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The Dengler Domain: Tape

April 15, 2016
Sean Dengler - Columnist , Traer Star-Clipper

Not far into the distant past, a certain product was used for everything. It performed many wonders and progressed society. Unfortunately, technology caused it to become obsolete. This is tape. The digital era diminished the use of tape. Tape caused the music and film industry to flourish into what it is today. For many years, tape was a fabric of American society.

Tape played an important role in the development of the VHS. Everyone could watch movies at home, and they could record television. This enabled everyone to go enjoy the night and not miss a beat on the favorite show. VHS were also a huge plus for home videos. Never before had awkward, funny, or painful family interactions been caught on tape.

The problem with VHS is it wears out. Only so many times it could be recorded over, and this caused this product to be inferior to any digital product of today's society. There is no chance a VHS could make a comeback in today's society. A VHS's home is a VCR and finding a VCR to buy is headache.

Tapes also made cassette tapes the original mixtapes. Anyone could record their next hit onto these beautiful devices. Music lovers were not restricted to listen to the radio no more. Cassette tapes allowed artists to reach their fans like never before. They were smaller than vinyl recorders and VHS. This caused them to be easier to carry around. Carrying multiple cassette tapes at a time could be done. Cassette tapes could have a shot at succeeding in today's society for their vintage feel. The issue is no vehicle are made with cassette tape ports. If the ports were made, cassette tapes might have a chance.

While tangentially related to tape, film projectors and reels are obsolete in today's world. Film strips are two ancient words for a digital world. Movie theaters do not worry about switching out reels because the computer handles all of it. The actual cutting and splicing together of films strips is a bizarre concept in today's world. Film projects and reels could make a comeback in today's world. Movie theaters with film projects and reels are hard to come by, but nostalgic thinking people will keep it alive in today's world. Drive in movies are not completely dead so there has to be a chance.

VHS, tape cassettes, film projectors and their reels are an important part of tape's history. All these elements came together to make the world a better place. They built the music and film industry today. The physicality of these products are like books. Everybody felt they owned it when they had the physical product. Tape in all of these devices represented the fabric of society at that time period. That is what the digital era lacks, substance.

Email Sean with your thoughts and ideas for future columns at: sean.h.dengler@gmail.com

 
 

 

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