We all love new technology, but when the arrival of a new generation of hardware signals the end of another, it can be kind of sad.

Vinyl will always be considered classic, but VHS and audio cassettes have sadly gone the way of the dinosaurs, with MiniDiscs (remember them?), and maybe one day CDs, soon to follow.

While CD quality sound is universally recognised as being superior to MP3 music, and despite MiniDiscs still hanging on in Japan years after the west turned its back on them, highly compressed MP3 is fast becoming the format of choice for millions of people, meaning that more and more of our once-loved possessions are relegated to sitting on the shelf or in a desk drawer somewhere.

So what are we to do with those Backstreet Boys cassettes? What fate awaits forgotten Bon Jovi tapes that rattle around the glove-box of a car whose stereo no longer has a tape deck? Are we destined never again to hear their muffled warbles and grainy beats?

Help is at hand!

New York-based Hammacher Schlemmer has recently launched a novel device that allows the content of audio cassettes to be transferred to an iPod or iPhone as digital music.

The nifty new Cassette to iPod Converter resembles an old-school Walkman cassette player, but features an iPod docking station on its front. Complete with built-in content management software, users simply connect their chosen i-device to the unit, then hit the play button. As the music plays, it is fed into the iPod and, through the power of science and magic, converted into MP3 format and stored on the hard disk.

That’s right; your Donna Summer albums are saved! No longer will you have to surreptitiously slip your old cassette player into your backpack with iPod headphones plugged into it in an effort to feign being one of the pack cool.

Of course, this means that you may finally have to wave good-bye to those faithful cassette tapes once their contents have been converted into electronic space music format. But perhaps that’s not such a bad thing?

Personally speaking, vinyl is welcome to stay as long as it likes, but cassettes, with their crappy sound quality and propensity to unravel at random intervals causing machine/cat/tape-related chaos, can “do one”, as they used to say, along with mullet hair-cuts, rolled-up jacket sleeves and unintelligible Speak & Spell machines that scorn you for getting the answer wrong after you’ve pressed “repeat” twenty times in an effort to work out what the hell it’s asking you to spell…

Source: IT Media

Images: Hammacher Schlemmer Speak & Spell image BBC