The return of the cassette tape 音樂錄音帶再度流行

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愛聽音樂的大有人在,但大家都是怎麼聽音樂的?當下,在線播放可能是最流行的收聽方式,但與此同時,一些懷舊科技卻重新流行了起來。本期節目介紹看似平凡無奇的錄音帶,並討論為什麼幾十年後,它再度俘獲了音樂愛好者們的心。

詞彙:technology 科技

How do you consume your music? What format do you listen to it on? Technology now allows us to stream and download our favourite songs through websites and apps. This means it’s easy to access and it’s very portable, so we could enjoy it whenever and wherever we like. So, it’s surprising to know that the popularity of some old tech is increasing.

A number of musicians have been releasing their albums on vinyl and cassette tape. While this latter analogue technology lacks the good digital audio quality that we expect to hear today, in its heyday, it was a popular way for teenagers to enjoy recorded music. The introduction of the Walkman portable cassette player in 1979, made by Sony, meant people could listen to music on the move for the first time. By the end of 1989, 83 million tapes were bought by British music fans, but the invention of the compact disc in the 1990s changed that.

Despite the demise of the cassette tape in the 90s, in the first six months of 2020, nearly 65,000 music cassettes were sold in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company – double the sales from the same period the previous year. Although this is only a small fraction of overall music sales, cassette tapes are physical items that can be kept and collected ­­­– not stored in the cloud. And the resurgence of the cassette has been helped by big names such as Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, who have released their music on this format.

To listen to music on a cassette, you need a tape player or a personal stereo to play them on, but this hasn’t deterred the new younger audience ­– its recent popularity seems to be more about buying memorabilia. Gennaro Castaldo from the British Phonographic Industry told the BBC: 「Younger consumers are now buying into their collectible appeal – as they have done with vinyl ­– and the more they do this, the greater the demand for labels and artists to cater to.」 But although cassettes won’t replace streaming as a way of listening to music, it does go to show how some tech never dies!

詞彙表

format 載體形式,格式
stream 在線收聽
portable 輕便的,便攜的
tech 科技,技術
vinyl 黑膠唱片
cassette tape 錄音帶,磁帶
analogue 模擬錄音的
digital 數碼的,數字的
recorded 錄製的,錄下的
cassette player 錄音帶播放機,(盒式)磁帶播放機
compact disc 光盤
physical 實物的
the cloud 網絡雲
resurgence 重新興起
personal stereo 隨身聽,便攜式袖珍播放機
memorabilia 紀念品
collectible appeal 值得收藏的魅力
label 唱片公司
cater to 迎合、滿足…的需要

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What is wrong with the sound quality on a cassette tape?

2. Which invention made listening to music on the move possible for the first time?

3. What has helped to make cassette tapes popular again?

4. True or false? It’s not possible to store cassette tapes.

5. Name another old format that can be used for listening to music and that has seen a resurgence.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. You must watch this live pop concert. It’s _______ now on social media!

formatting                     streaming                   digital                        analogue

2. I have _______ the school concert on my video camera, so we can watch it later.

recorded                       record                         recording                  recordable

3. The record _______ has signed a new singer with a great voice – I look forward to hearing her first album.

format                           vinyl                             label                        resurgence

4. I love going to fairs and buying old movie _______.

memorabilia                  memorabelia               memories                memorabilias

5. The hotel appeared to ________ large groups and didn’t have much character.

catering to                    caters to                     cater at                    cater to

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What is wrong with the sound quality on a cassette tape?
It is analogue technology, which means it does not have the sound quality that a digital recording does.

2. Which invention made listening to music on the move possible for the first time?
The introduction of the Walkman portable cassette player in 1979, made by Sony, meant people could listen to music on the move for the first time.

3. What has helped to make cassette tapes popular again?
The popularity of the cassette has been helped by big names such as Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber releasing their music on this format.

4. True or false? It’s not possible to store cassette tapes.
False. They can be stored at home, but they can’t be stored in the cloud.

5. Name another old format that can be used for listening to music and that has seen a resurgence.
Vinyl – or records – is another old format that you can listen to music on.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單字或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. You must watch this live pop concert. It’s streaming now on social media!

2. I have recorded the school concert on my video camera, so we can watch it later.

3. The record label has signed a new singer with a great voice – I look forward to hearing her first album.

4. I love going to fairs and buying old movie memorabilia.

5. The hotel appeared to cater to large groups and didn’t have much character.