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Off Track: Lou Ottens Dies: Cassette Tape Inventor Who Later Helped Develop CDs

March 13, 2021

From the Deadline website

Lou Ottens, the Dutch engineer who invented the cassette tape and helped develop the compact disc decades later, has died. He was 94. Amsterdam-based news outlet NRC Handelsblad confirmed the news but didn’t provide details.

Working to alleviate the challenge of huge reel-to-reel decks and the portability of recordings, Ottens began working on the audiocassette when he was named head of new-product development for Philips in the early 1960s. He used a pocket-size block of wood as a guide for the cassette’s future size and shape.

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Webmaster Comments: For those too young to remember.

Music: first there were vinyl records, then 8-track tapes appeared, followed by cassettes and Walkman players, and then CDs and CD players. Apple started iTunes and the first iPods appeared on October 23, 2001. Apple announced iPhones playing music on January 9, 2007. Ironically, true music aficionados are returning to vinyl records.

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