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[Slashdot] - Lou Ottens, Inventor of the Cassette Tape, Has Died

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nickwinlund77 shares a report from NPR: Lou Ottens, who put music lovers around the world on a path toward playlists and mixtapes by leading the invention of the first cassette tape, has died at age 94, according to media reports in the Netherlands. Ottens was a talented and influential engineer at Philips, where he also helped develop consumer compact discs. Ottens died last Saturday, according to the Dutch news outlet NRC Handelsblad, which lists his age as 94. The cassette tape was Ottens' answer to the large reel-to-reel tapes that provided high-quality sound but were seen as too clunky and expensive. He took on the challenge of shrinking tape technology in the early 1960s, when he became the head of new product development in Hasselt, Belgium, for the Dutch-based Philips technology company. "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 anyone to use. As Taylor says, "He advocated for Philips to license this new format to other manufacturers for free, paving the way for cassettes to become a worldwide standard."

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