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Protection for cassettes? Advice on how to storea music collection

crazyshady

Active Member
I have quite a lot of cassette singles as part of a private collection i have and i was wondering the best way of preserving them? Most are just cardboard slipcases with the cassettes inside and for years i couldn't find any kind of cassette case catering to these kinds of singles so i used to just put them in PVC sleeves for CDs. They took up a bit more room but it was the only way to protect the cover. Is there anything out there that was actully made for those kinds of cassette singles? I noticed these polybox things here:

Cassette Tape Cases

I like how there is a box for the cassette itself and then a separate box you place it into for further protection. Obviously i couldn't use that with most of these cassette singles as i don't want the cardboard sleeves being penetrated in anyway.


Also i was looking at my collection as a whole. With my regular playing records i keep all the good stuff in PVC sleeves and just buy PVC sleeves when i can. All my albums are in PVC sleeves for instance but i have so many singles that i listen to so often that i'm not desperate for them to be in PVC sleeves. With my private collection i use polythene sleeves because it is easier to put the records into them, i feel as if they have more room to breath and quite a lot are factory sealed. I don't want to break the seal in any way by trying to fit the albums/singles into PVC sleeves. Do you think that is a good way of storing them? It really is just a collection i have of a few artists discographys and it's there purely because i enjoy the music and i enjoy collecting. I always get doubles when i can, one for playing and for storing away.

I was also looking at CD cases. I have a lot of promotional CDs and even though the CDs are in new condition and the inlays/covers are new, the outside cases are sometimes a little scruffy or scuffed and i've noticed that more and more these days. Nowadays they seem to issue promo CDs on CD-Rs and just print the tracklist on the actual disc, most times they don't even bother printing inlays so it is just a blank case you get. Are all these cases the same? Just a standard black maxi cd case or the clear ones you can get? Actually i've just checked that site and they have some here.

Jewel Case Parts

If you look at the black and clear trays you will see they don't have that little logo you get on most common ones which say Compact Disc in a little box. Do you think i am better just keeping everything the way it is or would it make a difference if i went out and replaced the cases of everything? I was also looking at ways to store CDs and i noticed you can get these resealable sleeves that cover the entire case. Is that a good way to store CDs?

According to my spreadsheet, which i use to check what items i have and don't have in the collection i have well over 300 items. It doesn't look like it from where i am sitting but the spreadsheet doesn't lie. I just want to get something done and start to get this stuff taken care of. I would never dream of selling any of it and i'm sure it is worthless to most people but i just don't want in the future, if anyone did show an interest for them to point out any flaws or somehow notice that i have replaced the case on something. I know it sounds silly but i didn't know where else to ask. The main thing is the cassette singles. There are a lot of cassette albums still sealed but to be honest i think that's as good as it's gonna get for them.
 

Music4ever

Active Member
The best way is to store the tapes at room temperature away from excessive heat and humidity and every so often spool the tapes to the end and back again.

Keep the tapes away from sources of magnetism i.e loudspeakers, motors etc

Keeping them in any form of case will keep dust of the tape.

Always ensure that the tape deck used has a clean tape path especially the pinch roller as a dirty roller could end up damaging the tapes by creasing them or even worse the dreaded tape salad!

Hope this helps
 

Andy8421

Active Member
Crazy,

Tape storage is not an everlasting format. Tapes suffer from a number of age induced problems, try googling 'audio tape restoration' and you will get a flavour of what you are in for.

I am not sure the advice above about spooling the tapes is correct. As the tape ages and the oxide binder deteriorates, even spooling the tape over the tape guides can have a negative effect.

If your time horizon for storage is more than a handful of years and the tapes have either monetary or sentimental value, you should definitely create a digital backup.

Andy.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
i'm not sure how many tapes i have but its around 200 and i keep them all in a few metal camera accessories cases like this .Most are in their own plastic cases but there are some that aren't. 60-70 will fit into each case

I am also begining to digitise them by connecting the tape deck to the pc for backup purposes because what is on these tapes cannot be replaced if damaged by little fingers or something else. Some are 30yrs old.
Haven't actually started yet as i there is no decent place for the tape deck to sit for a for a few weeks or months while this is being done. Once on cd's i will have 2 copies, but the tapes will see more air time than its digitise version.
 
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formbypc

Active Member
If you keep them indoors, keep them away from extremes of temperature, magnetic fields, and dust.

If you need to put them anywhere dusty, or in a garage, say, then go to the supermarket or cash 'n' carry for ziploc bags and seal the tapes in these, then box them up, and maybe wrap the box in a bin liner and seal it with parcel tape.
Silica gel sachets are an option.
 

crazyshady

Active Member
I wont need to back them up. The tracks on the cassettes are identical to their vinyl and CD counterparts. It is a pretty big collection i have altogether. There is maybe 30-40 cassettes altogether, most of them sealed apart from around 10 which were never sealed to begin with. I just thought like for CDs and vinyl that someone out there would have created some kind of special little case for taking care of cassettes. Even a normal cassette case would have done and i could have kept the cassette singles inside them but nearly all cases i have come across have the little spikes in them which is obviously no good for the sleeves to the singles.

Right now i have them on a shelving unit and the only thing near them that has any power would be my TV, which i don't have on very often and my turntable/amp which again don't get switched on unless i am playing something. These cassettes will never get played again, some haven't even been played before. It's just a collection i have and if locking them away, rather than keeping them on display and looking nice is the best way to go then i'll have to do that.

The ones that are shrinkwrapped will be alright wont they? There's no way dust can get in and unless i die and the family decide to sell them off they wont be getting opened lol.


About CD protection. I seen these CD wraps you can get and they go right over the case and then it seals shut but it always leaves room at either end so when you have them on the shelf, because of the excess at each end you really need to go right up to them to read the spines. Is that the best way of protecting CD cases?
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I use 7 x 72-casette versions of these, but have no idea where you can get them new nowadays. The cassettes themselves are in those ubiquitous plastic cases that you used to find everywhere. They do still exist, e.g. here.

I store CDs in bespoke shelf units with 7 shelves in a 110cm height. Two units can be stacked, or they can be wall-mounted. A unit with a width of 90cm will hold a little over 500 CDs. I find this yields adequate protection against dust and jewel case damage.
 
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S Bibby

Active Member
I use 7 x 72-casette versions of these, but have no idea where you can get them new nowadays. The cassettes themselves are in those ubiquitous plastic cases that you used to find everywhere. They do still exist, e.g. here.

My brother also had about half a dozen of those things - looks terrible but at least the tapes won't move about. Can't really think of anything else other than the suitcases people used for computer cassettes, I suppose it has to be fairly rigid or you'll be playing domino rally every time.
Tape storage is not an everlasting format. Tapes suffer from a number of age induced problems, try googling 'audio tape restoration' and you will get a flavour of what you are in for.

I got into taping recently and have bought a load of cassettes (some secondhand, most old stock)and there hasn't been much degradation. The only ones I've really had problems with were 30-year old Marantz/Philips ferrics that had seized up with age. IMO the Maxell tapes had better quality and the chromes persist for longer.
 
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