Lou Ottens, Inventor of the Cassette Tape, Has Died

Lou_Ottens death

Lou Ottens, the inventor of the cassette tape, has died at age 94.

While working as an engineer for the Dutch-based Phillips in the 1960s, Ottens came up with the idea for the format to counter large reel-to-reel tapes that were not consumer-friendly. While lacking the same fidelity as reel-to-reels and vinyl, the format proved to be a big hit thanks to its economical price, portability and ability for users to record their own material.

He later helped bring to market consumer compact discs (CDs), a format that significantly improved audio fidelity and impacted the popularity of cassette tapes.

Ottens was the subject of a 2016 documentary, Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape, directed by Zack Taylor. Looking back on his invention, he quipped, “We expected [cassette tapes] to be a success, but not a revolution.”

No paywalls, free to all. Help us remain 100% independent and unbiased. Please give to Big Shot by making a secure one-time donation to help us continue covering DJ culture and electronic music like we’ve done since 2003.

Ian Fleming

Add a Comment