There’s one fewer option to pick from the next time you go to buy a car: the cassette deck. The last one rolled off the assembly line some time in 2010. The model? A Lexus SC 430.

The cassette tape was really the first opportunity for an individual to control their listening experience. In essence, today’s digital music behaviors are an extension of the original mix tape. A democratization of music away from the album to a mix tape that reflected moods or themes or the general angst of adolescence. Unlike digital music, the physical aspect of a cassette tape gave it currency. A tape had more value than a digital playlist and more flexibility than a CD.

And now the act of digging around your car for a specific tape that sums up the moment will fade from our collective memory.

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