Creator of the Cassette Tape Lou Ottens Dead

Music may very well be one of the greatest creations that humanity has ever conceived of. It has the power to move the hearts and minds of people all over the world and has had a fundamental impact across generations of lives. Over the centuries various composers, artists and musicians have brought into this world songs, arrangements, albums etc. that have changed the world of music and culture for all time.

Yet there is one area that at times is at times overlooked when we talk about the outstanding achievements music has made over the years—the realm of technology tied to music. Whether it is vinyl records or MP3 files, new advancements have come along that have enabled us as creators and listeners to be closer to the sounds we love.

A great person who made a lasting contribution to the technological aspect of the music industry is no longer with us. Lou Ottens, the Dutch engineer who was the brains behind the cassette tape and later worked to pioneer the CD during the 80’s, passed away on March 6, 2021 at the age of 94.

The EL 3585 (Top) and the EL 3300 (Bottom)

In the early 1960’s, Lou, who worked at the major technology firm Philips, led the team that would develop the company’s first portable tape recorder, the EL 3585.

Emboldened by the success of the device, Lou began plans to create a portable “pocket recorder”, which lead to Philips creating its own design for tape cassettes. The year 1962 saw the release of the brilliant new invention (EL 3300) and the world was never the same.

As the tape cassette boomed during the 60s and 70s, especially in the United States, Lou worked to advance the sound movement even further. Using laser technology starting in 1970 as a means to go up against the top spot held by vinyl records, Lou and Philips unveiled the new tech in 1979. CD’s quickly took over the market and continues to hold a high position even in the digital age.

It is thanks to this brilliant individual, his inventive mind and hard work that portability for music as we know it has come this far. So to Lou, we salute you for all your hard work and efforts over the years. RIP sir.

Source: Deadline

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