Meet the device that could bring back cassettes | News - Music Crowns

Meet the device that could bring back cassettes

Elbow Cassette Player

ELBOW was first conceived by the audiovisual art duo BrainMonk as a cool side-project. Tired of the industry-dominating smart devices and touch screens, the designers wanted to create something immediate and tactile. For the life-long music fans, a cassette player seemed like the perfect project to stretch creative muscles and innovate.

ELBOW design concept, which condensed portable player to its bare essence, has been well received by the design community (winning two competition awards) and cassette tape aficionados. Now ELBOW has entered prototype stage, where they are figuring out the physical and financial realities of the project.

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100 Comments
  1. Are the Elbows available for purchase? I have lots of cassette tapes still and would love to be able to listen to them w a mobile unit like this. This looks great!

  2. I will be very interested to play my cassettes in a portable player. Please let me know the cost. Also we can not buy cassette tapes any more, where we will be able to buy those? Thank you.

  3. Yes bring it all back. I have all my tapes. Cds just can’t do it. Everyrhing is scratched.

  4. I think it is better than CD and durable compared to CD. That idea is good. I support it.

  5. I’ve just recently purchased a cassette player for my stereo. I hope cassettes can come back like the way vinyl is coming back into the mainstream.

  6. Does it have a pickup? Built in speaker?
    Or how can experimental musicians employ this device?

  7. So are these available yet, or are you just testing the market to see if it will sell?

  8. No not available yet. Clear down at the bottom, it says they are just now entering prototype stage. I’m thinking they jumped the gun just a little if they don’t even have a prototype built yet. It’s all in the last paragraph.

  9. I would love one of these, especially if it comes with a power adapter for the car.

  10. Would love to know the projected cost of these devices.
    Could buy in bulk and sell them at merch tables at shows along with the tapes.

  11. Upon looking at the design, I think you should consider altering it to cover the bottom potion of the cassette so as to protect the tape. I can see this going wrong in a pocket or purse/bag.

  12. This invention of yours is what I have been waiting for! I knew cassettes would make a comback!

  13. This will not work correctly, the speed of the tape would change during the playback of the whole tape.

  14. I wouldn’t say “bring back” but definitely would make me dig out my old mix tapes. This is the best thing I’ve seen today and I want one… It want it!

  15. I still have tons of cassettes! This device will come in handy! Let me your beta tester.

  16. Want some of these, long time Deadhead & own A LOT of bootlegs. It would be Awesome to listen to them again… Probably bring some flashbacks …

  17. How’s the tape driven, from the wind up reel?? If so, speed will suck #cuteprototype

  18. A lot of diy artists put their music on cassette . This little machine is perfect for that. I have seen many on the little record labels that are all over the internet. How much are they and when can I buy one?

  19. I wrote a song about a steak house.

    If the Elbo had a tiny speaker, I could play it for the waiter, and manager, the next time I visited there.

  20. I used to have this thing with a hand crank I got at Radio Shack back in the ’80s. Didn’t think anybody still cared about 4tracks…

  21. Come to think of it, I once tried to guest DJ an ’80s show entirely on 4track, so I probably coulda used one of those. 🙂

  22. What a good idea. There are plenty of old cassettes out there needing something to play on. All those dance and techno mixes, demos and bootlegs etc. The golden age of the ghetto blaster coming back around. Do have the form and function down and just want to dip a toe and see what the markets are? Or is this early concept days? Would love to get one at the right price. Under $100US sounds about right. Anyway, good luck with the project.

  23. The tape seems to be exposed and unprotected on the sides of the device… Should have flaps to cover that part.

  24. Shut up and take my money! My kids have recently discovered my wife’s and my cassette horde, and want to listen to them. Please let me know when the elbow is ready for sale. I want 2.

  25. Very interested in one. Would be great for people like me who have hundreds and hundreds of cassettes.

  26. I have a ton if cassettes and would love to urchase one of these gadget for them.

  27. I would LOVE to have one because I have a few cassettes with the voices of my grandparents who are no longer with us. Plus a few others that I made in the 80s club music.

  28. What I think would be Really Neat is, if it had an auxiliary port that we could plug into today’s vehicle’s auxiliary port and play them while we’re driving since finding a cassette player seems to be impossible. Let me know if this happens and hopefully it’ll be affordable.

  29. I think I would purchase one of these. Are the engineers developing a model that records?

  30. I love this and we need it in our lives!! We have tons of cassettes, so i believe this is as much a need as it is a want! Thank you for making this, now make it available PLEASE!!!!!!!

  31. I desperately need this in my life!!! My father left hundreds of demos he recorded on cassette, and I do love the medium anyway!!

  32. Reading these comments its like everyone in the universe forgot that WALKMANS EXIST. There are plenty of portable tape players out there guys. Go to any thrift store and youll be set for about a buck. No need to spend money on a gimmicky product like this.

  33. I desperately need this in !y life! My dad left a couple hundred demos recorded on cassettes. And I do love the medium.

  34. I would love to get one of those players… I still got some cassettes leftover from back in the day…

  35. This is such a great idea!! I would love to know when and where I can purchase one!

  36. a big oversight to not cover up the entire area where the tape is exposed. It will just get ruined with dirt and crap if you take it anywhere outside.

  37. I also would love to have a few of these. Please let me know when and where it’s available.
    Thank you.

  38. Oh . I’d love at least oe of these. Fot loads of tapes. Mixed ones esp from My Dj days. And lots of Myself & friend singing when doing karaoke.

  39. The concept is flawed. No way to regulate speed as there is no capstan and pinch roller. Nothing to proved back tension so tape pack will be loose and uneven.

  40. I like the idea, but it really needs to cover the exposed tape. That is key. Also, both parts of the cassette need to be turned evenly, at the same pace.

  41. It’s like the Sound Burger turntable in miniature form (they’re still made today, but unfortunately they’re made by Crowsley). As for the tape turning at the same pace, we had tons of cheap knockoff Walkman tape players in the 1980s that didn’t even have a proper capstan on the feed reel, just a smooth round peg that took up the space (or a fake capstan that was just on a spindle, but had no real function). You couldn’t rewind the tape (without flipping it over and fast forwarding), but these generally sold for under $20, so they were basically like this device in operation, the barest minimum it takes to play a tape.

    What ensures the tape is pulled through at a constant rate, however, is the pinch roller. It keeps the tape at the same level of tension at all times, due to the drive motor spindle being pressed against the roller at the same time it drives the take up reel on your cassette, so neither goes faster than the other. That is what causes 99% of tape players to “eat the tape”, either the roller is dirty and losing traction so too much tape gets fed through and loops around the spindle, or the belts driving the takeup reel start to fail, so only the pinch roller is feeding tape through as again, it gets wrapped around the spindle. Believe me, I had a lot of those cheap Walkman knockoffs, and had to fix quite a few.

  42. Omg, this looks amazing, I’d definitely get one for me and 4 as gifts. Some of my best music is still on cassettes lol & vinyl. Lol

  43. I would love to find a device in which I can transfer from cassette over to c.d. . I must have over 200 cassettes still in cases put up !!!!!

  44. To all those asking ‘Where can I buy these?’, ‘Are these for sale?’, ‘How much are these?’ Did you (can you?) read the text under the picture at the top of the page?

  45. Will these work with DATs as well as analog cassettes as these appear to be engineered towards?

  46. My son has been sick for 4 years. He couldn’t listen to music or loud sounds because of constant nausea and vomiting. He is now 14 and is finally able to listen to music again! It’s been a miracle! His media of choice is cassette tapes. He has blown through 2 cassette players in 2 weeks. This would be amazing if they can start to sell these! I pray they can! What a gift it would be if I could get one of these!!! Thanks for sharing this news!

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