With the death of audio cassettes now on the horizon, the problem of what to do with the ones in the back of the cupboard arises. The BBC looked at various ways of dealing with them.
1. Firstly convert them to mp3 format. This is easy, I do it with an old walkman and a small lead from the headphone socket into the line-in socket of the computer. Coupled with the brilliant, easy and free Audacity, ignore any of the expensive software that is now being advertised to cash in. Getting hold of the lead is the tricky part, but it is just a headphone plug/jack with a male plug on each end and costs about Â£4 from an electronics store, such as this one from Maplin. Then it’s just a matter of pressing record and play. Make sure you get the volume right as it makes a big difference. Also don’t expect mp3 quality! It can be quite time consuming chopping the recording up into individual songs, so give yourself plenty of time.
2. Once done, sometimes you can recycle them as the plastic and steel screws and springs can be recycled. However the recording tape cannot, so check with your local council first. The inlay cards could of course be recycled as usual.
3. You could sell them on eBay or at a car boot sale, though the market is very limited.
4. Gardeners use the tape to scare birds away, or use them to bundle newspapers together, or tie parcels.
5. Use them as belt buckles, necklaces, or wallets. The retro look is popular with some people, and several designers are using tapes in their designs.
6. Give them away – places like freecycle.org have a network of people giving things away for free, or your local charity shop might accept them.
7. If you still have a cassette player, then there’s no need to do anything!
Do you have any other ideas?