The cassette tape, in its most popularly known format, is the compact cassette, which is a plastic case that holds a 3.81-mm tape wound between two spools. The tape is exposed along one side of the cassette and, when in contact with a tape head, will play the analog signal from the magnetic surface of the tape. Cassette tapes exploded in popularity around the world beginning in the mid-1970s because they were inexpensive, simple to operate, and portable, allowing for music and other recorded material to be easily distributed.

By the late 1980s, CDs had replaced cassette tapes as the top-selling music media in the United States. CDs were even easier than cassette tapes to distribute and use and were not plagued by issues of ...

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