Lou Ottens is dead, he invented the cassette

Lou Ottens is dead, he invented the cassette

Lou Ottens is dead

Lou Ottens passed away on Saturday at the age of 94. The news only circulated today. To many the name will not suggest anything, but all those with some spring behind them should take a minute and ideally take off their hat, thanking him for the invention that made him famous: the cassette. Born in 1926, he spent his entire professional career as an engineer in the service of Philips.

Lou Ottens (1926-2021): the inventor of the cassette

Born in the Dutch town of Bellingwolde, showed a strong interest in technology from the earliest years of life. The Wikipedia page dedicated to him cites a curious anecdote: during the Second World War he built a radio equipped with a directional antenna called Germanenfilter capable of bypassing Nazi interference and receiving the broadcasts of Radio Oranje.

Fornì his contribution also to the development process that led to the birth of the CD. After retirement he became President of the Dutch Association for Logistics Management.

The cassette was born from an idea of ​​his in the early 1960s (it was presented for the first time in 1963 during a fair in Berlin) remained on the crest of the wave until the end of the last century as a support for listening to music, at home and on the move thanks to devices such as Walkman and car cassette players. Then the era of compact discs began, followed by MP3s and finally streaming platforms.

Curiously, cassettes have returned to a strong interest in recent years, as well as 33 and 45 rpm, driven by the charm of vintage. Ottens was not a nostalgic, however, as evidenced by an interview with the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad in which he spares a thrust to vinyl lovers.

Nothing can match the sound of the CD. It is absolutely free of disturbances and noises. It never worked with tape. I've made a lot of turntables and I know the distortion in vinyl is much higher. I think people mostly hear what they want to hear.

Source: Wikipedia

Dutch creator of the cassette tape, Lou Ottens, is dead

This is an automated machine translation of an article published by Business Insider in a different language. Machine translations can generate errors or inaccuracies; we will continue the work to improve these translations. You can find the original version here.

Dutchman Lou Ottens, the creator of the cassette tape and co-inventor of the compact disc, has died. He died at the age of 96 at his home in Belgium, DutchNews.nl reported. Throughout his life, Ottens insisted that his invention was nothing special.

After college, Ottens joined Philips in 1952. Eight years later he was promoted to head the company's product development department. It was there that Ottens led a team in developing the first portable tape recorder. In 1963, he revolutionized the reel-to-reel tape system by inventing a miniature version in the form of a cassette tape. Ottens specifically designed the cassette to be small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. It was much more convenient than a vinyl record.

Instead of keeping his invention for the company, Ottens got Philips to license his design so it could become an industry standard and reach a wider audience. Philips struck a deal with rival Sony to use the patented mechanism. In total, more than 100 billion cassettes have been sold worldwide to date.

A few years later, Ottens helped develop the compact disc - another invention that helped revolutionize the music industry. Ottens was a firm believer to the very end that compact discs were better than cassettes, arguing that 'nothing can beat the sound of a CD.'

Lou Ottens has been compared to even Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, among other things. Netherlandsnewslive emphasizes, however, that the Dutchman rejected these comparisons and did not consider his invention unique. He claimed that they are the result of the work of entire teams.

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