Lou Ottens, Inventor Of The Cassette Tape, Dead At 94

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

What was once an essential piece of audio technology, the cassette tape was Ottens’ answer to the large reel-to-reel tapes that provided high-quality sound but were considered too unwieldy and expensive. When he became the head of new product development in Hasselt, Belgium, for the Dutch-based Philips technology company, Lou took on the challenge of shrinking tape technology in the early 1960s.

“Lou wanted music to be portable and accessible,” says documentary filmmaker Zack Taylor, who spent days with Ottens for his film Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape. Ottens’ goal was to make something simple and affordable for mass use. As Taylor notes, “He advocated for Philips to license this new format to other manufacturers for free, paving the way for cassettes to become a worldwide standard.”

Following his work to revolutionize consumer recording and listening habits, Ottens further helped develop consumer CDs.

Keep up with the latest trending music news by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photo: frankieleon