The Compact Cassette or Musicassette, also commonly called the tape cassette, cassette tape, audio cassette, or simply tape or cassette, is an analog magnetic tape recording format for audio recording and playback. Invented by Lou Ottens and his team at the Dutch company Philips in 1963, Compact Cassettes come in two forms, either already containing content as a prerecorded cassette, or as a fully recordable blank cassette. Both forms have two sides and are reversible by the user. Although other tape cassette formats have also existed - for example the Microcassette - the generic term cassette tape is normally always used to refer to the Compact Cassette because of its ubiquity.Its uses have ranged from portable audio to home recording to data storage for early microcomputers; the Compact Cassette technology was originally designed for dictation machines, but improvements in fidelity led to it supplanting the stereo 8-track cartridge and reel-to-reel tape recording in most non-professional audio applications by the mid-1970s. It became an extremely popular format for prerecorded music, first alongside the LP record and later the digital compact disc ; the latter format eventually caused prerecorded cassettes to fade into obscurity by the mid-1990s in many countries, but it continued to be popular well into the 2000s in some other countries as well as for home recording purposes.
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