When Was the First Cassette Player Invented?

Written by jason chavis
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
When Was the First Cassette Player Invented?
(George Arthur, Wikimedia Commons)

A long series of inventions made the audio cassettes possible. A cassette uses magnetic tape that is recorded with analogue information for use in playback on a tape deck. "Cassette" comes from a French word meaning "little box." The modern design features two miniature spools with magnetic plastic tape that is wound around the spools and passes through a reader. Most cassettes use a pair of stereo tracks that enable reversible use.


The concept of using magnetic storage to record audio was suggested by Oberlin Smith in 1888, and invented in 1898 by Vlademar Poulsen. Magnetic tape was developed in 1928 by Fritz Pfleumer, but a compact version was unavailable until much later (see Resources).

Time Frame

The first cassette player was introduced to the audio market in 1963 by Philips. It hit the European market initially and came to the United States the following year. This was called the Compact Cassette and became as popular as LPs by the late 1970s (see Resources).


The majority of the first cassette players were designed as personal recording devices and dictation machines rather than musical devices. It wasn't until 1966 that the Mercury Record Company released its first line of 49 titles.


Facing pressure from the Sony music division, the Compact Cassette was licensed as a free format, allowing other companies to begin manufacturing cartridge systems that were functional across different brand lines.


With the invention of Sony's Walkman, the 1980s were dominated by cassette players (see Resources). The compact size of the Walkman and other high-fidelity sound devices such as the boom box made vinyl-based LP sales dwindle throughout the decade, until compact cassettes, in turn, were overtaken by CDs in 1993.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.