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How Long Can You Expect Cassette Tapes to Last?

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By Shelby Burr

Any cool cats out there who still have their mixtapes? Yep, you read correctly. MIXTAPES. Cassettes were the thing, the new fad if you will, back in the day. You would see people carry their cassette tapes with pride. But, all good things must come to an end. Sadly!


So, now that we are past the 80s, how long can those little rectangles full of musical gold last? Great question! When properly cared for, your audio cassette tapes have a lifespan of 30 years. However, many factors can shorten that lifespan considerably. By this time, you’ve probably done the math. It has been almost 40 years which means your cassette tapes could be at risk!


Let’s talk about what can hurt your tapes:

  • Sunlight
  • Moisture
  • Dust
  • Critters (mice, bugs, etc.)
  • Extreme heat / cold
  • Improper storing 

So how can we protect and prolong the life of your cassette tapes? Here are some ideas!

Safe Storing

Storage is key, people! Especially if you aren’t using your cassette tapes to listen or reflect on your memories. Make sure you store your memories in a waterproof and sturdy tub - not cardboard. This will protect your cassettes from all the natural wear and tear that come with attics, garages and basements. 


Digitize Your Memories

So, it’s been 40 years...and there is a huge perk with time: CHANGE. That’s right. We have advanced technology that can actually protect and keep your memories alive! For those parents that recorded your baby’s first words, for the hopeful musician out there who captured their first hit in the middle of the night, or even those who wanted to record a special moment in time...these cassettes are everything. With Southtree, your memories will not only be preserved, but they can be shared! It’s easy: simply send your tapes in, we’ll digitize your memories on CD, thumb drive or digital download! Your memories are back to you in  just a few short weeks with the new digital copies. Safe, sound, secure and long lasting. 


Upkeep

Yes, this is an added item to your chore list...but let’s face it, you’ll do anything to protect your memories! Every few months, check on your memories, gently wipe and dust them off with a q-tip and play your recorded cassette tape to ensure that tape isn’t loose or breaking. Yes...another added chore. But, then again, you could just get them digitized. 



Low and behold, your memories are important to you! As they should be - they hold the precious past that no one can claim back. That’s why it’s your responsibility to take care of your history, take care of your past and start preserving for enjoyment in the future. Your memories matter and are important to so many people, so why not keep them safe and share them with the world!

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