-track. Their failure as consumer items is part of the story as well. And more than other formats, the success and legacy of the cassette has as much to do with culture as it does with business or technology.
So far they’ve raised just under $8000 and are hoping to hit $25K. That’s pretty reasonable if it’s a feature doc and they already have their equipment. Unfortunately their deadline is coming up just in a couple days – but it’s making the rounds and if they don’t get their Kickstarter debut, maybe they’ll find the funding another way.