Sunday, July 24, 2011
REMEMBERING: AUDIO CASSETTES
My childhood in the 1980s and 1990s were filled with the joy of audio cassettes. I loved making mix tapes of music, sharing them with friends, and bonding with my grandfather as we shared a mutual love of music. Like so much in this fast paced world of 2011, cassettes have been forgotten and thrown in the pile of such other mediums as 78rpms and 8 track tapes.
When I was at the height of my taping and exchanging music in the 1990s, I had about 25 people I would exchange cassettes to on a regular basis. There also was a club I belonged to called TRACC (short for Tape Recording and Conversation Club). Life events happened, and I dropped out of the club, but I was overjoyed to discover they still existed!
Here is a little further explanation about what the club is from their website:
TAPE RECORDING AND CONVERSATION CLUB’S (called TRACC for short) sole purpose is to enable members to communicate with other members by letter, digital disk, cassette, or reel-to-reel; and to include in their communication whatever is mutually agreeable. It could be music, conversation, programs, or replays of old time radio shows. In recent years, members have exchanged home videos and e-mail boxes. The subject matter will vary with each taper.
-Active participation by many of its members makes TRACC a unique international club. It is a vibrant club. It is not a laid-back organization. It is a club whose members get to know each other as acquaintances and then friends. Our motto is: “We care-We share.”
-Participation is what makes TRACC different. TRACC has much to offer in the form of entertainment or just casual conversation. There are a number of programs called Sections. Individual members create the sections to make the club the most interesting and worthwhile taping club of its kind. Sections are available to suit a number of different tastes ranging from big band, jazz, and country… to stories in the science fiction field. Subjects also include western music, easy listening, hit tunes, old time radio, gospel and others. These programs are free except for the postage cost to forward them to the next person on a circuit. A few programs do not circulate outside of the country of origin. A number of members using audio cassettes exchange voice letters on a regular basis with one member or on Round Robins with three or more members. Sometimes music is included. There are some who exchange music (one-on-one) with little or no voice comments and bare minimum of written communication. The music library has about 250 cassettes.
-Seek and Sell is published every other month. Ads are free for members wanting to find others with similar interest, something to buy, sell, give away or fill special needs. Dealer ads are not allowed. Ads are a good way to get off to a fast start as a new club member. Members furnish postage and envelopes if they want copies.
-All members receive an annual membership directory and a quarterly bulletin. The directory provides names, addresses, hobbies and interest of members.
-We have special services, free of charge, for visually impaired persons (VIP’s). Club publications are available on cassette. VIP’s mail “Free Matter for the Blind or Handicapped” within their country and to foreign countries.
If anyone is interested further please contact Barbara Wear at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are one of the people in this world that still embraces the simple technology of the audio cassette, then this club is for you!