Cassettes: It's evolving; just backwards

Recently, I've decided to “analogise” parts of my music library, as well as buy new music on physical formats.

I've never been a big fan of music streaming for several reasons so I usually keep most my music locally on my drive. This has caused it to grow to such a large amount that I really don't know how to manage my library in a way that's satisfying. I also hate deleting stuff, so that kinda pushed me towards having a physical collection of the music I really enjoyed listening to.

I went for cassette. I thought for a long time about MiniDisc, but ended up ditching that idea mostly because of the portable devices being really hard to repair compared to the bulkier cassette decks. LPs would probably be a natural choice for many, but they are vastly more expensive than cassettes and you cannot really cut your own vinyls. I've seen some that have tried and yeah... no.

So why cassettes? I just like it; the whole process. Despite the occasional wow and flutter of the tape and it being a pain in the ass to transfer to tape flawlessly, I really like cassettes. I haven't really formalised exactly why I like it so much, but I think the tactility and just novelty of it really draws me in. There is so much to learn from (what I would categorise as) obscure manuals and forums.

Modernisation

I'm really a fan of my cheap wireless earbuds and while they might not be as high fidelity as my daily drivers, being the Audio Technica ATH-R70x, they are a great help when doing stuff not at my desk.

Therefore, to modernise my ancient setup consisting of a NAD 6155 cassette deck, I connected it to my computer through the line-in port. From there, I can use a Bluetooth adapter to connect to my earbuds. For the most part it works. It is far from perfect, but it works. So yeah, I listen to my cassettes wirelessly. Beat that, audiophile techbros with Android-based DAPs.

Next steps

I'll continue to update my library of physical music and write about it. I'll also expand into more formats and MiniDisc is something I'm looking at as a next step in this ludicrous journey, especially since I just found a great way to manage MiniDiscs with a FOSS project. I'm also looking at a portable cassette player, but the decent ones are quite expensive even if it just has Dolby B, of which is decent enough for me on a portable player.

If you are interested, you can follow my growing collection of music.

Update 17-07-2020

Acquired the Sony Walkman WM-EX334 and after some tuning and cleaning it plays quite well! It has almost no scratches on the exterior, has Dolby B and all that for 150 PLN. Sound quality is not the best, but still quite impressed with it.