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The Compact Cassette (or Musicassette (MC), cassette tape, audio cassette, tape or cassette) was invented by Philips in 1962 as an audio recording, storage and playback device. Marketed in 1963/1964, the tapes could be pre-recorded with audio or supplied blank (for dictation machines). However, the high quality possible on the magnetic tape in the cassette led to it quickly supplanting the existing 8-track cartridge and reel-to-reel tapes. Small, robust and flexible, it was used (and reused) for portable audio, home recording, data storage (for computers), telephone answering machines and in vehicle audio systems (from 1968). Most popular between the early 1970s and late 1990s, cassettes were one of the two main formats for pre-recorded music – second initially to vinyl and then compact discs. An unsuccessful attempt was made by Philips to replace the Compact Cassette with the Digital Compact Cassette (DCC) between 1992 and 1996, but both this and the competing digital format of the time, Sony’s MiniDisc, ultimately failed.

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