That was the rhetoric of the record companies back in the seventies. It was a two pronged attack on their profits. Radio and Vinyl.
Sunday evening was the prime time for recording off the radio. The BBC did us all the service of providing a chart show. All over the UK teenagers would set up a radio and cassette recorder. The trick was to manipulate the controls with skill and judgement so that you recorded the music,but not the annoying DJ. The equipment to do this was often borrowed from parents or older siblings.
My first setup was a decent radio, but recording to a shockingly cheap portable cassette recorder via a microphone. On the plus side I had an external microphone, so it was possible to minimise pick up of motor noise from the tape transport. Barking dogs, squabbling sisters, passing cars and flushing toilets featured prominently on my early mix tapes. This tape recorder was missing a vital feature. Pause control. However, the microphone had a switch which simply turned the motor off and on.
I graduated to a cassette radio, in this case a Sony CFM-23L Cassette-Corder. This was a nice unit in it’s own right, with a great 4 band radio. The big advantage was the ability to record from radio to tape without using a microphone. Dogs, sisters and cars were no longer a problem. The mechanical pause control gave much more precise control of stopping and starting. With practice and luck it was now possible to almost completely remove the DJ intervention.
A look at the side reveals what was to facilitate even more variants on home taping. The humble 5 pin DIN socket allowed you, with the right cable to copy tapes from another machine or even connect to a record player with a DIN output capability.
As fortune would have it, my sister owned a Fidelity Music Master record player with a DIN socket on the back. I now had the means to record records to tape silently and without recording the sounds of the world around me.
I upgraded my technology over the years, but the principal remained the same. Yes, I confess, I did occasionally borrow records and record them. However I can say with all honesty that the vast majority of my recordings were from my own records, so I could listen in the car.
The music industry still thought the humble cassette was bad. If only they knew the horrors of mp3 and file sharing which were still to come.