As a kid that was born in the end of the 90s, I was still somewhat familiar with film cameras and floppy disks. Though that quickly faded away once digital cameras and CDs became more popular at the beginning of the 2000s. I never got the chance to “play around” with those old technology, but I was aware of the existence. (Some of my coworkers think I’m born in a generation where most wouldn’t know about those ancient techs.)
Entering the 2020s, it almost seemed like those relics were brought back to life. Polaroids suddenly became popular again, and I recently started to notice the rice of film cameras as well. Young people on YouTube started to showcase their vinyl collections. (Apparently that thing became an “aesthetic” interior for many.) And here in 2023, one company decided to breathe life back into cassette players.
I never used to cassettes to listen music. Heck, I destroyed most of the cassettes that my grandmother used to possess by pulling out the tapes and playing with them, turning it into a ball of tangled mess (I am clearly aware that I’m a walking nightmare now, I’m sorry). The sole reason why I decided to get my hands on this device is because of pure nostalgia and a singer named Yamashita Tatsuro.
I once stumbled upon one of his musics titled Love Space while I was browsing YouTube a couple of years ago. I was never really into old music like city pop but that one really stayed in my head for a couple of weeks because it was just that good. I would forget about the existence for some time and rediscover it through someone’s cover on YouTube. But now the difference is, I can’t find the original song as easy as I could in the past.
Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music did not have the song that I wanted. I noticed that none of his songs are available in the streaming platforms that I know. I then tried to randomly type in his album name on Amazon, and lo and behold, the albums are for sale online.
I had the choice of purchasing a normal CD, a vinyl, or a cassette. That’s when I remembered that Toshiba recently re-released their old cassette player. And that’s when I decided to pull the trigger and get my hands on the device and the tapes. (Vinyls are, apparently, high maintenance and I don’t have a space for a record player in my tiny apartment.)
I am not an audiophile, so I can’t comment on the sound quality this player produces. I checked reviewers online and they say it’s actually decent for the price point, and I did not find anything to be dissatisfied of, so take that with a grain of salt. Audio quality aside, I think that the player is actually decently built. It does feel plasticky, since the body is all made of plastic, but it has a weight that does not make it feel like a cheap toy you can toss around. You can listen via aux, headphone, or Bluetooth, and you can plug a USB-C cable to power it, or simply use two AA batteries to get it running immediately. Set up is easy, just load the tapes and press Play.
I’m not sure if I’ll collect more tapes in the future to listen to, but right now, the joy of having an upgraded ancient relic and good music is enough to make me satisfied with the purchase.