General Question

flo's avatar

Is there anything bad about leaving cassette tapes not played for a long time? See detail.

Asked by flo (13313points) February 26th, 2020
12 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

Or is that just VHS that needs to do fast forward and rewind? Could it be the quality of the VHS is less than the cassettes?
If cassettes also need it, what is the period of time?

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KNOWITALL's avatar

I’ve got lots of cassettes that play great from the 80’s that I didnt hear for a decade. Seem fine. Not sure about VHS, threw them out when the vcr died.

flo's avatar

But is it possible they are getting disintegrated very very gradually eventhough not noticable to the ear? If it damages the player is what I’m wondering.

flo (13313points)“Great Answer” (0points)
Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@flo If you’re wondering if it damages the player, why on Earth didn’t you ask that in your title question or details?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@flo I have a cassette player in my car but if the tapes bad it just sounds warped or tears. I am not sure but I never had problems playing old tapes.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Yes. It is called Data Rot.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Cassette tapes, are practically invulnerable. I remember when I could find one on the street, and it would work. If the tape came out, you could just put it back in, by twisting one of the holes. If the tape got severed, you could glue it back together. Can’t say that about discs…
I wager, you can find some cassettes after a nuclear event, and they will still work…

Zaku's avatar

You might need to clean your player’s heads.

Storage damage probably depends on storage conditions: heat, cold, moisture, dust. In good conditions, they’re probably fine.

flo's avatar

Ok, thanks @all
@Hawaii_Jake Is there “anything bad” would include everything, i.e not just about the sound.

flo (13313points)“Great Answer” (0points)
MrGrimm888's avatar

My player, used to eat the tape sometimes. But. I started checking the cassettes, before inserting them, making sure that the actual tape was tight. That seemed to stop any problems.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Anything employing magnetic tape, as cassettes and VHS tapes do, can degrade overtime. The time it takes and the degree of degradation will depend on a number of factors such as the quality of the materials in the tape, storage conditions (temperature, dust, moisture, etc) and any number of other factors.

Kraigmo's avatar

The heat can cause the tape to get sticky. (Or even worse, for the frame to warp).
Tape also dissolves over time.
If a VHS or a cassette hasn’t been used in a long time, it’s best to fast forward to the end, then rewind back to the beginning before playing.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Hmm. I have not heard of this. Makes sense. GA.

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