As audio cassette music gained new interest among fans, one of its supposed inventors, the Dutch engineer Lou Ottens, passed away.
Many tributes have been paid to Dutch engineer Lou Ottens, considered the inventor of the audio cassette and one of the designers of compact discs, following the news of his death at the age of 94 on Friday.
Created by Lou Ottens while working for the Dutch electronics company Philips, the cassettes made music really small for the first time, and allowed a generation of music fans to create mixsteps – collections of their favorite songs. From the 1960s to the 1980s, both sides and very easy to record, more than 100 billion cassettes were produced at peak worldwide.
Olga Coolen, director of the Phillips Museum in Eindhoven, responded. “Lou is an extraordinary man who, despite his humble beginnings, loved technology.”
Phillips said he died on March 6 in the village of Dssell, near the Belgian border. Born in 1926 in the Dutch city of Bellingvolde, Lou Ottens showed an interest in technology from an early age when the Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II.
He developed a radio that allowed him to receive “free Dutch” radio, and thanks to a special antenna he called it the “Germanfilter” (“German filter”) because it was possible to avoid Nazi jammers, according to a report in the Dutch newspaper NRC.
Lou Ottens joined Phillips after studying engineering at university, where he and his team developed the world’s first small tape recorder, the company says. But he quickly became frustrated with the bulky reel system, which required manual torque, so he invented the cassette in 1962. “The cassette was found irritated with an existing tape recorder, which means it’s very simple,” Otten said, quoting Lou NRC.
In his coat pocket
Olga Coolen says the technology that enabled the portable cassette player and put music in millions of teenage rooms started in a very humble way. “During the development of the cassette in the early 1960s, (Lou Ottens) had a wooden block that fit snugly in his coat pocket.”
“It was the size of the first compact cassette, which was much more manageable than the bulky tape recorders used at the time,” he adds.
Although they have been forgotten for some time, cassettes have recently seen a resurgence of interest.
Lou Ottens’ life was not without disappointments. Not only did Sony release its first CD before Phillips, but the popular Walkman also changed the way people listen to music – many years later he was thinking about it: “It still hurts that we don’t have it.” ”.
“Avid writer. Subtly charming alcohol fanatic. Total twitter junkie. Coffee enthusiast. Proud gamer. Web aficionado. Music advocate. Zombie lover. Reader.”