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No More For The Road

My actual cassette/CD deck tuned to AM radio. I AM old

Apparently, no car manufacturers offer factory-installed cassette tape players anymore.  Mental Floss says that the last car offered with a tape deck was a 2010 Lexus.  And now, it’s over.

It’s no surprise.  Nobody uses cassettes anymore.  (No, I do not want to hear “I still have a working Sony cassette Walkman and I sometimes….”  Nobody uses cassettes anymore)  I have an older car with a dual cassette/CD player, and I use the cassette slot to connect my iPod or phone, but I haven’t used an actual tape in it since… ever.  It’s over.  No more (literal) mix tapes.  No more “taped it off the radio” collections.  No more disasters when all the tape comes out of the plastic shell.  The tape’s time has come and gone.

Since I tend to listen to either the radio (I’m old) or my iPod (not THAT old), I wouldn’t miss car tape decks.  And we’ve been through this before — when I was a kid, cars came with AM-only radios unless you paid extra for exotic FM, then they had 8-track cartridges, then cassettes, then CDs, and now there are things like Ford Sync.  But if you’re old enough to be of the cassette generation, please observe a moment of silence.  Oh, wait, that’s just the tape coming to the end of the side.  You’ll want to eject it and flip it over for the other side.

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18 comments

  • *places hat over heart*

    I will miss the sound of the tape popping out of the tape deck when hitting the Eject button. That sound became part of whatever album I listened to on cassette. It’s second in my heart only to the hiss of a hi-fi needle stuck at the end of the groove of an LP.

    *sigh* Kids today……..

  • You’d use a cassette adapter to attach your iPod. You can see the wire coming out of my cassette slot above – that’s the adapter, a cassette-shaped shell with a cord and mini-plug attached. You set the radio to “Tape” and the audio streams through as if it was from a tape. My radio’s too old for a direct connection, so it’s the easiest option.

  • I’m fine with this except for the fact that they need to put in the AUX plug. But I’ve had 2 cars now with neither. If you remove one put in the other, car manufacturers D:<

  • I think some manufacturers have AUX jacks in the back of the deck.

    If you have neither the AUX jack in the front or back, looks like its time for a new deck in that hooptie ride of yours.

  • My husband has an early-80s Pontiac Parisienne (the back seat is bigger than the sofa in our house) It has an AM/FM cassette deck. We listen to my vintage B52s cassette in it because that is the only tape that we have left. I guess I should be careful with it since it now officially an antique!

  • I shall miss you cassette deck….alas I cant bring myself to throw out some mix tapes old BF’s made me and of course the great MAKE OUT tape. A side=make out /B side=for getting busy !! but sadly my ford exploder cassette deck has been used as FM modulator for a Sirius Stiletto for years now.

  • HEY! I listen to cassettes all the time! In fact, I buy at least one a week after scouring a local goodwill or two. At 50 cents, it’s cheep music, how can you go wrong with that? 49.cent album on cassette beats 99 cents per song on itunes anyday. :P

    I should also mention that there’s been a cassette revival somewhat with indi musicians who have started up cassette only labels. Look it up! it’s true!

  • Actually, like LoveMaster, I use cassettes all the time. Every day, in fact; just to have something capable of playing music in every room of the house; one room has a good-quality dual cassette boombox. Got a lot of great stuff on tape. (It probably wouldn’t surprise any of you, then, to know that I also hate cell phones and therefore don’t have one….) But what I really need to know is: what specific equipment should I use to connect the boombox to my computer to digitally preserve my cassette collection before the inevitable tape-eating occurs?

  • It really wouldn’t be that hard to pop that thing open, locate the L and R signals coming off the tape deck, and splice in a female 3.5mm jack. 1, maybe 2 hours tops. If you wanted to be extra clean about it you could even use a panel mount jack, just drill the appropriate size hole in the faceplate.

  • The best way to hook up an iPod is hooking up an adapter that thinks your iPod is a cd changer (most cars from the last 10 years have cd changer capabilities) I don’t remember the brand I have, but it works great.

  • My last car had a tape deck and I used it more than the CD player. He’ll I found a box of punk (DKs and Black Flag mostly) tapes and I blasted that shit till the emulsion rubbed off.