Old Tech Is Cool Again

They were the must-have item of the 90s, and now, it seems cassettes are cool again.

The surge in popularity for the device has led to a shortage of magnetic tape.

National Audio, the only company in the US that produces cassette tapes, says it has less than a year’s supply left.

Now, its co-owner and president Steve Stepp says he is planning to build the US’ first high-grade tape manufacturing line in decades to help meet demand.

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Experts from National Audio are developing new ways to make magnetic tape using rust and a 62-foot-long contraption that is normally used to create magnetic strips on credit cards, Wall Street Journal.

If production goes to plan, the machine should produce almost four miles of tape a minute by January.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Stepp, said: ‘The best tape ever made.

‘People will hear a whole new product.’

While you may think of cassette tapes as old-fashioned options, many people are still interested in the format.

Lee Rickard, 32, co-founder of independent record label Burger Records, which is based in Orange County, a suburb of Los Angeles, explained the appeal, saying: ‘Music just sounds different on tape, sometimes as it was originally intended to sound.

‘Cassettes are compact, tangible, instant collectables, often with original and numbered artwork — and as cheap as a cup of coffee, so you can support your local artist without buyer’s remorse.

‘We worked with Green Day to produce a cassette version of their Dookie album, but most of the acts are young and unknown — for now.’

Among National Audio Co’s repeat customers are heavy metal band Metallica, Twenty One Pilots, and several up-and-coming bands.

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