Using Audio Cassette Tapes
You can create audiocassette tapes that contain information for your personal and home records. For example, one tape can contain names and telephone numbers, and another tape can contain your checking account records. Here are some tips to help you use audiocassette tapes more effectively:
- Tapes come in several lengths, including 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes of recording time. Longer tapes are made of thinner material and tend to break, stretch, or become tangled if the user starts and stops and rewinds frequently; therefore, longer tapes are usually better for books and lectures. Some manufacturers do not recommend using 120-minute (C-120) cassettes in certain machines for this reason.
- The durable plastic case encloses the supply and take-up reels. Inexpensive cassettes have permanently sealed cases, while more expensive cassettes are fastened with small screws, making disassembly easier.
- Cassettes should not be stored in locations with high temperature, high humidity, or direct sunlight. Never place a recorded cassette near a magnetic source, as this may affect tape performance.
- Most cassettes have several inches of non-magnetic leader tape on which nothing can be recorded. Users should count to 20 before recording at the beginning of a cassette to make sure that the leader tape has passed through the heads.
- The working edge has two small opening and three larger ones. The larger ones permit entry of the erase head, record/playback head, and the pinch roller.
- The record/playback opening is the center opening, with a pressure pad behind the recording tape. The pad keeps the tape securely pressed against the record/playback head during operation.
- Opposite the working edge is the “tab edge” or the edge that has two small “knockout” tabs set into place. When the tabs are in place, they depress a small pin-like mechanism in the left rear of the cassette well.
- When the tab on the case is intact, this pin-like mechanism (the anti-record device) releases the record button and makes it possible to record on or over material that is already on the tape.
- When the tab is removed or knocked out, the pin slips into this opening, leaving the record button locked and unusable so that it is not possible to record on or over material that is already on the tape. This feature protects valuable recorded materials.
- To reuse or record over a tape with tabs that have been removed or knocked out, cover the opening with a small piece of cellophane tape.
- Cassette tapes are loaded into the machine with the take-up reel (the empty reel) on the right. To find the side with the empty reel, hold the tape firmly in the center and tap the upper right and left corners. The side that produces the hollow rattling sound will house the empty reel:
- Rewind an unraveled tape by turning the left reel clockwise by using the tip of a pencil or by inserting an ink pen through the reel until it makes contact. The cassette case will straighten the tape automatically if the tape is rewound slowly.
- You can use audiocassette tapes to record telephone numbers and take messages; this can be a time-consuming method, however, because you will have to rewind the tape to find the information you need.
- You might find it helpful to repeat the name and number at least twice before going on to the next name/number. This will make it easier to locate the number you are seeking whenever you rewind or fast-forward.