What Does Cassette Mean?

A cassette is a storage medium consisting of magnetic tape spooled within a cartridge enclosure. Cassettes can store different types of media, including audio and video. The standalone term “cassette” is most often a casual word for audio cassette, whereas the video format is typically referred to as “VHS (Video Home System) cassette.” Early personal computers also used cassettes for reading and writing data.


Techopedia Explains Cassette

Audio cassettes can be traced back to the early 1960s and videocassettes can be traced back to the early 1970s. Audio cassettes were originally manufactured by the Phillips Company as children’s toys, but their gradual escalation in recording and playback quality distinguished them as a major consumer audio format by the 1980s. VHS tapes were first introduced by the Japanese electronics company, JVC, and also came to prominence in the 1980s.

Both formats were based on reel-to-reel tape mechanisms, which spooled plastic tape that was impressed with electromagnetic impulses. These impressions were then read and transduced into audio and/or visual data through elaborate reading and playback systems. Cassettes basically consolidated this process into smaller packaging, which set an important precedent for portable media over the following decades.

Some personal computers also used to use cassettes for magnetic tape data storage. An example of this was the Commodore Datasette, which interfaced with the Commodore 1530 series personal computers.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…