Cassette Tapes

*Several months ago I started to write about my newfound affection for cassette tapes but never made time to finish writing it so I decided to pick this back up to finish it and share it with you guys because its all still quite true and since writing this I have fallen even further down the resurgence of cassette tape releases. So lets dig in.

I recently found myself realizing how many cassette tape releases I had collected from small, independent musicians and labels so I took to the net to find an affordable portable tape player so I could put them to better use. I never once thought about it being an outdated format during my dig, I only felt sad that the only new players left on the market are more or less junk which left me searching the depths of eBay for those willing to sell nice old players at a fair price.

My research lead me down a rabbit hole full of old Sony Walkman players among which I was left digging around a specific line of cassette tape Walkmen that I assume were manufactured somewhere toward the end of the tech’s lifespan as a popular medium. I discovered a number of thin, pocketable players constructed from metal rather than plastic and knew I was on the right track. These were actually some really great devices, even by todays standards. Many of the nicer later models were not all that much bigger than the plastic cases that house most cassette tapes. After settling on one that appeared to be in good shape I went digging around the fringes of Amazon for a couple of batteries and a charger to make it work and haven’t looked back since.

After a week or two of carrying it with me from day to day and doing my best not to get pigeonholed as a hipster with vintage tech in one pocket, iPhone 6 in the other, I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed having it around. It lead me to a few interesting observations on the state of physical media today and the illusion of its demise.

I see cassette tapes as an intentional format (in a similar way that vinyl or polaroid film is). It represents a physical connection between music and the listener and causes the listener to be intentional in his or her decision to listen to an album. There are no features to get in the way, just start, stop, and fast forward which could be seen as primitive compared to digital music access but it has the benefit of forcing you to simply leave the music playing and enjoy it beginning to end. Physical media is true fan service.

Looking at it from another angle, cassettes offer me something that vinyl does not, a portable, personal experience to add to the already intentional act of picking a tape or two to take along for the day. While some question the fidelity of cassettes and joke of their irrelevance in todays world, I would greatly prefer listening to a tape over a badly encoded MP3. In fact, later tape technologies were actually pretty well refined and balanced in the full frequency spectrum and had even all but eliminated the tell tale hisssss of older ferric tapes.

There are many of you rolling your eyes right about now and thats fine, I get it, it sounds frivolous at best, surely I have lost my mind. But keep in mind, I’m a romantic. I love the feeling of deliberate fandom in buying a physical copy of an album from a band or artist that I really love and want to support and in some circles there are some amazing artists who have been releasing exclusively on tapes and for good reasons.

The most obvious is the fact that even quality tapes are vastly more affordable to make than pressing records and a lot more fun than selling boring old CDs which may as well be a digital download as far as I’m concerned. Tapes have a long, tried and true presence in the music industry as a method of releasing music independently and have recently been discovered once again as a perfect middle ground for fans of musicians that want to buy a physical copy of their favorite new album but can’t afford to shell out $20 for a vinyl copy.

So, how about you, what do you think about analog formats? I still hold close the belief that if you really love an artists music that you will do more than toss pennies into their hats with streaming services and buy their music outright so why not do so in a collectible and satisfying analog format?


Time for a little Namco Arcade joy for everyone. I wanted to badly to dump coins into one of these machines until I won something but I just couldn’t bring myself to burn through as much money as it probably would have taken to snag one. I’ve never had much luck with claw games but these giant machines with large fluffy plush toys sure were tempting.

I decided to pull out my camera instead and snap a few photos. Actually, I pulled my little audio field recorder out as well and recorded the sounds of the arcade which ended up in one of the tracks on the album of 50ft music I mentioned last post. Its nearly done! I am waiting on one last piece to the physical release side of it then all thats left is to take a few photos, write up its story, and share it with everyone. I really can’t wait. I hope some of you guys enjoy it because its been a lot of fun to put together, but more on that in the coming week or so.

For now I hope you enjoy the couple of new desktops here, as usual see below for links and I will see you again next time.


One Fine Day

Absence makes the heart miss fresh wallpapers, isn’t that right? So what have I been up to lately? I have been focusing my precious personal time recently into mixing down and ordering things for an album of original music which I hope to release at the end of the month. Its a passion project, just like this one, and something that I have been putting together for a few months now. More on that soon enough.

I am still without a day to day digital camera in my life. A situation I find depressing when I let myself dwell on it too long. After my X-Pro died and my precious 5D went missing, possibly stolen actually, I have been really down about photography lately. Down but not out.

I have been doing research on what it will cost to buy a new digital camera so I don’t have to keep borrowing one of YoungDoo’s so often. If your curious, at the moment I am considering at a Sony A7II, a body I’m not too crazy about but a sensor that I think will suit me well, paired with a manual Voigtlander M-Mount lens on an adaptor. Then when Im able, I will pick up an old Leica body as well so I can swap from digital to film with the same familiar lens. A least thats the idea. May not end up the direction I go but it’s what Im leaning toward.

I have also gotten my enlarger out, ordered some fresh chemicals and photo paper and made darkroom prints for Aprils Print Club which I am excited about. Thats about it for the 50ft update.

The photo here is another from my Koyoto trip. I loved the endless charm found down so many streets and took quite a few one-point perspective shots like this along the way that I will probably continue to share because I love them so much. Links below, thanks for stopping by, and I will see you again soon!

To whom it may concern,



• Enjoy the images! It’s a labor of love, thanks for your support!
• Share with friends.
• Send me a quick mail if you are interested in using an image for commercial or personal use other than wallpaper.


• Post desktops elsewhere online.
• Share links directly to images.
• Pass them around in mass.
• Make prints.
• Use images for web banners or graphics. (send a quick email to ask, I’m pretty easy going about this with permission.)
• Use them in commercial work.

If you help me out with these I will be able to keep doing what I love to do. Thanks again, really, for your support and understanding. -J


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When sharing images via your personal blogs I kindly ask that you link back directly to either the post the image was taken from or the base of the website at and give a credit to Do not re-post full resolution desktop images anywhere without permission. If you would like to use an image for your blog background or something of the sort simply write to ask first. Support the artwork you admire! Also, it is greatly appreciated if you do NOT link directly to the zip files. This is more or less the same as re-posting them as it circumvents the tiny bit of support I ask of you which is to simply link back to the original post for others to enjoy the site.

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Use your best judgement and we will get along just fine.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

John Carey (curator, owner)