When cassettes were king in the 80s, it was because you could play them in your car and put them in your Walkman and go running or walking.
They were more portable than albums, but when CDs came along, they sounded better than tapes. Once there were car CD players and CD Walkmans, the cassette died. They showed up in cutout bins (clearance bins) for 99 cents, which was the end. It seemed like cassette players were phased out even faster.
Gear Patrol says the comeback isn't anything to ignore. The sales are increasing in double-digit percentages. I don't understand it because the sound wasn't good when they came out. It was about convenience and portability. Once CDs could be portable and iPods came around, it was the steak in the heart moment for cassettes.
It's got to be the nostalgia of the cassette. A Kodak website says when they talked to indy bands that feature cassettes for sale, it was cheap to make a small run and faster. $200 for cassettes compared to $2000 for vinyl. When talking to the fans that bought them, most didn't have players, it was just to support the band and the memories of cassettes.
The Kodak site goes on to say why the cassette is coming back. The little artwork of the album. I understand the comeback of the vinyl, the artwork is so big, and the sound is warm, or at least analog sounding. The small run of cassettes that makes them collectible is a draw too.
Even cassette players are making a comeback, but with a new twist. I bought a new cassette player with a USB cord coming out of it so I can make the cassette into a cd. Here are a few things to remember that people seemed to have forgotten. Cassettes get eaten by the player because one side sticks, then you have a distorted part of that song every time you play it. You need a number 2 pencil to feed the tape back into the cassette if it does get eaten. The tape can rip, and if you want to continue playing, you must find a way to re-attach it.
The best thing about cassettes coming back is that I can make some money on my boxes and boxes of cassette titles before they die out again.