Sony put a stake through the heart of the Walkman this week, putting another nail in the coffin of the cassette. I must admit that I still have a few good old books on cassette on my middle school library shelves – but I also have cheap personal cassette players for check out. 21st century kids consider CD players as archaic technology, and must be carefully instructed in the workings of the almost steampunk-worthy cassette: “You have to flip it over?”
Sony has announced April 2011 as the date of the last shipment of the cassette Walkmans. The tape has been moved from life-support to hospice care, with only a handful still manufactured by audiobook producers. It was over two years ago when Hachette Audio celebrated the tape’s demise with a light-hearted wake for the cassette. Perhaps it’s time for the rest of us move those last remaining “books on tape” to the discard pile in the great beyond.